Relief and Exemptions

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7. Relief on newly-built empty property

The government has introduced a temporary scheme to encourage local authorities to provide rate relief on certain newly-built empty properties for up to 18 months after they are completed. Under this scheme local authorities can provide up to 100 per cent relief from business rates. This scheme for new properties works alongside the exemption already allowed on empty properties for the first three months that they are empty (or the first six months for industrial property).

What kind of property qualifies for newly-built empty property relief?

The property must:

  • be unoccupied non-domestic property and
  • be wholly or mainly made of a new structure (structure means foundations and/or permanent walls and/or permanent roofs) and
  • be completed after 1 October 2013 and before 30 September 2016 and
  • have been completed in the 18 months immediately before the ratepayer applies for this relief.  

Newly-built empty property relief

  • goes with the property, so the benefit of any period of relief that is left when the property is sold can be passed on to a new owner.
  • lasts for the 18 months after completion, even when empty periods are split by periods of occupation.
  • can also apply to properties that are newly created following splits, mergers or changes to pre-existing properties, as long as the new property fits the qualifying rules above.
  • can be awarded within Enterprise Zones (EZ) where EZ relief has not been allowed for a property or it has ended.
  • is 100 per cent of the business rates, but as it counts as state aid it can only be awarded up to the state aid limit (currently 200,000 Euros altogether in any three-year period).

Examples of how this relief works with the empty property exemption

1. A newly-built office property is unoccupied for 18 months from the date it is completed. The ratepayer does not have to pay rates for the first three months because of the three month exemption when the property is first empty. After that the ratepayer can get 15 months of newly-built empty property relief before having to pay rates, so altogether there are no rates to pay for the whole 18 months.

2. A new shop is empty for 8 months. It is occupied for 4 months after this but then the trader moves out and the shop is empty again for 6 months. The local authority treats this as follows:

First three months - no rates payable (three-month exemption).
Next five months - newly-built empty property relief (100 per cent rate relief so nothing to pay).
Next four months - trader occupies the shop and pays business rates until she moves out.
Next three months - no rates payable (three-month exemption following occupation).
Next three months - newly-built empty property relief (100 per cent rate relief so nothing to pay).
The shop has now been completed for 18 months and the ratepayer must now pay rates.

How to apply

There is no application form for newly-built empty property relief. Please write to us to apply. Give the address of the premises and your contact details.