General exemptions

Some properties are exempt from paying business rates.

These include:

  • agricultural land and buildings
  • certain properties used for disabled people
  • churches and other places of worship
  • fish farms
  • public parks
  • moorings for boats
  • sewers

Other properties can also be fully exempt from business rates if they’re:

  • unoccupied and are owned and likely to be next occupied by a charity or community sports club
  • prohibited from occupation by law
  • kept empty due to action taken by/on behalf of the Crown or any local or public authority with a view to prohibiting occupation or acquiring it
  • unoccupied listed buildings, properties subject to a building preservation notice and properties scheduled as ancient monuments
  • owned by someone entitled to possession of the property only in the capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person
  • owned by someone who’s a liquidator or a trustee under a deed of arrangement, or the owner is subject to a bankruptcy order, or as a company is subject to a winding up order or administration order
  • occupied by someone who’s only entitled to occupy the property as an executor of a deceased person

Empty properties

Properties that become unoccupied are normally exempt from rates charges for the first three months they’re empty, or six months in the case of industrial properties. Once the exemption period has expired, full rates charges will apply.

A qualifying industrial property is one in which all buildings in the property are:

  • constructed or adapted for use by trade or business, and
  • constructed or adapted for one or more of the following uses:
    • manufacturing/repairing/adapting goods or materials, or processing any goods
    • storage, including the handling of goods
    • working or processing materials
    • generating electricity

To apply for empty property business rate relief, fill in our online form.

Disputing our decision

You can ask us to reconsider our decision if we don’t award you a relief or exemption. You can do this by completing our dispute form within 28 days of receiving our decision.