Relief on newly built empty property

This is a temporary scheme, introduced by government, to encourage councils to award rate relief of up to 100% on certain newly-built empty properties for up to 18 months after their completion.

The scheme complements the exemption already allowed on empty properties for the first three months that they're empty (first six months for industrial properties). 

Newly-built empty property relief:

  • goes with the property, so the benefit of any period of relief that is left when the property is sold can be passed on to a new owner
  • lasts for the 18 months after completion, even when empty periods are split by periods of occupation
  • can also apply to properties that are newly created following splits, mergers or changes to pre-existing properties, as long as the new property fits the criteria below
  • can be awarded within Enterprise Zones (EZ) where EZ relief hasn't been allowed for a property or has ended
  • is 100 per cent of the business rates but, as it counts as state aid, it can only be awarded up to the state aid limit (currently 200,000 Euros altogether in any three-year period)

To qualify for relief

The property must be an unoccupied, non-domestic property that:

  • is wholly or mainly new construction (foundations and/or permanent walls and/or permanent roofs) 
  • was completed after 1 October 2013 and before 30 September 2016
  • was completed in the 18 months immediately before you apply for relief

Apply for relief

If you think you qualify, you can apply for newly built empty property relief using our online form.

How the relief works

Example 1

A newly-built office property is unoccupied for 18 months from the date it is completed.

The ratepayer doesn't have to pay rates for the first three months because of the three month exemption when the property is first empty. After that, the ratepayer can get 15 months of newly-built empty property relief before having to pay rates, so altogether there are no rates to pay for the whole 18 months.

Example 2

A new shop is empty for eight months. It's occupied for four months after this but then the trader moves out and the shop is empty again for six months. We would work their business rates out as follows:

  • first three months - no rates payable (three-month exemption).
  • next five months - newly-built empty property relief (100 per cent rate relief so nothing to pay).
  • next four months - trader occupies the shop and pays business rates until she moves out.
  • next three months - no rates payable (three-month exemption following occupation).
  • next three months - newly-built empty property relief (100 per cent rate relief so nothing to pay).
  • the shop has now been completed for 18 months and the ratepayer must now pay rates.