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Relief and Exemptions

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1. Overview

Bills & Reliefs for 2023-24

Update March 2024: The annual bills have been updated and sent on 11 March 2024.

At Autumn Statement 2023 the Chancellor announced:

The 2024/25 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality, and leisure properties with 75% relief, up to a cash cap of £110,000 per business.


The small business multiplier will be frozen at 49.9p and the standard multiplier will be uprated in April by Septembers CPI figure (6.7%), increasing the multiplier from 51.2p to 54.6p.


Small business multiplier threshold

Currently the Small business multiplier is applied to most properties with a rateable value below £51,000. The government is continuing with this policy but from 1 April 2024 it will include properties occupied by charities and unoccupied properties which will now be eligible for the small business multiplier. Business rates in respect of properties in England which are below £51,000 rateable value should therefore be calculated by reference to the small business multiplier.


About relief and exemptions

Occupied premises

Occupied premises may be eligible for certain reliefs. The reliefs available for occupied premises include:

Mandatory Rate Relief
Discretionary Relief
Small Business Rate Relief
Hardship Relief
Local Discounts
Retail Relief

Unoccupied premises

When a non-domestic property becomes empty, there is no charge for the first three months, or six months in the case of industrial property. After the initial rate-free period has expired, the empty property will be charged 100% of the business rates, as though the property was occupied. However, there are certain exemptions from the empty charge which include listed buildings and properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900. 

Partly-occupied premises

If only parts of your property are unoccupied, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) may be able to value the unoccupied property separately. The rule about charging after three or six months will then apply to the unoccupied property. If the VOA can't value the unoccupied parts separately, you may still be able to claim some relief under Section 44a of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, which deals with relief on part-occupied properties.