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Mandatory rate relief

Business rates relief for rural businesses

Who qualifies for this relief?

To be eligible for mandatory or discretionary relief the property must:

  • be within a defined rural settlement for the financial year concerned

The government has named all the rural parishes in Guildford borough as rural areas. The council can define rural settlements in these areas. 

 East Horsley, Tongham, Ash and Ash Vale are not defined as rural settlements. This is due to their populations. 

If you are unsure whether a property falls within a defined rural settlement, call us on 01483 505050.

The property must be one of the following businesses. The business must be the only one of its type in the rural settlement:

  • a general store with a rateable value of less than £8,500
  • a post office with a rateable value of less than £8,500
  • a food store with a rateable value of less than £8,500
  • a public house with a rateable value of less than £12,500
  • a petrol filling station with a rateable value of less than £12,500

The businesses listed must be the only one of its type in the rural settlement.

Your rateable value is on your latest business rates bill.

Find out more about the eligibility criteria for each of the types of business in the council's Icon for pdf discretionary scheme guidance [386.39KB] - section 2.3

How much mandatory relief do I receive?

You will receive relief to the value of 50% of your bill.

Can I claim discretionary relief?

Yes. The council can grant discretionary relief. The property must be used for purposes that benefit the local community. It would be reasonable for the council to grant relief having regard to the interests of its tax​ payers.​

We will award an extra 50% discretionary relief when:

  • a general store, post office or food store meets all the criteria for mandatory relief

If the council agrees to award discretionary relief, we will award 100% discretionary relief when:

  • a general store, post office or food store does not qualify for mandatory relief due to the rateable value thresholds set out above

 Discretionary relief is subject to a maximum rateable value threshold for the property of £16,500.

You will need to upload evidence to support your application. Upload information to show:

  • that the property is used for purposes which benefit the community
  • that the main use of the property meets the criteria

You can find further details of the evidence required in the council's Icon for pdf Discretionary Scheme guidance [386.39KB] - section 2.3

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