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New Build Empty Property Business Rate Relief

10th October, 2013

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published guidance on business rates and New Build Empty Property. It can be found here

George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement on 5 December 2012 that the Government will exempt all newly built commercial property completed between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 from empty property rates for the first 18 months.

The exemption is provided by reimbursing local authorities that use their discretionary relief powers. It will be for individual local billing authorities to decide to grant relief.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be all unoccupied non domestic hereditaments that are wholly or mainly comprised of qualifying new structures.

“New” in this context means completed less than 18 months previously, and completed after 1 October 2013 and before 30 September 2016.

“Completed”  means when the building or relevant part is ready for occupation for the purpose it was constructed unless a completion notice has been served in respect of such a building or part of a building – in which case it would be the date specified in that notice.

The policy is not intended to benefit properties that have been refurbished but rather those that have been the subject of substantial structural construction.

This relief is combined with The Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Property) (England) Regulations 2008 which provides that empty property rates are not payable until a non-industrial property has been empty for 3 months or an industrial property has been empty for 6 months .

An unoccupied new build property therefore benefits from the relief for periods that rates are payable – i.e once the initial 3 or 6 month rate free period has expired.

For more information on this or any other property matter please contact Emma McGlinchey on 01244 405567 or email [email protected]

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