Effective 1 June, we have a new address: 34 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1QZ
Get in Touch Menu

Rating and empty properties

09 July 2007

Following the 2007 Budget, the Rating (Empty Properties) Bill has now been published.

The aim is to encourage owners to bring empty, non-domestic property back into occupation by reducing business rating relief. If the Bill is passed, the changes will take effect from 1st April 2008. We sum up the main points:

Currently, most empty commercial properties receive 100% relief for the first three months that they are unoccupied and 50% relief from then on. Industrial properties and warehouses receive full exemption for an indefinite period when they are empty.

Under the Bill, once the initial three-month rate-free period ends, the property will be subject to full business rates. Properties that are currently exempt will receive a six-month rate-free period after which full business rates will apply.

Unoccupied properties belonging to charities and community amateur social clubs will be zero-rated, compared with the 90% reduction in business rates they currently receive. Partially occupied properties will be entitled to a business rates reduction on the unoccupied part, providing the property would be exempt or zero-rated were it totally unoccupied.

The Bill will also allow valuation officers to disregard deliberate changes to a property. This is to ensure that owners of empty property cannot actively make it derelict in order to avoid paying business rates.

As always, if you need commercial and pragmatic legal advice, we’re here to help so please get in touch.

Contact us

Emma Thompson LLB (Hons)
Associate, solicitor
View profile
Emma Thompson
Related services
Share this article
Resources to help

Related articles

The Charities Act 2022

Real estate

After key changes to the law were proposed in May 2021, the new act received Royal Assent on 24 February 2022, and was passed into law as the Charities Act…

Charlotte Brunsdon LLB, BA (Hons)
Associate, solicitor

Regulation changes to see rise in energy efficiency standards

Real estate

From 1 April 2023, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations are set to become even stricter for commercial properties. The regulations were introduced in 2015 to target the least…

Charlotte Brunsdon LLB, BA (Hons)
Associate, solicitor

Webinar: Spring commercial property law update

Litigation & dispute resolution

In this Spring update our experienced partners in commercial property and property litigation will share insight on several topics. The first is a look at development land and will include…

Contact us