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Unoccupied properties

You do not have to pay Business rates for 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 must be paid 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 any property other than retail which is constructed or adapted for use for one or more of the following:

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


There are certain exemptions where the property will be entitled to a full exemption from rates whilst it remains empty. These include:

  • listed buildings
  • the company is in administration or liquidation
  • where occupation of the property is prohibited by law, such as when a closing order is in force
  • where the property has a rateable value of under £2,600

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: