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Empty Rates and Mitigation Strategies

Empty Rates can be a complex issue, but our dedicated team of experts can help clarify your position and help you reduce or remove liability on your wholly or partially empty properties.


Commercial property throughout the U.K is subject to Business Rates, which is a tax on occupation and paid by the occupier. However, when a commercial property becomes vacant this liability still exists in the form of Empty Property Rates. There is now little difference in rates liability between vacant and occupied property. Despite these changes most ratepayers pay more in property rates than they have to. 


An initial period of 3 months relief is applied on empty properties once they first become vacant which is granted by Local Authorities. This is extended to 6 months if the property is industrial in nature. After this period, the ratepayer can become liable to pay these rates again, even if the premises remain unoccupied.


Every new commercial development, proposed refurbishment scheme or vacant premises facing a rates liability, requires a detailed understanding of the property circumstances, allied to a specific mitigation strategy.


We understand the legislation and how local authorities operate, making us ideally positioned to offer you the best mitigation solutions. By drawing on our significant experience, our team will develop strategies to mitigate, or in some cases, fully remove liability for rates on unoccupied premises.


Our empty property rates solutions cover all property types and range from a single property to large portfolios throughout the UK.


Examples of some of the routes available to mitigate your empty rates bills include:


  • Intermittent occupation schemes

  • Section 44a applications for partially occupied premises

  • Splitting and merging Rateable Values

  • Occupation prohibited by law, such as owing to presence of asbestos

  • Proving Buildings are incapable of beneficial occupation

  • Proving Buildings are uneconomic to repair

  • Challenging invalid completion notices

  • Delaying the assessment of new buildings


If you have properties in your portfolio that are currently or soon-to-be vacant, we would encourage you to get in touch to find out how we can help you mitigate your business rate liability.

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