Section 44a of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 enables the Council to grant discretionary relief on business premises that are partly occupied, as long as this situation is for a short time only.

The situation must be happening at present, so retrospective claims cannot be considered.

The Council must be satisfied that the property is partly occupied before requesting a certificate of apportionment from the Valuation Office Agency to determine the rateable value for the occupied and unoccupied parts of the property.

How to apply

The ratepayer must submit a written request to the Council by email or post to apply for this relief. You must include a property plan showing the occupied and unoccupied areas. The plan must also show how the ratepayer intends to bring the unoccupied area back into use and within what time frame.

What happens next

Once we receive a written request and the plan's details, a visit will be arranged to view the premises and confirm the plan's details. 

If we agree with your application

We will send a request to the Valuation Office Agency for a certificate. Once this is received and processed, an amended bill will be sent to the ratepayer, reflecting the relief granted.

The relief for the unoccupied part is awarded in line with the usual rules for empty properties with a maximum of 3 months relief or 6 months for industrial premises.

Otherwise, the relief will end at the expiry of the 'short period' if the property becomes completely unoccupied or at the end of the financial year, whichever is soonest.