Rate relief

If your property is unoccupied, in general, there will be no Business Rates to pay for the first three months for non-industrial properties and for 6 months for industrial properties. After this exemption period an empty property will be liable for 100 per cent of the occupied rate.

However, listed buildings, small properties with a rateable value of less than £2,600, properties owned by Charities and companies in administration are not liable for empty property rates.

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority has discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. Full details are available on request from the council.

Small business rate relief

Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) applies if your business occupies just one premises with a rateable value less than £18,000. If your premises qualifies for SBRR then your business rates bill will automatically be calculated using the lower Small Business Rate Multiplier.

To qualify for SBRR up until 31st March 2017

A business rate payer whose business occupies only a single premises with a rateable value of £18,000 or less,  is entitled to small business rate relief unless:

  • the business premises also qualifies for one of the other types of Business Rate Relief
  • the business premises is unoccupied.

If you occupy more than one premises but your rateable value is below £18,000, your bill will automatically be calculated using the lower small business multiplier.

If your rateable value is £6,000 or below your bill will be reduced by 100% if it is the only business premises that you occupy.

If your rateable value is between £6,001 and £11,999, inclusive, the small business rate multiplier is used and your bill is reduced on a sliding scale - from 100% at £6000 to 0% at £12,000. For example if your rateable value is £9,000 the bill will be reduced by 50%.

If your rateable value is between £12,000 and £18,000 (£25,499 in London) the smaller business rate multiplier is used to calculate your charge.

To apply for SBRR up until 31st March 2017

Please follow the link at the bottom of this page. 

Please note, you are not entitled to withhold payment of rates pending the determination of any application made.

To qualify for SBRR after 1st April 2017

From 1 April 2017 the way that small business rate relief is awarded has changed.

If your rateable value is below £12,000 your bill will be reduced by 100% until 31 March 2022, if it is the only business premises that you occupy.

If your rateable value is between £12,000 and £14,999 inclusive, the small business rate multiplier is used and your bill is reduced on a sliding scale.

If your rateable value is between £15,000 and £50,999 only the small business multiplier is used.

Following possible changes in legislation, the information on this page is subject to change.

To apply for SBRR after 1st April 2017

Please follow the link at the bottom of this page. 

Please note, you are not entitled to withhold payment of rates pending the determination of any application made.

Where a business occupies more than one premises

If a business occupies more than one premises, entitlement to Small Business Rate Relief will only apply if the rateable value of each of the other premises is £2,899 or less. Where this is the case the rateable values of all the properties will be combined and the relief is applied to the main property based on the total rateable value.

Help for businesses that take on additional premises

Businesses that would have previously lost entitlement to Small Business Rate Relief immediately, because of taking on an additional premises, now keep their existing entitlement to Small Business Rate Relief for a period of 12 months. However, if for any other reason, a ratepayer ceases to be eligible for Small Business Rate Relief on any day during that 12 month period, then entitlement to Small Business Rate Relief will cease on the same day.

Increased Small Business Rate Relief thresholds for 2017-18

From 2017-18, the £6,000 and £12,000 thresholds will increase to £12,000 and £15,000 respectively. Therefore, business premises with rateable values below £12,000 that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 100% relief and those with rateable values between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief. The threshold for the standard business rates multiplier will also increase from £18,000 (£25,500 in London) to a rateable value of £51,000.

To make an application or if you need to let us know about any other properties please complete the form below:

 Apply for small business rate relief

Transitional rate relief

Rateable values can change considerable between each revaluation, especially if rental values are increasing in the area faster than in other areas.

Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting the amount by which a bill may increase following a revaluation.

To help pay for the limits on increases in bills after a revaluation, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills. Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the multiplier).

The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after the revaluation date, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that applies to any increase in rateable value due to those changes.

Any transitional adjustments that apply to your property will be shown on the front of your business rates bill.   

Charitable relief

Charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are also entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for the purposes of that club, or that club and other such registered clubs (see next section). In both cases, relief is given at 80% of the bill. Brentwood Borough Council has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.

Brentwood Borough Council provides further support to local charities above and beyond the mandatory relief. This relief is discretionary and is financed in full by local taxpayers.

Applications for Charitable Relief can be made by completing our online form below:

Application for mandatory/discretionary rate relief for charitable and non-profit making organisations

Rate relief for community amateur sports clubs

If your sports club registers with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) you can benefit from various tax advantages, for example claiming back tax on Gift Aid donations, tax relief on the Corporation Tax you pay on income and capital gains, and non-domestic rates relief.

Community Action Sports Clubs get 80% mandatory rate relief.

To register as a CASC, your club must be set up with a formal constitution (for example its rules or memorandum and articles of association). The club's written constitution must require the club to meet certain conditions, and the club must also be able to show that it actually meets these conditions in practice.

The conditions are that:

  • the club must be open to the whole community
  • the club's main purpose must be to provide facilities for eligible sports, and to encourage people to take part in them
  • the club must be organised on an amateur basis

The club must also be able to show that:

  • it is set up and provides its facilities in an eligible area
  • it is managed by fit and proper persons

If your club would like to register as a CASC you'll need to apply to the HMRC CASC Unit by using the CASC application form. Send your completed form, marked CASC Unit, with the following information to HMRC Charities:

  • your club's governing documents - such as your constitution, rules, memorandum and articles of association
  • your club's latest accounts
  • a copy of your club's prospectus - if there is one - and members' rulebook

Brentwood Borough Council provides further support to local Sports clubs above and beyond the mandatory relief. This relief is discretionary and is financed in full by local taxpayers. For details, please see the Discretionary Rate Relief page.

