For the first three months that a business property is empty, we do not charge Business Rates for the property. For industrial and warehouse property the rate-free period is six months. After this, a 100% Business Rate charge applies to most properties that have been empty for three months or more, or six months or more in the case of industrial and warehouse property.

So what does this mean for my rates liability?

After the initial three or six month rate-free period expires, empty properties will be liable for 100% of the occupied rates unless:

  • The property is held by a charity and appears likely to be next used for charitable purposes.
  • The property is held by a community amateur sports club and appears likely to be next used for the purposes of the club.

In addition, some properties will be exempt from paying rates while empty. The most common examples are:

  • Listed Buildings
  • Properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900
  • Other types of property may become exempt under specific circumstances. For example, if occupation becomes prohibited by law or the owner is a company in administration.
Please contact us for further information.

Can I get my property taken out of the rating list altogether?

If your property is not capable of beneficial occupation, if it is in poor condition and cannot be economically repaired, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) may judge that it should be taken out of the rating list altogether. The Valuation Officer is an officer of HM Revenue and Customs and you can contact them at the Bristol Valuation Office on telephone number 03000 501 501 or

Can I appeal against a change in my rates liability?

If you disagree with the rateable value that appears in the current rating list entry for your property, you can challenge it by making a 'proposal' against it (an appeal) to your local Valuation Office. See more information about how to appeal.

More information about empty properties and Business Rates is available on the GOV.UK website.



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