Posted on 13th March 2008

From 1st April 2008 The Rating (Empty Property) Act 2007 will come into force and these major proposed legislative changes may have financial implications in respect of your property interests.

Changes to Empty Rates for Non Domestic Property

Current Situation: RETAIL – 3 months exempt then 50% rates until re-occupied. OFFICE – 3 months exempt then 50% until re-occupied. INDUSTRIAL – 100% exempt.

Proposed change as from 1st April 2008: RETAIL –  3 months exempt then full rates payable. OFFICE – 3 months exempt then full rates payable. INDUSTRIAL – 6 months exempt then full rates payable.

In all cases there must be a minimum of 6 weeks occupation before a fresh exempt period can commence. It is also important to note that if, at 1st April 2008, an exemption has been in place for either 6 months  (industrial property) or 3 months for all others, the exemption will cease.

In respect of new developments, Local Authorities have powers to prevent owners from not completing properties in order to avoid rates by serving them with a completion notice specifying a deemed completion day. They are also seeking to clamp down on intermittent occupation after the exempt period to avoid the 3 or 6 month exemption applying again after a 6 week occupation.

Properties owned by charities or community amateur sports clubs will, in future, not be liable to empty property rates. For further advise in this respect, or if you wish to appeal your Rating Assessment, please contact Joe Assalone on 01772 766685 or e-mail

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