Warrington is now a ‘very high risk’ local COVID alert level area (tier 3)
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Business rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period, rates are payable in full regardless of whether there is a change of owner or tenant. In most cases the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the unoccupied property rate.
If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of this bill.
Liability to pay the empty charge falls upon the person entitled to possession of the whole hereditament – the 'owner'.
Once the property becomes occupied again (either in whole or part) then the occupier will become liable to a full charge at 100%.
The owner should note however that if the period of occupation is less than six weeks, then in deciding whether the property has been continuously unoccupied, it is deemed to have been unoccupied for that period. This means in effect that no further three months 'free period' is allowable if the property is occupied for less than six weeks either during the 'free period' or during a period subject to an empty rate charge.
The government is introducing a new temporary measure for unoccupied new builds from October 2013.
Unoccupied new builds will be exempt from unoccupied property rates for up to 18 months (up to state aid limits) where the property comes on to the Rating list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016.
The 18 month period includes the initial 3 or 6 month exemption and so properties may, if unoccupied, be exempt from non-domestic rates for up to an extra 15 or 12 months.
If your property is or becomes occupied, please notify the revenues and benefits service straight away of your change in circumstances.
Certain property may be exempt from empty rates. Exemption is appropriate in the following circumstances as prescribed by the non domestic rating (unoccupied property) Regulations 1989 (as amended).
Certain owners are also exempt from unoccupied property rates:
Prior to 1 April 2008, industrial property received a permanent exemption from empty property rates, if it was a 'qualifying' industrial hereditament. After 1 April 2008 industrial property is exempt from empty property rates for a continuous period not exceeding six months, after which 100% of the occupied business rate is payable. A qualifying industrial hereditament is a property, other than a 'retail' hereditament, in relation to which buildings comprised in the hereditament are:
'Retail hereditament' means any hereditament where any building or part of a building comprised in the hereditament is constructed or adapted for the purpose of the retail provision of:
Where a property is only partly occupied for a short time only, the council has the discretion to request that the valuation officer apportions the properties rateable value, between its occupied parts.
From 1 April 2008, the empty part of the property will receive a complete exemption from rates for the first three months it is empty, or for the first six months in the case of industrial property, after which 100% rates will become payable.
If the property qualifies for an exemption from rates when empty, the apportioned rateable values will continue to apply.
If you believe this exemption is applicable to your business please fill in our online form.