Empty Property Rates

Empty property rates have become a major burden for property owners since the law changed with the introduction of the Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007. When this Act came into force in 2008 rate liabilities for most empty properties doubled and liabilities for empty industrial and warehouse properties increased from zero to 100% overnnight. The tax now raises nearly £1 billion per annum for the government from owners of empty and unused properties.

There are some exemptions from empty rates liability and also a number of important empty rate reliefs. We can identify exemptions or reliefs that owners of empty property may be entitled to and that will reduce or even eliminate empty rate liabilities.

Empty rates are also a major problem for owners of properties that are in a poor state of repair. This is because, when properties have to be valued for business rates, they are generally assumed to be in a reasonable state of repair – regardless of their actual condition. We can advise on ways to ensure that empty property is correctly valued and empty rates are only paid if they are properly due.