Empty properties-changes in legislation

Empty properties - changes in legislation effective 1 April 2008, 1 April 2009, 1 April 2010 and 1 April 2011

Changes in legislation effective 1 April 2008

Do you own an empty commercial property? If you do, major changes in legislation were introduced with effect from 1st April 2008 that may affect your Business Rates liability.

Previously an empty property that did not qualify for an exemption was charged at a zero rate for three months followed by a 50% charge. From the 1st April 2008 this changed to 100% charge following the initial three-month zero rate. Any property that had already been empty for more than three months prior to the 1st April 2008 was automatically charged at 100% from that date.

Where a property was previously exempt due to it being industrial, from 1st April 2008 this exemption no longer applied. An industrial property now qualifies for an initial 6 months zero rate charge followed by a 100% charge. Where an industrial property had been empty in excess of 6 months on the 1st April 2008 a 100% charge was automatically levied from that date.

Changes in legislation effective 1 April 2009 - 31 March 2010

Further changes in legislation effective 1st April 2009 meant that you are not liable to pay empty property charges if your property has a rateable value of less than £15,000.  This was intended to be a temporary exemption that was introduced for a limited 12 month period and due to expire on the 31st March 2010.  All unoccupied properties during 2009/10 financial year with a rateable value of less than £15,000 were automatically awarded this temporary exemption.

Changes in legislation effective 1 April 2010 - 31 March 2011

New legislation effective from the 1st April 2010 will now mean that you will not be liable to pay empty property charges on premises where the 1st April 2010 rateable value is less than £18,000. This is intended to be a temporary exemption that has been introduced for a 12 month period and is due to expire on the 31st March 2011. All unoccupied properties during 2010/11 financial year with a rateable value of less than £18,000 will automatically be awarded this exemption.

At present all other exemptions for empty properties remain, however, Government are currently consulting on what changes, if any, should be made to these.

Changes in legislation effective 1 April 2011

The changes detailed above regarding exemptions for empty properties with a rateable value of less than £18,000 will cease on the 31st March 2011. This will mean that empty premises with a rateable value of £2,600 or above will now be charged at the normal rate from 1st April 2011 following the initial three/six month void period. If you are affected by these changes we will contact you to advise you of the amounts you will be charged.

If you think we hold your details against an empty property incorrectly you should contact us immediately using the details at the top of this page giving details of the sale/lease termination date and the person taking over the property to ensure we charge the correct person.

For further information, please contact us: 

Last updated: 04 December 2018 09:45:45