Mitigating business rates on empty commercial properties

Empty commercial properties can qualify for empty rates mitigation, reducing the amount you have to pay – but it’s a complex issue, not least because there are different reasons why premises may be left empty.

We can help you to understand your exposure to business rates on empty premises, as well as any possible routes towards empty rates mitigation, both on newly constructed commercial properties that are not yet occupied, and on legacy premises where the previous tenants have moved out.

This is a complicated tax issue, affecting anyone who builds, owns and occupies commercial property, making empty rates mitigation a subject of interest to:

  • Commercial property developers and investors.
  • Funds with holdings in commercial property.
  • Private owners with unoccupied commercial space.
  • Occupiers of part-premises with adjacent unoccupied space.

How is empty rates mitigation calculated?

There are different rules and procedures for different types of empty commercial property, and the law changes over time too, so our experts will always help you to understand the very latest calculations of empty rates mitigation.

For example, different rules may apply to:

  • Newly completed developments where premises are finished but not yet occupied.
  • Premises already on the Rating List that need to be removed or granted a zero value.
  • Commercial property that has been rendered temporarily uninhabitable by fire or flood.
  • Other specific applications of empty rate reliefs.

We work with local authorities and valuation officers to keep updated on the latest procedures they use on value ratings in general, as well as on zero ratings in particular, so we can offer you the most up-to-date advice.

Planning empty rates mitigation

All new developments of commercial property should come with a comprehensive understanding of how business rates and rateable valuations will be applied to the finished premises, and plans of how to mitigate exposure to business rates, particularly during void periods when no tenants are occupying the site.

We can not only help you to apply for empty rates mitigation; we can also advise on alternative ways to reduce your exposure during void periods, for example:

  • Historic auditing to capitalise on past reliefs and exemptions.
  • Temporary occupation solutions to reduce void periods.
  • Advice on business premises that are awaiting refurbishment or redevelopment.
  • Preparation for the 2017 Rating Revaluation on April 1st 2017.

To find out more about how we can help, contact out specialist Empty Rates Advisory Team on 08000 710 014, a freephone number, for an informal chat about empty rates mitigation for individual properties and investment portfolios.