A number of reductions, reliefs and exemptions from business rates are available. These include:

Empty properties

Business rates are not payable for the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months for certain industrial properties. After this period, rates are payable in full unless the property is classed as exempt, for example:

Empty properties:

  • that are listed buildings or monuments

  • that are subject to a building preservation notice

  • with a rateable value of less than £2,900

  • that are legally prohibited from being occupied

  • that are vacant due to action taken by the Crown or any public or local authority

  • where the owner is subject to a bankruptcy order.

Empty properties whose owner is:

  • entitled to possession in his capacity as:

    • the personal representative of a deceased person

    • a trustee under a deed of arrangement

    • a liquidator under Section 112 or Section 145 of the Insolvency Act 1986

  • a company subject to a winding-up order under the Insolvency Act 1986 or which is being wound up voluntarily

  • a company in administration or subject to an administration order

Please email business.rates@huntingdonshire.gov.uk if you think an exemption applies to your property.

Small business rate relief

From 1 April 2017 you can get small business rate relief if your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000 and you occupy only one property.

Small businesses with a rateable value of up to £12,000 will get 100% rate relief.

For small businesses with a rateable value of between £12,000 and £15,000, the rate of relief decreases gradually from 100% to 0%.

In addition, if the rateable value of your property is between £15,000 and £51,000 your bill will be calculated on the small business rate multiplier instead of the national multiplier. 

The following link is to the application form and includes a Guide to the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (2017). All applicants must meet the eligibility criteria set out in the application form.

Full information on the previous small business rate relief schemes is available in the Guide to the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (2010)

Apply for Small Business Rate Relief

Charity and discretionary relief

Charities are entitled to 80% relief from the rates on property which is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. We can grant the additional 20% at our discretion.

We can also grant discretionary relief for a property if it is occupied by an organisation that is not set up or operated for profit - the amount granted will depend on individual circumstances.

Please email business.rates@huntingdonshire.gov.uk to apply for charity and discretionary relief.

Public house relief scheme

The government announced in the Spring budget a new scheme for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000. Under the scheme pubs will receive up to £1,000 discount on their bill. This relief will have effect for the financial year 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Please email business.rates@huntingdonshire.gov.uk for more information.

Retail rate relief 2019/20 and 2020/21

In the Autumn Budget 2018 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a new relief scheme for occupied retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000.

The relief will have effect for 2019/20 and 2020/21.

The amount of relief available for each property is calculated as one third of the balance that you would otherwise have to pay.

The eligibility for the relief and the relief itself is assessed and calculated on a daily basis. The retail relief will be applied against the net bill after all other reliefs have been applied.

There is no relief available for properties with a rateable value greater than or equal to £51,000 and empty properties do not qualify.

You can have this relief on more than one property, subject to State Aid De Minimis Regulations.

An outline of the scheme can be found in the Retail Rate Relief Guidance.

If after reading the guide you feel you qualify for the relief, please print the attached Retail Rate Relief Application, complete and return.

Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC)

If you are registered with HM Revenue and Customs as a CASC, then you are entitled to 80% mandatory relief. See the CASC website for further information and to check if you can qualify as one.

Rural rate relief

You may be able to get rural rate relief if your business is in a designated rural area with a population below 3,000. To qualify you must be:

  • the only post office, general store or food shop in the town or village and have a rateable value of less than £8,500

  • the only public house or petrol station in the town or village and have a rateable value of less than £12,500.

Qualifying properties will get 50% relief and may qualify for an additional 50% discretionary relief to make a total of 100%.

The government announced plans to double rural rate relief to 100% in the Autumn Statement but has not yet amended the primary legislation. We will contact any ratepayer affected by this change.

We may also give discretionary relief up to 100% to businesses where the property has a rateable value of less than £16,500. We will consider each application individually, taking into account the benefits to the local community and the interests of council taxpayers.

Please refer to this list and map to check if your business is in a designated rural settlement.

Please email business.rates@huntingdonshire.gov.uk to apply for rural rate relief.

Partly occupied property relief

If a property is partly occupied for a short time, we can sometimes award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.

Please email business.rates@huntingdonshire.gov.uk to discuss claiming relief for partly occupied property.

State aid

The award of discretionary relief is considered likely to amount to state aid. However, it will be state aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 over a rolling three-year period. If you are receiving, or have received, any 'De Minimus' aid that was granted during the current or previous two financial years (from any source), you should inform us immediately with details of the aid received.