Business rates - reductions

The rateable value of all non-domestic properties is set by the Valuation Office Agency. If you think that your rateable value is incorrect you can make an appeal.

All appeals against rateable values should be directed to the Valuation Office Agency.

Even though you may decide to appeal or have already appealed, you must still pay the rates as demanded until your appeal has been settled. If your appeal succeeds, your account will be adjusted accordingly.

Retail relief

Retail relief ended on 31 March 2016 and no further relief can now be applied.

Small business rates relief

Small business rates relief applies if:

  • you only use one property
  • your property’s rateable value is less than £12,000

You will get 100% relief (doubled from the usual rate of 50%) until 31 March 2017 for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less. 

The rate of relief will gradually decrease from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000.

If you have more than one property, you can get small business rate relief if the rateable value of each of your other properties is less than £2,600. The rateable values of the properties are added together and the relief applied to the main property.

You will keep getting any existing relief for one year when you get a second property.

If you have a rateable value between £12,001 and £18,000 you are considered a small business and your business rates will be calculated using the small business multiplier.

Changes to the scheme

In his budget statement of March 2016 the Chancellor announced changes to the small business rate relief scheme.

From April 2017 the 100% relief can be awarded to qualifying premises with a rateable value of up to £12,000. Premises with rateable values between £12,000 and £15,000 can receive tapered relief.

Apply for small business rate relief

To apply for small business rate relief, please fill out a PDF file downloadsmall business rates relief application form (PDF, 391kb).

Charitable Relief

Charities and registered amateur community sports clubs can apply for relief of up to 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes.

Empty properties

Business rates are not payable for the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months for industrial properties such as factories, warehouses or workshops. After the relevant rate-free period expires an empty property will be liable for 100% of the rates unless the property is exempt from the unoccupied property rate.

Properties exempt from the unoccupied property rate are:

  • occupation prohibited by law
  • listed buildings
  • those with a minimum rateable value (less than £2,600)
  • where the owner is entitled to possession only in the capacity of a personal representative of the deceased persons
  • where the owner is subject to a bankruptcy or winding up order

Exempt properties

Some types of property are exempt from business rates and do not appear in the local rating list.

These properties include:

  • agricultural land and buildings
  • fish farms
  • fishing rights
  • places of religious worship
  • Trinity House lighthouses and buoys
  • sewers and accessories
  • property of drainage authorities
  • public parks
  • certain property used for disabled people
  • air raid protection works
  • swinging moorings
  • road crossings over watercourses
  • property in enterprise zones
  • visiting forces

Other rate reliefs available

The following relief may also be available to ratepayers:

  • partly occupied property relief
  • hardship relief       

Please contact Revenue Services for guidance regarding your circumstances.

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