Business rates relief (discounts)

Part-occupied properties relief

If your business only uses part of a property, you may be able to get a discount.

The Valuation Office will work out the rateable values of the occupied and unoccupied parts. You will then pay full rates on the occupied part, but only 50% of the rates due for the unoccupied part.

This reduction is for a maximum of 3 months, unless a part of the property has a rateable value of less than £2,600, in which case you will continue to receive the discount until the end of the financial year (31st March).

Business rates for empty properties

Relief for charities and not-for-profit organisations

Charities and not-for-profit organisations usually qualify for a discount of 80% on business rates. 

Discretionary relief

In some cases we may increase this discount to up to 100%. The following groups may qualify for this extra discount. However, they will not qualify if:

  • their income is much greater than their spending
  • they have reserves of more than one year’s operating costs that are not set aside for a specific project or fund.
Discretionary relief

Group

Type of organisation

Discount

1

Organisations receiving a grant from the East Hampshire District Council

Sports and leisure centres

100%

2

Village/parish halls, community centres, amateur sports and social clubs, independent museums, swimming pools, youth clubs, Scout and Guide headquarters (except where the premises are used wholly or mainly for trading for profit)

 

 

90%

3

Amateur dramatics, religious, social welfare, education, science, literature, fine arts and recreation clubs.

 

90%

How do we decide who will receive extra relief? 

Each case is decided on its individual merits. We will consider the following:

  • Is membership open to all sections of the community? (Unless there’s a good reason for targeting certain groups.)
  • Are most of the members East Hampshire residents? (Unless the organisation is near the boundary with another district.)
  • Are the facilities available to non-members?
  • Does the organisation raise some of its own funds or does it rely on grants?
  • Does it actively encourage new members? Preference will be given to organisations that engage priority groups such as young people, women, ethnic minorities, and elderly or disabled people.
  • Does it provide training and education to its members and others?
  • Does it operate a licensed bar as a social function, rather than for profit? Are there more active members than social members?
  • Does it provide facilities which complement or supplement those being provided by the council?
  • Does it receive any other form of help from the council, or any other grants?

Contact the Business Rates team for more information or to apply for charity/not-for-profit relief.

Rural business relief

A 50% discount applies to general stores, food shops, post offices, pubs or petrol filling stations as long as the property:

  • is in a place on our rural settlement list
  • is the only business of that type in the settlement
  • has a rateable value of £8,500 or less (£12,500 or less for public houses and petrol filling stations).

Contact the Business Rates team for more information or to apply for rural business relief.

Hardship relief

We may occasionally reduce a bill because of hardship.

When deciding on this, we will consider things such as the benefits the business provides to the local community and its profitability.

Contact the Business Rates team for more information or to apply for hardship relief.

Small business relief up to 31st March 2017

Single properties with a rateable value up to £6,000 receive a 50% discount. The amount of discount is reduced on a sliding scale for properties with a rateable value between £6,000 and £12,000.

The Government has announced, in the Autumn Statement 2015, that the doubling of the usual level of relief - to a maximum of 100% - will continue for a further year, until 31st March 2017.

Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either:

  1. one property, or
  2. one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,599.

The rateable value of the property mentioned in a., or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in b., must not exceed £17,999.

However, the Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Contact the Business Rates team on 01730 234159 for more information or to apply for small business relief.

Small business relief starting from 1st April 2017

Single properties with a rateable value up to £12,000 receive a 100% discount. The amount of discount is reduced on a sliding scale for properties with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000.

Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either:

  1. one property, or
  2. one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,899.

The rateable value of the property mentioned in a., or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in b., must not exceed £19,999.

However, the Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Contact the Business Rates team on 01730 234159 for more information or to apply for small business relief.

Community amateur sports club (CASC) relief

A sports club registered with HM Revenue and Customs as a CASC will receive an 80% discount. You may also receive a further 10% discretionary discount.

Find out more about registering as a CASC on the GOV.UK website.

Retail rate relief

This scheme will only apply for the 2015/16 financial year.

To qualify for relief, the property must have a rateable value of £50,000 or less, and be wholly or mainly used for:

  • retail (sale of goods to the public)
  • services (such as hairdressing, dry cleaning, travel agents, car hire etc)
  • food and drink sales (restaurants, takeaways, pubs etc).

However, the following types of business do not qualify for relief:

  • Financial services (banks, cash points, payday loan shops, betting shops etc)
  • Other services (estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies etc)
  • medical services (vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths etc)
  • professional services (solicitors, accountants, financial advisers, tutors etc)
  • Post office sorting offices
  • properties that are hard for members of the public to get to.

Amount of relief

The total amount of relief available for each property is £1,500 for 2015/16. The amount does not vary with rateable value.

The relief will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis, and applied to the net bill after all other reliefs have been taken off.

Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties, subject to State Aid de minimis limits.

Contact the Business Rates team for more information or to apply for retail relief.

Business Rates – discretionary reoccupation rate relief scheme

The council wants to encourage the reoccupation of empty premises previously used for retail or services to the public. We can offer a 50% discount on business rates (after other discounts have been deducted) for properties that are:

  • used for retail (sale of goods to the public)
  • services (such as hairdressing, dry cleaning etc)
  • food and drink sales (restaurants, takeaways, pubs etc).

However, the following are excluded:

  • Financial services (banks, cash points, payday loan shops, betting shops etc)Other services (estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies etc)
  • medical services (vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths etc)
  • professional services (solicitors, accountants, financial advisers, tutors etc)
  • Post office sorting offices
  • Properties that are hard for members of the public to get to.

To qualify for a discount, the property must also:

  • have previously been used for retail or services (including those now on the excluded list)
  • have been empty for 12 months or more
  • be reoccupied between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016.

You can claim this discount as well as retail discount.