Business rates—landlord's liability for empty premises
Business rates—landlord's liability for empty premises

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Business rates—landlord's liability for empty premises
  • Empty properties: rates
  • Industrial and retail premises
  • Insolvent tenants
  • Discretion to grant further relief
  • Rates mitigation schemes

Coronavirus (COVID-19): the coronavirus pandemic has caused the UK to expedite new insolvency provisions, both of a temporary and permanent nature. For news and guidance as to the implications from a property perspective see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for property — Property Insolvency.

Empty properties: rates

With effect from 1 April 2008 there is:

  1. 100% relief for a qualifying industrial hereditament for the first six months that they are empty (replacing the previous permanent exemption)

  2. 100% relief for any other property for the first three months that they are empty

  3. 100% relief where the rateable value of a property is less than £2,900

There are also exemptions for charities and community amateur sports clubs in Local Government Finance Act 1998, s 45A. Further exemptions in relation to insolvent companies are dealt with below. 'Hereditament' is defined in General Rate Act 1967, s 115(1) as

property which is or may become liable to a rate, being a unit of such property which is, or would fall to be, shown as a separate item on the rating list

Industrial and retail premises

A qualifying industrial hereditament is any hereditament other than a retail hereditament in relation to which all buildings comprised in the hereditament are constructed or adapted for use:

  1. in the course of a trade or business, and

  2. for one or more