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Business rate reductions

Circumstances under which rates reductions might apply include:

The rated property is empty

Most property that has been empty for up to three months – or in the case of industrial property and stores, for up to six months – receives relief from rates. After an initial three or six month rate-free period expires, empty property will be liable for 100% of the occupied business rate. Exemptions from empty rate apply to some properties such as those that are listed [under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990] or whose rateable values are less than £2,900.

Premises occupied by a charity

Premises occupied by charities and wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes are entitled to a reduction in the rates payable. Relief is given at 80% of the rates bill (if applicable, after taking into account transitional arrangements).

If you consider that your organisation qualifies for this charitable rate relief download the Mandatory Charitable Rate Relief form (130KB)

The Common Council has discretion to remit all or part of the remaining 20% of the charity's bill. The Common Council also has discretion to remit all or part of any rates bill in respect of property occupied by certain bodies not established or conducted for profit.

If you wish to apply for discretionary rate relief please download the Discretionary Rate Relief form (160KB)

Partly occupied premises

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 and a clearly defined area is going to be left empty for a short period of time only, the local authority has the discretion in certain cases to grant relief in respect of the unoccupied part under Section 44A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

Relief will not be granted retrospectively and the property will be inspected by one of our officers to verify your claim.

Unless the property is partly occupied due to a gradual vacation/occupation the empty area must be unfurnished.

If the City of London decides to grant the relief it will request that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) provides a certificate that apportions the rateable value between the occupied and unoccupied parts. The temporary apportioned value will enable the City of London to calculate your relief entitlement but does not replace the value in the rating list. Once your relief has been calculated, a revised demand will be issued showing your entitlement.

The relief will end on the day that there is a change in the extent of the partial occupation or 31st March in the financial year in which relief is applied for or the property becomes completely occupied or unoccupied. You must notify the City of London immediately if there is any change to the partial occupation.

If you wish to apply for this relief, please complete the Section 44A application form

Please note whilst your application is being processed your current rates remain due and payable.