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Who is exempt from Business Rates?


Certain classes of business property do not attract Business Rates at all. These properties do not appear in the rating list. Examples of these are:


  • Agricultural Land
  • Agricultural Buildings
  • Fish Farms
  • Fishing Rights
  • Places of Religious Worship (including church halls)
  • Property of Trinity House (lighthouses, buoys etc.)
  • Sewers and Property of the Drainage Authority
  • Public Parks
  • Property used for the sole use of Disabled Persons
  • Property in Enterprise Zones


There are various other exemptions of a very special nature which are not generally encountered. Under Business Rates legislation several classifications of property are exempt from paying rates when certain conditions apply, even though they appear in the rating list:


Unoccupied Properties


  1. Unoccupied newly built properties or those where structural alterations or major repairs have taken place (exempt for up to 3 months from completion of work).
  2. Unoccupied business property (exempt for up to 3 months).
  3. Industrial business property (i.e. where no part has been constructed or adapted for the purpose of retailing goods or services).  Exempt for up to 6 months.
  4. Business properties where occupation is prohibited by law.
  5. Business properties where occupation is prohibited by action taken by the Crown or any local or public authority.
  6. Listed buildings (subject to a preservation notice under s.58 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971).
  7. Ancient monuments (as scheduled under s.1 to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979).
  8. Business properties with a rateable value of less than £2600.
  9. Unoccupied business properties where the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person.
  10. Unoccupied business properties where the owner is subject to a bankruptcy order or a winding-up order under the Insolvency Act 1986.
  11. Unoccupied business properties where the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as a trustee under a deed of arrangement or as a liquidator under the Insolvency Act 1986.


Occupied Properties


  1. Agricultural land and buildings (e.g. arable, meadow or pasture ground; buildings used in connection with agricultural operations on the land and with the keeping and breeding of livestock).
  2. Fish farms.
  3. Fishing rights (where these are exercisable in a fishery which is regulated by specified legislation).
  4. Places of religious worship (where these belong to the Church of England or the Church in Wales. For other religions, the property concerned must be certified under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855. This exemption includes church halls and similar buildings [provided they are used in connection with a place of public religious worship]).
  5. Trinity House property (e.g. lighthouses; buoys and beacons).
  6. Sewers and accessories (e.g. drains; sewers; manholes; ventilating shafts and pumps. The exemption does not apply to sewage farms or sewage disposal works).
  7. Property of Drainage Authorities (e.g. structures used for controlling or regulating the flow of water into or out of a watercourse on a main river).
  8. Parks (provided they are under the management of a relevant authority and are available for free and unrestricted use by members of the public).
  9. Property used for the disabled (e.g. properties providing facilities for the welfare and training of disabled persons).
  10. Air raid protection works (e.g. air raid shelters).
  11. Swinging Moorings (i.e. a buoy attached to an anchor which rests underwater).
  12. Road crossings over watercourses (e.g. bridges, viaducts or tunnels constructed to allow river crossings).
  13. Property in Enterprise Zones.


The above classes are stated in broad terms.  Within each of the classes, a number of conditions may need to be met before the exemption is satisfied.  If you require further details about any of these classes, please contact the Revenues and Benefits Services.



Business Rates Enquiries                                Revenues & Benefits                          
Telephone: (01902) 696669 South Staffordshire Council
Fax: (01902) 696630 Wolverhampton Road
Email: Codsall
  South Staffordshire
  WV8 1PX


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