Owners of unoccupied non-domestic properties may be liable to empty property rates which are charged at 100 per cent of the normal liability.
Liability begins after the property has been empty for 3 months or for empty factories and warehouses, after 6 months.
Certain types of property are exempt from empty property rates including:
- the initial 3 or 6 month exempt period
- Listed buildings
- properties whose occupation is prohibited by law.
- properties with rateable value less than £2,200 from 01/04/2008
- properties with rateable value less than £15,000 from 01/04/2009
- properties with rateable value less than £18,000 from 01/04/2010
- properties with rateable value less than £2,600 from 01/04/2011
Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Relief in Wales 2022/23
This relief is aimed at businesses and other ratepayers in Wales in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, for example shops, pubs and restaurants, gyms, performance venues and hotels.
The Welsh Government will provide grant funding to all 22 local authorities in Wales to provide the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief scheme to eligible businesses for 2022-23.
The scheme aims to provide support for eligible occupied properties by offering a discount of 50% on non-domestic rates bills for such properties.
The scheme will apply to all eligible businesses, however the relief will be subject to a cap in the amount each business can claim across Wales. The total amount of relief available is £110,000 across all properties occupied by the same business.
All businesses are required to make a declaration that the amount of relief they are seeking across Wales does not exceed this cap, when applying to individual local authorities.
Read the Welsh Government’s guidance on non domestic rates - retail leisure and hospitality.
Newport City Council Local City Centre Rate Relief Scheme 2022/23
This is a local scheme, funded by Newport City Council, to reduce rates in the city centre to assist existing city centre businesses and encourage greater levels of occupancy.
The scheme aims to provide support for eligible occupied properties by offering a discount of 25% on non-domestic rates bills for such properties.
The following criteria will be used to assess eligibility for the Newport City Centre Rate Relief Scheme.
For existing businesses:
- The ratepayer must be occupying a property shown in the non-domestic rating list.
- The property must be located within the Newport city centre BID area.
- The property must have a rateable value of £50,000 or less
- The ratepayer must have the necessary permissions to carry out the business.
- The property must not be occupied by a charity or similar organisation that receives either mandatory or discretionary rate relief.
- The business being run from the property must be in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors as defined by the Welsh Government Retail, Leisure and Hospitality rate relief scheme 2022-23.
- The business must not have received more than £300k in state aid since January 2021 and is eligible to claim this relief under the Small Amounts of Assistance rules.
For businesses occupying previously empty premises:
All the conditions as above plus:
- The ratepayer must own or have signed a commercial lease with a minimum of 12 months to run.
- There must be evidence that the business is trading, and rent is being paid.
- The premises must have been unoccupied at the start of the lease.
- No relief will be awarded until the property is occupied and trading.
- In the case of a business moving from one premises to another within the city centre, relief will be paid on the new premises only if the property is larger and more staff are being employed.
- In the case of a new business, a detailed business plan must be supplied.
- The property being used is not excessively large for the business that is being carried out.
In all cases the council will reserve the right to decline to pay any applications that it considers have been created to take advantage of scheme.
The rate relief will end when one of the following occurs:
- The business ceases to trade.
- The property becomes unoccupied.
- Action is taken by a statutory body that prevents the business from operating.
Small business rate relief
A permanent small business rate relief scheme was introduced in Wales from 1 April 2018.
The scheme allows for the following relief:
- Most occupied properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less are eligible for 100% relief - this means you won’t pay business rates on those properties
- The rate of relief decreases from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000. Different rules apply to post offices and properties used wholly for child care by registered child care providers as explained below
Post offices and properties which include post offices
- Those with a rateable value up to £9,000 will receive 100% relief.
- Those with a rateable value between £9,001 and £12,000 will receive 50% relief.
Section B - registered child care premises
- For registered child care premises used wholly for the purposes of child care, the Welsh Government is providing 100% relief starting from 1 April 2019. The Welsh Government have confirmed that this relief will be in place until 1 April 2025.
How to apply
If the property you occupy has a rateable value of up to £12,000 and it falls within Section A above, small business rate relief is applied automatically to your bill so you do not need to apply.
If you think the property you occupy satisfies the criteria in Section B above, and you have not yet applied for relief, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small business rates for multiple businesses
From 1 April 2018 changes to Welsh Government regulations limit the number of properties eligible for Small Business Rate Relief for multiple businesses.
Where a ratepayer is liable for more than two properties on a single local non-domestic rating list (the local list), and those properties meet only the rateable value conditions, the ratepayer will only receive relief for a maximum of two such properties.
The aim is to allow rate relief to be targeted to support small and local businesses rather than larger businesses or national chains.
Under Article 4 of the regulations, if a ratepayer is liable to pay business rates for more than two properties shown on the local Non-Domestic Rating list in each council area, which satisfy the rateable value conditions, the ratepayer must give notice of those properties to the council as soon as possible.
It is the responsibility of the ratepayer to advise the council if they are currently receiving more than two instances of Small Business Rate Relief for any properties they are responsible for paying business rates on.
To report a change of circumstances please email email@example.com
Registered charities and other ‘not for profit’ organisations are entitled to mandatory relief of 80% of the rates on any non-domestic property wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.
Download the application form for Mandatory Relief (pdf)
Organisations that are not entitled to mandatory relief may apply for discretionary rate relief by submitting a written statement with the application form.
Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC)
If a sports club has registered with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs as a CASC and is wholly or mainly used for the purposes of that club or other registered clubs it is entitled to 80 per cent mandatory relief.
Rates may be reduced if it is demonstrated that a ratepayer would sustain hardship and that such action is in the interests of the community.
Apply in writing to the council with supporting evidence.
Please note that a case that relies only on the financial considerations of the ratepayer cannot be considered - the interests of the community are also relevant.
Download Local taxation: policy for mandatory and discretionary reliefs (pdf)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (01633) 851589