Reductions on your Rates bill

Non Domestic Rates - Reductions on your bill

Your Rates bill can be reduced in certain circumstances, the most common being detailed below:

Please see application forms under Documents on this page.

Empty Property Relief

If your business property is unoccupied and unfurnished you can apply for empty property relief.

Our definition of unfurnished is cleared of all moveable items otherwise the property is being used for storage. Exceptions may relate to industrial subjects where certain plant and machinery remains.

From 01 April 2016 the following categories of empty rates relief are applicable:

  • Non exempt properties (e.g. offices, retail and leisure subjects): empty relief is calculated at 50% of the normal charge for the first three months and thereafter 10%  relief applies for the remainder of the period whilst the property is empty.
  • Industrial subjects (e.g. factories, warehouses and workshops): full relief from the normal charge is calculated for the first six months and thereafter 10% relief applies for the remainder of the period whilst the property is empty.
  •  Exempt properties (e.g. rateable value less than £1,700, listed buildings (including any subjects in the above two categories), properties where occupation is prohibited by law): full exemption from the normal rates charge will continue to apply for the period the property is empty.

To check what relief you are entitled to, please contact the Non Domestic Rates section on 01475 712270.

Before we can award any reduction, we may arrange to visit the property to check it is empty.

Fresh Start Relief

This relief is for property that has been unoccupied for at least a year before becoming occupied.  Such property is deemed to be unoccupied notwithstanding the actual occupation for a period of up to one year.  The relief is offered from 1 April 2013 to 31st March 2018. The relief offered is 50% for a period of 12 months.

The relief can be applied if the following circumstances are all met for the property.

  • The property has previously been in receipt of empty property relief for a continuous period of at least 12 months; and
  • The property has a rateable value of under £65,000; and
  • When last occupied, the property was used as a shop, office, hotel, pub or restaurant (as defined in the Regulations) regardless of what the intended future use is to be OR where there has not been a last use, that the property is intended to be used as a shop, office, hotel, pub or restaurant.

With effect from 1st April 2014 payday lenders were removed from eligibility for the relief.

New Start Relief

An exemption from rates is available for a new build property that is unoccupied when first entered in the valuation roll in the 2013/14 to 2017/18 financial years.  This exemption can be claimed for up to 15 months, in total, during the 2013/14 to 2019/20 financial years.  The relief can be applied if the following circumstances are all met for the property.

  • The property is entered onto the valuation roll between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2018.
  • The property is unoccupied at the time of entry on the valuation roll
  • The new entry is not as a result of a combination or division of existing entry on the valuation roll or due to the refurbishment or change of an existing entry on the valuation roll (including conversion of a domestic property or a property previously exempt from rating)

Mandatory and Discretionary Relief

If your organisation is a registered charity listed on the register maintained by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and the Council determines that a property occupied by your organisation is used “wholly or mainly for charitable purposes” you may be entitled to up to 100% relief.

Recreational or Sports Clubs relief

Relief of up to 100% may be available for properties occupied for the purposes of a club, society or other organisation not established or conducted for profit, which is mainly used for the purposes of sport or recreation.

Small Business Bonus Scheme

The Scheme is available for businesses that have properties with a combined rateable value of £18,000 or less. The combined rateable value of all properties in Scotland of which the business is in rateable occupation or (if vacant) which the business is entitled to occupy is taken into account.

Combined rateable value of all business properties in Scotland

Percentage relief available, subject to eligibility

£10,000 or less

100%

more than £10,000 but not exceeding £12,000

50%

More than £12,000 but not exceeding £18,000

25%

More than £18,000 but not exceeding £35,000*

25% on each individual property with a rateable value of £18,000 or less

*This will allow a business with 2 or more properties with a cumulative rateable value of under £35,000 to qualify for relief at 25% on individual properties with a rateable value of £18,000 or less.

Renewable Energy Relief

Relief of up to 100% for businesses who are solely concerned with the production of renewable energy subject to state aid de minimus regulations and the rateable value of the property must be £145,000 or less.

Disabled Relief

You may get disabled relief if:

  • you provide residential accommodation to care for people who are ill; or
  • you provide facilities for training people who are ill; or
  • you provide welfare services or workshops for disabled people.

At least half of the floor space must be used for these purposes before relief is available.

Further information regarding Non Domestic Rates is also available on the Scottish Government website under External links on this page.

Non Domestic Rates Policy

For further information on our Non Domestic Rates Relief Policy, please see under Documents on this page.

Page last updated: 30 March 2017