National Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates)
Who is Liable to Pay Business Rates?
Business Rates are payable on most commercial properties, such as shops, offices, factories, warehouses and public houses. Some non-domestic properties do not pay business rates. These may include churches, working farms and public parks.
Business Rates are usually paid by the occupier of a property. If the property is unoccupied then the owner or leaseholder may have to pay empty property rates.
The legislation regarding Empty Property Rates changed from 1st April 2008. Premises such as shops and offices are exempt from empty property rates for the first 3 months that they are empty. Industrial or warehouse premises are exempt from empty property rates for the first 6 months that they are empty. After the initial 3 or 6 month periods have expired full business rates are normally payable. There are some types of premises which are exempt from unoccupied property rates, details of which can be given by contacting the Business Rates Section.
For example from 1st April 2005 to 31st March 2009 any empty property with a Rateable Value of less than £2200 is exempt from empty property rates.
From 1st April 2009 to 31st March 2010 the Government have increased this threshold in that any empty property with a Rateable Value of less than £15000 is exempt from empty property rates for this period.