If a property becomes completely empty of all goods you may be entitled to empty property relief.
Since 1st April 2008 the full rate charge will be payable in respect of unoccupied properties. Initially there will be a 3 months 100% exemption, and 6 months for certain industrial properties. After this period, rates will be payable at the full rate unless the unoccupied property falls into one of the exemption categories. Since 1st April 2008 companies in administration, charities and community amateur sports clubs will be exempt from the unoccupied property rate charge, providing they meet certain criteria.
Since 1st April 2011 changes were made that will affect exemptions from empty property rates.
The threshold was £2,200, before it was temporarily increased to £15,000 in 2009-10 and £18,000 in 2010-11. However, it has now been uprated to £2,600 in line with the general movement of property values at revaluation.
Other 100% exemptions include:
A property with a rateable value of less than £2,600 from 1st April 2011
A listed building
Occupation prohibited by law
Where the owner is entitled to possession only in their capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person
Where the owner has been made bankrupt or is a company subject to a winding up order
Where the owner is entitled to possession in his capacity as a trustee under a deed of arrangement or as a liquidator
Full details can be obtained from the local authority, so please contact the Taxation Team immediately if you think you may qualify.
All empty properties are inspected regularly and in order for the exemptions to continue the property must not be used for any beneficial use including storage. The only exception being fixtures and fittings in connection with the next intended use of the building.
Partly occupied properties
The Council has discretion to grant empty property exemptions to properties where part is unoccupied for a short time. Further information regarding this exemption can be obtained from the Taxation Team.