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 in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part under Section 44A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988. The amount of rate relief that is awarded is determined by statute and is calculated by reference to the rateable value ascribed to the unoccupied area by the Valuation Office Agency.

Applications under Section 44a

Applications will only be considered in respect of unoccupied parts of a property that can be clearly defined and are reasonably segregated from the occupied part of the property.

For the purposes of this policy a period of up to 12 calendar months shall be considered to be temporary.

No award shall be made where it appears to the council that the reason that part of the property is unoccupied is wholly or mainly for the purposes of applying for rate relief.

A ratepayer making an application under Section 44A shall provide a plan of the property showing the dimensions of the occupied and unoccupied area of suitable quality to enable the Valuation Office Agency to apportion the rateable value of the property between the occupied and unoccupied areas. Applications will not be considered until such time as the plan is provided and the details of the request have been verified by the Revenues Inspector.

Rate relief under this section will not be awarded in respect of partly occupied property where the partial occupation of the property may be considered to arise due to the ordinary day-to-day nature of the business (for example the operation of a warehouse).

Termination of Award

Awards of rate relief shall end at the earliest occurrence of one of the following:

  • The end of the statutory period for which relief may be allowed.
  • All or part of the unoccupied area becoming occupied.
  • The whole of the property becoming unoccupied.
  • The ratepayer ceasing to be the person or organisation liable to pay Non-Domestic Rates in respect of the property.
  • All or part of the unoccupied area remaining unoccupied for one year.
  • The commencement of a further award in respect of the property.
  • The council being unable to verify, following reasonable notice, that the area remains unoccupied.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Revenues:

Last updated on 09/07/2018

Contact the Revenues & Benefits team