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Business Rates - Exemption for Unoccupied Business Premises

Following three or six month exemption from paying Business Rates on an unoccupied business premises, most owners or tenants will be liable to pay the full 100% of the Business Rates.

The following paragraphs explain the entitlement to unoccupied exemptions from payment of Business Rates. Please be aware that Basildon Council carries out routine inspections of unoccupied premises.

Please note: you are not entitled to withhold payment of rates pending a decision regarding liability.

Three month exemptions from payment

An exemption from payment of Business Rates applies for the first three months that a business premises is empty.

Six month exemptions from payment

The exemption period will be extended from three months to six months in the case of certain industrial business premises.

Long term exemptions from payment

After a three or six month exemption period, your Business Rates will again be payable at the full 100% rate unless, the unoccupied business premises is entitled to a long term exemption under conditions specified by the Empty Property Rating Act 2007. See the following table for details of business premises entitled to a long term exemption.

Exemption Conditions

  • Occupation prohibited by law - An unoccupied business premises is exempt  from payment of Business Rates when the premises owner is prohibited by law from occupying the premises or allowing it to be occupied, or if the premises owner is prohibited through action taken by the Crown, or by any other local or public authority from occupying the premises.
  • Owned by a Charity/Community Amateur Sports Club - An empty property would be exempt if it is held by a charity/community amateur sports club and appears likely to us that when next in use, it will be used for charitable purposes/purpose for the club.
  • Listed Buildings - A building which is the subject of a building preservation notice, or which is included in a list of buildings of specific architectural or historic interest, is exempt.
  • Ancient monuments - Exemption extends to property which is included in a schedule of monuments.
  • Minimum Rateable Value - Property with a rateable value of less than £2,600 are exempt.
  • Personal Representatives of deceased persons - A property is exempt where the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person.
  • Insolvency and debt administration - A property would be exempt in the following insolvency or debt administration situations:
    • A bankruptcy order has been issued within parts 8 to 11 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
    • The owner is a trustee under a deed of arrangement to which the Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914 applies.
    • The owner is a company subject to a winding up order made under the Insolvency Act 1986.
    • The owner is entitled to possession of the property in his capacity as liquidator or administrator under s112 or s145 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Unoccupied business premises inspections by Basildon Council

Please note that our inspectors visit both occupied and unoccupied business premises.

If your business premises becomes occupied but it is not visible from outside the building that the premises is in fact occupied, e.g. because the premises is in use as short term storage, then please ensure that you contact us for an internal inspection; as we will NOT backdate an award of short term occupied charges for premises that appear empty when our inspectors visit.

ATTENTION: property owners who let business premises

If you let a business premises within the Basildon Borough please take note of the following points:

  • If there is a change of tenant or leaseholder in a property you own, you must inform us about these changes as soon as they occur. You can do this now by completing our online 'Vacations and Occupations' form, see:
  • In addition, if there is a change of tenant or leaseholder in a property you own we ask that you please provide Basildon Council with a copy of the lease or tenancy agreement showing:
    • the address details of the business premises leased or rented
    • the names and addresses of the parties to the lease
    • the date of commencement and duration of the lease/tenancy.

The copy of the lease or tenancy agreement should be sent by email or post to our Revenues Service Business Rates section, see contact details bottom of page.

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