Empty Business Rates: What Are They, and How Can You Save Money on Them?

5 June 2023, by Verity Editor

buildings in a city

Not being able to lease a commercial property is, unfortunately, a reality for landlords. In our current economic climate – and with Brexit looming large – it’s not always possible to find long-term occupants.

As expected, when a commercial property is occupied, the tenant is obligated to pay business rates. But, did you know that those rates are still applicable, even when the property is empty? This is what’s commonly known as “empty rates”.

Paying Business Rates, Even When Empty

In 2008, the government sought to encourage landlords to reoccupy premises quickly, to improve market competitiveness and supply a growing demand without the need for further development.

The government achieved this by capping the rates relief at three months after a tenant has vacated, at which point landlords are obligated to pay 100% of their business rates until it is let again. There are a few exceptions to this rule, with warehouses receiving 6 months of relief, and listed buildings being completely exempt until reoccupied.

What Does This Mean for Landlords?

For landlords, this poses a huge problem. Aside from not receiving an income from their empty property, there is now also a liability in place for the duration of the property’s inoccupation. Although the size and location of the property means the cost could be anything from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand pounds a year, the fact remains that landlords must pay without being paid themselves.

What Can Landlords Do?

Despite the tight legislation around empty rates, landlords are not entirely without help. There are several exemptions and relief schemes available, for example, which give Landlords relief of up to 82% – and in some cases, 100% – relief on their empty rates. Unfortunately, most commercial property owners aren’t aware of what is necessary in order to be granted these exemptions, or how best to execute them.

Fortunately, Verity do this all day, every day – and we do it well.

We’re adamant that Landlords should not have to spend their time dealing with empty rates. Therefore, Verity have created the most innovative Empty Rates Saving Programme in the UK, in response to the legislation.

As a result, our clients – all of whom are landlords – never receive empty rates bills and needn’t deal with rates relief for their empty properties, from the first day they join our programme, all the way until the property is let again or sold.

Due to the unique nature of our scheme, Verity are proud to provide a 100% success guarantee, and in the very unlikely event that it doesn’t work, we will pay you. So far, this has never been necessary – but we want landlords to feel confident in what we do.

Do you receive Empty Rates bills? Or do you have a property about to become vacant? 

Verity operates across the UK, helping landlords to save most or all of their empty rates – all without them having to lift a finger.

We believe that commercial landlords should not be at a disadvantage due to their properties being empty, and we certainly believe that Landlords should not be busy trying to save money on something they shouldn’t be paying in the first place –  and we are here to help in this situation.

If you own commercial property and would like to find out more about how Verity can help to save most of your empty rates, please don’t wait around and contact us – our team will be happy to help you start saving right away.

I have used Verity for several years and I am happy to recommend them. They provide an efficient service in a timely manner.

John Roberts

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