Skip to content

Business rates reductions

Date created: 7/06/2020
Section 44A apply online

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 31 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 above. 

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


Small business rate relief

Occupiers of properties with a rateable value under £51,000 automatically have their bill calculated using the lower Small Business Rate multiplier, unless they are entitled to another mandatory relief. The reduction is not available on empty properties.

Amount of relief

As a result of recent government changes, the level of Small Business Rate Relief has been increased for eligible ratepayers from 1 April 2017 as follows:

  • Rateable value up to £12,000 – no rates payable
  • Rateable value between £12,001 & £15,000 – tapered relief between 100% and 0%

The Small Business Rate multiplier for 2021/2022 is 0.507. For other businesses this is 0.520.


If the sole or main occupied property has a rateable value up to £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property (see above).

To be eligible for relief, you must occupy either:

  1. one property with a rateable value under £15,000, or
  2. one main property plus other additional properties, providing those additional properties each have rateable values less than £2,900.

The total rateable value of all the occupied properties must be under £28,000.

If you are in receipt of relief you must notify the local authority if:

  1. You take up occupation of an additional property.
  2. You occupy an additional property outside of the City of London and the rateable value of this property is increased.

If you do not notify the City of London within four weeks, relief will cease with effect from the day that the change happened. If you are still eligible, relief will apply again with effect from the day that you notify the local authority.

From 14 February 2014, ratepayers are entitled to keep an existing award of small business rate relief for 12 months where they take up occupation of an additional eligible property, which would have previously disqualified them from relief.

To apply for this relief please download the Small Business Rate Relief application form below.

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 considering transitional arrangements).

If you consider that your organisation qualifies for this charitable rate relief download the Mandatory Charitable Rate Relief form below.

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 below.

Small business rate relief application form PDF (160KB)
Date submitted: 7/13/20

small business rate relief application form

Mandatory Rate Relief Application Form PDF (128KB)
Date submitted: 2/10/20
Business rates discretionary Rate Relief form PDF (158KB)
Date submitted: 2/10/20