Empty Property Relief for Business Premises in Wales

What are Business Rates?

Business Rates are a tax charged on a property (or part of a property) which is used for business purposes. The level of Business Rates payable is calculated using the property’s rateable value which is based on the property’s estimated value on the open market.

Business Rate reliefs

There are various Business Rate reliefs available depending on the use of the property. If the property is unoccupied, the business will be entitled to claim “empty property relief” which means that the business will not be required to pay business rates. This relief is available for a three month period (for shops/offices) and a six month period (for industrial/warehouse) and after this time the business must the revert to pay full business rates (unless further conditions apply).

Welsh Government’s Draft Consultation

This is under consultation by the Welsh Government. The Welsh Government are reviewing the ability for this exemption to be exploited by businesses. In particular, the timescale criteria for claiming this relief more than once and for the same property will be stricter. For example, the proposals state that the six week period for a new claim to be made will be extended to twenty six weeks under the new proposal. However, changes to the Regulations which were due to commence in April 2021 will now not commence until April 2022. The main reason for this is due to the ongoing economic challenges which have been presented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on the points raised, please contact Kelly Cassemis in our property team.

Kelly Cassemis (Associate) – kcassemis@berrysmith.com