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How to avoid Business Rates on Empty Properties


Danny Schindler 25 March 2019 at 09:00


If, for any reason, your commercial property becomes vacant you may need to enlist the services of vacant property specialists, but let’s take a journey to Whitehall in this article and see what the law says.


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If, for any reason, your commercial property becomes vacant you may need to enlist the services of vacant property specialists, but let’s take a journey to Whitehall in this article and see what the law says:

Complete Exemptions from Business Rates

If your property fits the criteria below, you don’t need to worry.

  • Fish farms, and land which is agricultural including structures (e.g. barns and pens) where the main purpose of the structure is also agricultural in nature.
  • Buildings used for training or the welfare of disabled people.
  • Buildings registered for public worship (religious) and/or church halls.

These exemptions apply to England only.

Non-Exempt Properties, which have become vacant.

Now we’re talking. If any of the above didn’t reply, then the below just might.

The vast majority of properties will enjoy a 3-month relief on business rates, allowing you time to consider setting up guardian property services, but, again, there are exemptions:

Property Type

Exemption or Allowances

Industrial premises (E.G. Warehouses)

Additional 3 months exemption

Listed buildings

Exempt until reoccupied

Buildings with a rateable value under £2900

Exempt until reoccupied

Property owned by registered charities

Exempt on condition that future use will be charitable in nature.

Community amateur sports club buildings

Exempt on condition that future use will be as a sports club.


If none of the above apply, then you’ve essentially got 3 months to get your property occupied to afford paying business rates for a property that isn’t generating any income to offset its costs.

Costs add up quickly…

Empty properties in London rarely stay empty for long – with, or, most unsettlingly, without the owners consent. Professional squatters operating across London have the ability to communicate and organise across zones, have dedicated spotters for empty properties, and a break-in will not be far behind.

“If squatters invade commercial premises, it is the responsibility of the business owner to pick up the bill to evict them and to restore the property to its original condition. The legal fees for removing a squatter start at about £5,000”  1

To deter squatters, may property owners spend thousands on advanced security, and often 24/7 guards. These costs may often end up as more than removing the squatters they’re there to prevent!

Cue property guardian companies!

We work to provide a true, tried-and-tested, win-win-win solution that benefits people looking for affordable temporary accommodation, property owners that need their buildings looked after and guarded against squatters.

Live-In Guardians is the market leader in this new and exciting sector – so, to save (a huge amount) of money, get in touch with us now!

[1] http://www.facilitatemagazine.com/good-practice-legal/explainer/the-true-cost-of-squatting/ Retrieved 13-3-19


Danny Schindler

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