Empty Buildings Relief
There are two Relief options potentially available if you have a vacant property in Scotland: 'Empty Properties' and 'Fresh Start'
All empty properties can get 50% relief from business rates for the first 3 months they're empty. They can then get a 10% discount after that.
Empty industrial properties can get full relief from business rates for the first 6 months that they're empty. They can then get a 10% discount after that.
Listed buildings and properties with a rateable value under £1,700 don't have to pay business rates at all.
Under Fresh Start, businesses occupying certain long-term empty properties may be entitled to a 50% business rates discount for their first year in those premises.
You may be eligible if:
- you started occupying the property on or after 1 April 2014 and the property had previously been empty for at least 12 months
- the property has a rateable value under £65,000
- the last use of the property was as a shop, office, restaurant, pub or hotel (regardless of what your intended use is) or, where there was no previous use, you intend to use it as a shop, office, restaurant, pub or hotel.
Charities and amateur community sports clubs can apply for relief of up to 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes.
You may also be able get additional discretionary relief (up to 100%). This is sometimes provided by local councils to top up certain reliefs to give businesses and charities extra help.
If you run a non-profit recreation club you're not automatically entitled to relief, but your local authority can grant discretionary relief of up to 100%.