Non-domestic rates - money off your bill
Empty property relief
Relief is available to all empty properties and the level of relief depends on the type of property and how long the property has been empty.
Unless you are the property agent, or the empty period is less than 30 days, you will need to supply evidence that the property is empty. Details of the type of evidence we accept and how to apply is detailed further down on this page.
Exempt properties - 100% relief is available where:
- the rateable value is less than £1700
- the property is a listed building
- the ratepayer is insolvent and the property is in the control of a trustee, liquidator or administrator
- the property is in possession of the executor of a deceased person's estate
- notice has been served prohibiting the use of the property
- a compulsory purchase order has been served on the property
- the property is an ancient monument or is subject to a preservation order
- there are no buildings on site
If you apply for exemption under categories 3-8 above, you will need to supply additional evidence to confirm that the property meets the exempt criteria.
These properties can receive 100% relief for up to six months from the date the property became empty, followed by 10% relief for as long as the property remains empty. If empty property relief was awarded for the period immediately before your claim then you will only receive 100% relief for the balance of the 6 month period.
All other properties
These properties can receive 50% relief for up to three months from the date the property became empty, followed by 10% relief for as long as the property remains empty. If empty property relief was awarded for the period immediately before your claim then you will only receive 50% relief for the balance of the 3 month period.
This relief must be re-applied for each financial year. To re-apply or to make a new application for empty property relief and submit evidence, please complete the online form.
You may be asked to upload evidence on your application, help with this is provided below.
We aim to process your application within 10 working days. Due to current volumes of customer contact and correspondence, there may be a delay to this timescale.
We are working hard to reduce our response times and will process your application as soon as possible.
- Zero or minimal fuel bills - the actual fuel consumption must be shown and must not be estimated. Where the consumption is not zero, earlier or later bills must be supplied for comparison. The fuel bills must cover over 50% of the empty period
- Dated receipts or invoices for work carried out in the refurbishment of the property. These must show the date of the work and the subject address
- Dated receipts for materials purchased for the refurbishment of the property. These must show that the materials were delivered to the subject address
- Copy of a ‘To Let’ advert showing the date of the publication and the subject address of the property
- Copy of the invoice for the ‘To Let’ advert showing the date of the publication and the address of the property advertised
- Signed statement or dated marketing brochure from the letting agent. If the agent completes the application form no documentary evidence is necessary
- Signed and dated statement from two neighbours. The statement must include details of the empty period, the address in question and the names, addresses and contact telephone number of both neighbours. It is acceptable that one of these statements can be submitted by the ratepayer’s solicitor, provided that their premises are in the vicinity of the unoccupied premises. We must be able to trace and contact the people providing the statements
- Photographs – these must show both the inside and outside of the property, and must demonstrate the date taken. Most digital cameras will automatically stamp the date on the photograph; otherwise a daily newspaper must be visible in the photograph with its date also visible
- Any other evidence which independently verifies that the property is/was unoccupied during the period of the claim, subject to acceptance by us
Please have all your evidence to hand and ready to upload before you begin your application.
Help with uploading evidence
You will be asked to upload evidence on the application form. We can accept jpegs and pdf files but we advise pdfs as the file size is smaller.
Please don’t take photos of your PC screen or phone screen as these can be blurry. If you need to do this you should use the screenshot/print screen function on your PC or phone.
When you take a photo of a document such as a bank statement sometimes the file sizes are too big, especially if you have to upload a lot of different images to your form. This can cause the form to fail and we advise converting jpegs to pdfs. You can do this in the following ways.
On an Android phone
- select image you want
- from the menu select print image
- select Save as pdf
- choose where to save it
On an iPhone
- select the image you want
- tap the sharing button and select Print
- at the Printer options screen, use a spreading gesture with your fingers on the image preview to show Save as pdf
- select Share the converted photo as PDF and choose where to save it
On a PC
- right click on the icon of the image
- select Convert to Adobe pdf
- click on the Save file icon in the top left hand corner
- select where to save it
- name it
Do not use the form below if you are making a new application for Empty property relief. The submission of evidence form should only be used if you want to provide evidence for an application you have already made.