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Business Rate Relief

Partly Occupied Relief

What is partly-occupied relief?

If you occupy a non-domestic property and part of it is unoccupied for a short period of time, then we have the discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.

This discretionary provision is provided for in the Local Government Finance Act 1988 under Section 44A.

The discretion allows us to make a request to the Valuation Office to apportion the rateable value of the property between the occupied and unoccupied parts where it appears that part of a property is unoccupied and will remain so for a "short time only".

It is not intended that Section 44A be used where part of a property is temporarily not used, or its use is temporarily reduced. Instead Section 44A is aimed at situations where there are practical difficulties in occupying or vacating a property in one operation perhaps because new accommodation to which the ratepayer is moving is not fully ready for occupation and it is phased in over a number of weeks or months. Similarly, where a building or buildings become temporarily redundant it might be reasonable to grant relief for the unoccupied part.

When the Valuation Office has apportioned the rateable value, they will issue a certificate of the values to us.

Applying for relief

If you think that you are entitled to this relief, please contact us to provide the following information:

  • Details of the parts of the property that are occupied and those that are unoccupied.
  • The circumstances leading to the partial occupation;
  • What is the intention of the business in relation to the unoccupied parts? For example, are you unable to occupy all of the property until refurbishments have been completed.
  • A plan of the property, clearly identifying the parts that are occupied and those that are unoccupied
  • The date from which partial occupation of the property began and when the property is likely to be fully occupied or fully unoccupied.

Once we have received your application, an officer will usually visit the premises to confirm the situation.

Relief entitlement

If following the visit, we feel that the relief under Section 44A can be awarded, then we will apply to the Valuation Office, and ask them to issue the appropriate certificate apportioning the rateable value between the occupied and unoccupied parts of the premises.

When we receive the certificate, the level of relief will be equivalent to 100% of the amount that would have been due on the unoccupied part unless the property would have been subject to an empty property rate charge if it was fully unoccupied.

Any relief awarded will end when either:

  • There is a change in the partial occupation (more or less); or
  • It is the end of the financial year (though we can use our discretion to award relief in the following year if the circumstances permit it); or
  • There is a change in the Rateable Value (through revaluation or an appeal)

Need more information?

Contact our Business Rates Team at