Empty property exemptions for businesses

If your property is empty you may be eligible for an empty property exemption on your business rates. Offices and shops are eligible for a three-month exemption. Industrial premises are eligible for a six-month exemption. 

The exemption will begin from the date the property became empty. It will also be applied from this date even if the property was empty prior to you owning or leasing the property.

You may qualify for an empty property exemption if:

  • the property is prohibited by law
  • action has been taken to prohibit either occupation or acquiring occupation
  • the property is subject to a building preservation notice (i.e. a listed building)
  • the property is an ancient monument
  • the property has a rateable value below £2,900
  • the property is being held by the representative of a deceased person
  • the responsible party is insolvent or in administration

Please note that if you take possession of a property for which the three-month or six-month exemption period has already elapsed, you will not generally be entitled to a further three or six-month exemption period, as the case may be.

The Government announced in the Spring Budget 2024, that the Empty Property Relief “reset period” will be extended from six weeks to thirteen weeks from 1 April 2024 in England.

The effect of the above announcement means that a further three or six-month exemption period, as appropriate, may not be considered until a property has been re-occupied for a continuous period of at least 13 weeks and Business Rates shall be payable for that period of occupation accordingly.

Apply for an empty property exemption

To apply you will need to:

  • Download and complete the empty property exemption form
  • Scan the completed form using either a scanner or taking a picture of it using your mobile phone
  • Send the scanned/pictured image to your computer e.g. by email or text
  • Attach the image and answer all the questions on the evidence form