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Unoccupied properties

Business rates are not payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period rates are payable in full.

The exempt period runs from the date the property first becomes empty and it is based on the property not the ratepayer. If the ratepayer changes after the property became empty this does not create a new period of exemption.

Industrial properties

An industrial property is defined as any property other than retail constructed or adapted for use for one or more of the following purposes:

  • the manufacture, repair, or adaptation of goods or materials
  • the processing of goods or materials
  • storage
  • the working or processing of minerals
  • the generation of electricity


In some circumstances the property will be entitled to a full exemption from rates whilst it remains empty, these include:

  • listed buildings
  • properties where the rateable value is principally land
  • certain cases where the ratepayer is a registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) or a charity
  • where occupation of the property is prohibited by law (a closing order is in force)
  • where the property has a rateable value of under £2,900

Partly occupied property relief

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a very short time we have discretion in certain circumstances to award relief on the unoccupied part. If you have an empty or a partly occupied property and want more information: