Mitigating the most unwelcome property tax


Having to pay business rates on an empty building must be one of the most unwelcome property taxes.

Whether you are the landlord of an empty, or part occupied building, or you are a tenant which has vacated your premises part way through a lease and have been unable to agree a surrender to the landlord, you will have to pay empty rates.

But in certain circumstances, it is possible to successfully reduce “empty building” business rates payable by between 50 per cent and 70 per cent.

This can be done by finding an occupier for short periods to trigger a new period of between three and six months empty rates relief.

Alternatively, when a long-term void period is anticipated you can seek a charity as an occupier, even if you have to pay for their occupation.

Usually only considered for larger properties, typically £150,000+ rateable value, this involves letting the property to a company with charitable status which is eligible for a minimum of 80 per cent discount on their business rates payable.

More advice is available from business rates specialists.