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Business Rates

05 February 2016 #Commercial Real Estate

Briefing Note: Business Rates – Changes in 2016

Commercial Property owners should be aware that the empty property rate relief scheme for newly built commercial property will end on 30 September 2016.  The temporary scheme has applied to new build commercial buildings since 1 October 2013.  The relief is still available for qualifying buildings up to that date.

The criteria for what is a qualifying building is that a property must:

  • Be non-domestic and comprised wholly or mainly of qualifying new structures;
  • Have been completed after 1 October 2013 and before 30 September 2016 and less than 18 months before the date the relief is granted ; and
  • Be unoccupied for the first 18 months after completion of the construction.

The scheme provides for qualifying empty buildings to benefit from a total maximum of 18 months of rate relief, topped up from the usual 3 months (for retail/offices) or 6 months (for industrial/warehouses).

Listed buildings, of course, have a full exemption from rates when empty.

Watch out also for the publication of the structural review of business rates which is due to report by the time of Budget 2016.  It is expected that the Government may indicate its long-term intentions for business rates in England as a response to the review.

Clarkslegal, specialist Real Estate lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Real Estate matter please contact Clarkslegal's real estate team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Rachel Krol

Rachel Krol
Senior Consultant

T: 020 7539 8068
M: 0776 630 5113


Commercial Real Estate team
+44 (0)118 958 5321