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Get help with paying business rates

Page updated 13 March 2019


Exempt properties

Certain properties are exempt from business rates. You may not have to pay business rates on the following types of property:

  • agricultural land and buildings, including fish farms
  • buildings used for the training or welfare of disabled people
  • buildings registered for public religious worship or church halls
  • drainage authority property
  • public parks

There are strict legal requirements for these exemptions.

If you think your property should be exempt from business rates, report this to the Valuation Office Agency.

Empty properties

Contact us as soon as a building becomes empty. Empty buildings get 3 months' business rates relief.

This can sometimes be extended to 6 months (mainly for industrial and warehouse properties).

After this period an empty property is liable for 100% of the basic occupied business rate unless:

  • the rateable value of the property is less than £2,600 from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2017 and less than £2,899 in 2017/18
  • the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government by order, in which case it will be shown on the front of your bill

In addition some empty properties do not have to pay business rates, which include in most cases those owned by charities and community sports clubs.

There are also a number of other exemptions from the empty property rate such as listed buildings . Please contact us for full details of other exemptions and whether they apply.

Tell us about an empty property

Please submit your form to

You will also need to email a copy of your lease to It doesn't have to be the whole document but must include:

  • the term of the lease showing the parties involved, the property address and the period
  • the signature page of the lease which is normally found at the back

Please note that we may check that the buildings are not being used without contacting you.