Rate relief for businesses in rural areas

Certain types of business in rural villages with a population below 3000 may qualify for rate relief of 50%.

Businesses that qualify for this relief are the sole general store and the sole post office in the village, provided it has a rateable value of up to £8500; any food shop with a rateable value of up to £8500; and the sole pub and the sole petrol station in the village provided it has a rateable value of up to £12,500.

Brentwood Borough Council has the discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill on such a property.

The council may decide to give up to 100% relief to any other business in such a rural village with a rateable value of up to £16,500 if it is satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community and having regard to the interests of the local council tax payers.

The council will consider the following issues when deciding whether to award discretionary rate relief. This money is awarded from a limited fund paid for by local taxpayers.

a) Is situated in a qualifying rural settlement of 3,000 people or less

b) A top up of 50%, over and above the mandatory 50% relief, may be awarded to the following types of business:

  • The sole Public House in a settlement with a rateable value of up to £12,500
  • The sole Petrol Filling Station in a settlement with a rateable value up to £12,500
  • The sole Post Office in a settlement with a rateable value up to £8,500
  • All food shops with a rateable value up to £7,000

c) Has a rateable value of not more than £16,500 and is of benefit to the community and whose loss would detrimentally affect the quality of village life.  These businesses must also be in a rural settlement of 3,000 people or less as indicated on the rural settlement list.

d) The financial status of the applicant, for example the level of the organisation's net cash assets.  This is cash not applied or allocated for any project or initiative in pursuance of the organisation's objectives.

e) Each application for relief will be considered on its own merits in accordance with national guidelines.

Hardship relief

The Council has discretion to give relief in special circumstances. The following issues will be considered:

a) The ratepayer must not be entitled to mandatory rate relief. (Charity or Rural Rate Relief).

b) The ratepayer must no be an organisation that could receive relief as a non-profit making organisation or as a community amateur sports club.

c) The ratepayer must occupy the premises.

d) The premises and organisation must be of significant benefit to the Borough.

e) The premises and organisation must relieve the Borough of providing similar facilities.

f) The ratepayer must provide facilities to certain priority groups such as elderly, disabled, minority groups, disadvantaged groups.

g) The ratepayer must provide significant employment or employment opportunities to residents of the Borough.

h) The ratepayer must provide residents of the Borough with such services, opportunities or facilities that cannot be obtained locally or are not provided by another organisation.

i) The ratepayer must demonstrate that relief will only be required for a short period and that they can evidence the business will be financially viable in the medium and long term.

j) The ratepayer must show that the organisation will comply with all legislative requirements and operate in an ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner at all times.

k) Where a ratepayer can demonstrate that all of the above criteria are met, any application will have due regard to the financial status of the applicant when determining the level of relief granted.

l) The level of relief to be granted, if any, will range from 0% to 50% of the ratepayer's liability.

Newspaper relief

A business rates discount of £1,500 is available for office space occupied by local newspaper publishers.

The Chancellor announced at the Budget that the Government will introduce a £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspaper publishers, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits, for 3 years from 1 April 2017.

This is a temporary measure to support local newspapers adapt to technological changes within the industry. The relief is intended to be specifically for local newspapers and will be delivered through local authority discretionary powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act.

To apply please complete the form below:

NNDR Newspaper relief online application

Discretionary rate relief policy

To promote the localism agenda Brentwood Borough Council has introduced a Discretionary Rate Relief Policy. Discretionary relief is paid for by local taxpayers. As custodians of taxpayers money, discretionary relief must be considered carefully. Discretionary relief is paid out of a limited pot of money.

Discretionary relief may be awarded to:

  • Organisations which are entitled to 80% mandatory relief, (an additional award of Discretionary Relief may be made to cover the remaining 20% of the Business Rate charge.
  • Not for profit organisations whose main objectives are charitable, religious, educational, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts.
  • Not for profit organisations occupying premises mainly for the purposes of recreation.

Applications for discretionary rate relief

Business rates payments remain legally due and payable in accordance with the most recent bill and until such time as any relief is awarded.

Applications for discretionary rate relief can be made using our online form below:

Application for mandatory/discretionary rate relief for charitable and non-profit making organisations

With the exception of those with empty newly built properties, completed applications must be accompanied by the previous 2 years audited accounts immediately prior to the application. These must be specific to the trading activity of the property from which relief is being applied for. A review of the accounts will be undertaken which will consider any trading activity, annual turnover and unallocated reserves.

Where it is necessary, the ratepayer may be required to provide further information to support their application. Failure to complete the application fully or supply the information requested will delay the decision making process.

Successful applicants will be notified of the amount of discretionary rate relief awarded by the issue of a new business rates bill. The rate relief will be awarded by means of a reduction shown on the bill to the ratepayer. Where this puts the account in credit for the year, a refund will be made by the Council.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing and reasons for the decision will be provided.