Business Rates – confused?

Business Rates – confused?

9:18 AM, 16th July 2021, About 2 months ago 13

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I have two properties owned jointly, no tenants in either. The Rateable value of one is £2,435, the other £1,650. They are both shops in listed buildings (residential flats above).

Are both exempt from business rates even if empty or tenanted, as both under £12kRV? I thought anything under £12k RV was exempt anyway BUT does this apply if you own the two properties?

OR is one liable for Small Business relief and the other not because of joint ownership? (even if one property is still under £15k RV and one is below the £2,900 level? two property SBR rule?)

Does it make any difference at all if they are owned by joint owners given the above, or are they both excluded from rates anyway as they are both under £2,900RV and nothing payable until they are occupied?

For purposes of Business rates, is there a difference between ‘unoccupied’ and ‘vacant/empty/void’?

Many thanks


Editor’s Note:

From HMRC >>

Small business rate relief

You can get small business rate relief if:

  • your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000
  • your business only uses one property – you may still be able to get relief if you use more

Contact your local council to apply for small business rate relief.

What you get

You will not pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief will go down gradually from 100% to 0%.


If your rateable value is £13,500, you’ll get 50% off your bill. If your rateable value is £14,000, you’ll get 33% off.

If you use more than one property

When you get a second property, you’ll keep getting any existing relief on your main property for 12 months.

You can still get small business rate relief on your main property after this if both the following apply:

  • none of your other properties have a rateable value above £2,899
  • the total rateable value of all your properties is less than £20,000 (£28,000 in London)

You’re a small business but do not qualify for small business rate relief

If your property in England has a rateable value below £51,000, your bill will be calculated using the small business multiplier, which is lower than the standard one. This is the case even if you do not get small business rate relief.

The small business multiplier is 49.1p and the standard multiplier is 50.4p from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. The multipliers may be different in the City of London.

Empty properties

You do not have to pay business rates on empty buildings for 3 months. After this time, most businesses must pay full business rates.

Some properties can get extended empty property relief:

  • industrial premises (for example warehouses) are exempt for a further 3 months
  • listed buildings – until they’re reoccupied
  • buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 – until they’re reoccupied
  • properties owned by charities – only if the property’s next use will be mostly for charitable purposes
  • community amateur sports clubs buildings – only if the next use will be mostly as a sports club


by Doug Ellison

16:39 PM, 26th July 2021, About 2 months ago

Not sure if you even have to do that.
If the building’s listed the rv is irrelevant anyway as there’s no rates payeable

by DSR

10:34 AM, 27th July 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Doug Ellison at 26/07/2021 - 16:39
thanks Doug - someone else mentioned there might be a clause if the shop is not just on its own in the building even if listed There are 2 flats above but both pay CT so I can't see this being an issue but something else to investigate and check up on first. Thanks

by Doug Ellison

11:43 AM, 27th July 2021, About 2 months ago

I don’t understand why that would be an issue.
The commercial unit will have it’s own rv so I’m fairly certain that this will be irrelevant.

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