Empty property relief

Empty properties do not have to pay business rates for three months after they become empty. This is extended to six months for industrial properties. 

The period applies to the property only. After the three or six-month exemption period has passed, the full rate must be paid.

This does not apply to the following buildings:

  • listed buildings do not have to pay until they become occupied again
  • buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 do not have to pay until they become occupied again
  • properties owned by charities or community amateur sports clubs may also not have to pay

Check your business rates valuation

Part occupied rates

If part of a property is not occupied for a short period of time it may be possible to apply the exemption to the empty section of the property. Contact us to discuss whether it may apply to your circumstances. Email us at brates@guildford.gov.uk

If it does:

  • you will be asked to provide a plan showing the empty and occupied sections
  • we may visit to view the premises
  • the Valuation Office Agency will be asked to certify the rateable value applying to each section
  • a new bill will then be issued

The exemption ends when there is a further change in occupation or at the end of the financial year (31 March), whichever is sooner.