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If your business premises is unoccupied and unfurnished, you can apply for Empty Property Rates relief.
From April 2011, the Government changed the rules for rate relief on empty non-domestic properties. The changes mean:
At the end of these periods, the premises will be subject to empty property rates equivalent to the full Business Rates charge.
The following types of premises are exempt from an empty property rate charge (in other words, they won't be a charge for Business Rates):
The Government has introduced a temporary measure for unoccupied 'new builds' from 1 October 2013. Under this temporary measure, we will use our discretionary powers to exempt unoccupied new builds from business rates for up to 18 months, up to state aid limits, where the property comes on to the list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016. The 18 month period includes the initial 3 ot 6 month mandatory exemption.
If your business is only using part of the premises for which you are liable, you may be able to claim rate relief known as 'Section 44a relief'. We can award this discretionary relief if the 'part occupation' is for a short time only and where:
If your property is not capable of occupation because it is in poor condition and cannot be economically repaired, the Valuation Officer may decide it should be taken out of the rating list altogether.
When we receive your claim form, we may send an inspector to visit the premises so it is important you provide us with a daytime contact telephone number.
If you are applying for Section 44a relief, an inspector will visit the premises and, where appropriate, ask the Valuation Officer to split the property's rateable value between its occupied and unoccupied parts.