If only parts of your business property are unoccupied, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) may be able to value the unoccupied property separately. There is usually no charge for the first 3 months, or 6 months in the case of industrial property.
After the initial 3-month rate-free period, or 6 months for industrial premises, properties will be charged the standard business rates as though the property was occupied.
If the VOA can"t value the unoccupied parts separately, you may still be able to claim some relief under Section 44a of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, which deals with relief on part-occupied properties.
You can only apply:
- If part of the business property you occupy is unusable; eg. because of flood or repair works.
- If the space is still empty when you apply for a reduction.