During the pandemic, many landlords were faced with difficulties down to tenants either leaving the property or going into liquidation. However, council tax on residential properties and business rates for commercial buildings will still remain payable even when the building is empty. Luckily, there may be some reliefs available.

What Business Rates Reliefs Are Available?

In some cases, local authorities are allowing landlords to claim a discount on their council tax if their property has been empty. This will, however, depend on your area, so we highly recommend contacting your local council to ask whether they are offering such relief.

For those with commercial premises, no business rates will be due on an empty property for the first three months that it is vacant. This is then extended to six months on industrial properties or warehouses. On listed buildings or those with a rateable value under £2,900, landlords are able to claim an extension on their empty property relief after this period. Charities and community amateur sports clubs will also have access to some business rated relief. Should the owner be a company in liquidation or administration and, therefore, are not occupying the property, business rates will not be due.

Some local authorities across the country have challenged business rates avoidance schemes that use special companies to hold vacant properties. It is important to keep in mind that using business rated avoidance schemes will not work.

If you are currently facing a business rates bill on an empty property, you are able to speak with your local authority regarding claiming hardship relief or a discount on the rates.