The government has brought in a scheme to enable local
authorities to grant a rate relief on
certain newly-built empty properties for up to a period of 18
months after they have been
A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a
property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a
property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority
has discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied
The Government is also giving funding to local authorities so
that they can provide a 50% discount for 18 months for those
businesses that move into retail premises that have been empty for
a year or more. This is available for businesses which move into
empty premises between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2016. Full
details can be obtained from the Council.
Charities and Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are
entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the
Charity or Club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable
purposes or as a Registered Community Amateur Sports Club.
The local authority has discretion to give further relief on the
The local authority has discretion to give relief to Non-Profit
To qualify for the 50% mandatory rate
relief, the property must:
- Be within the boundaries of the designated rural area;
- Be in a qualifying rural settlement of 3000 people or
- Be the only general store, the only post office or a food shop
and have a rateable value of less than £8,500, OR
- Be the only public house of the only petrol station and have a
rateable value of less than £12,500.
- Be the only general store, the only post office, the only
public house or the only petrol filling station in the settlement
but not necessarily the only food shop.
- The property has to be occupied.
An eligible ratepayer is entitled to relief at
50% of the full charge whilst the Council also has
discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.
The Discretionary Scheme
The Council will be able to grant additional
relief up to 100% to any:
Public house or
Petrol filling station that qualifies for
mandatory rate relief.
In addition, the Council may also grant up to
100% discretionary rate relief to any rural business provided
It is within the boundaries of a designated
rural area and qualifying settlement;
It has a rateable value of not more than
It is used for purposes which are of benefit
to the local community; and
It is reasonable for the Council to make such
a decision having regard to the interests of persons liable to pay
council tax set by it.
Relief is not limited to any particular type
of business. It does not have to be the only such
shop or business in the settlement. For example, where
there are two general stores, post offices, public houses or petrol
filling stations, which would disqualify them both from mandatory
relief, each could qualify for discretionary relief.
Authorities may consider applications for
discretionary rate relief which are received during a financial
year and up to six months after the end of that year.
The government announced in the autumn statement on 5 December
2013 that it will provide a business rates discount of up
to £1,000 to all occupied retail properties with a rateable value
of £50,000 or less in each of the years 2014/2015 and 2015/2016.
The relief will not continue for the 2016/17 financial year.
The council aims to identify qualifying retail properties and
grant the discount automatically without the need for an
application form. In the autumn statement on 3 December 2014 the
government announced that it would increase the discount up to
£1,500 for the 2015/16 year.
Please note that up until 30th September 2016, Retail relief can
only be backdated to 1st April 2015.
further information about business rates and retail
The local authority has discretion to give
relief in special circumstances.
Should you have any further queries or require
an application form please click on the links below or contact
Revenues and Benefits Services.
|Telephone: (01902) 696669
||South Staffordshire Council
|Fax: (01902) 696630