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Can they be reduced?

There are some circumstances in which full business rates are not payable. These are listed below.

Unocccupied Property Rating

In general, there will be no Business Rates to pay for the first three months that a property is empty (industrial premises six months and then 100% payable). After that, an empty property rate of 100% of the bill that would have been due if the property were occupied, will be payable. Small properties with a rateable value of less than £2,899, pay no empty property rates even after the first three months have expired.

Charitable and Discretionary Relief

Charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property which is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80% of the bill. Local councils have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.

Authorities also have discretion to give relief on all or part of any rate bill in respect of property occupied by certain non-profit making bodies. They can consider giving rate relief in cases of hardship or where part of a property is beyond use for a certain period. A copy of the Council’s Policy on Discretionary Rate Relief can be found along with an application form on the Business Rates downloads page.

In accordance with The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, the Council is required to publish the date, the reason and any alternative options considered and rejected, concerning the award of Discretionary Rate Relief. Details of what Discretionary Rate Relief has already been awarded please see the Discretionary Rate Relief Awards page.

Rate Relief for Businesses in Rural Areas

The following types of business in rural villages with a population below 3,000 may qualify for rate relief of 50 per cent:

  • the sole general store and the sole post office in the village, provided it has a rateable value of less than £8,500
  • the sole pub and the sole petrol station in the village, provided it has a rateable value of less than £12,500

Local councils have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill on such property.

The local council may decide to give up to 100 per cent relief to any other business in such a rural village, with a rateable value less than £16,500, if it is satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community and having regard to the interests of its council taxpayers.

Rate Relief for Small Businesses

Visit our Rate Relief for Small Businesses page for more details and an application form.

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