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Completion notices

Legislation states that where it's considered that a commercial premises is structurally complete, or that the works remaining can reasonably be expected to be completed within three months, a completion notice can be served on the owner of the commercial premises.

We issue completion notices where there is evidence that commercial premises are complete. We may do this as a result of information passed to us by third parties or as a result of an inspection. A completion notice will be issued for commercial premises to the owner. The owner is defined as 'the person entitled to possession'. The completion notice is a document that specifies the completion date: the date on which a commercial premises becomes rateable and enters the rating list for business rates purposes.

If the premises are unoccupied and empty from this completion date, the premises will be eligible for a three month exemption, while it remains so. If it's an industrial premises, then a six month exemption will apply.


To appeal against a completion notice, you must contact The Valuation Tribunal within four weeks of receiving the notice from us. You must do this in writing and you must include a copy of the completion notice. You must make a separate appeal for each completion notice that you receive, as they cannot be amalgamated. You can get an appeal form from the tribunal website or they can send you one.

You can write to:

The Valuation Tribunal Service
2nd Floor, Black Lion House
45 Whitechapel Road
E1 1DU

The Valuation Tribunal is an independent appeals tribunal, funded by Parliament to handle council tax and rating appeals in England. It provides a free service, local hearings, and the members who hear appeals are volunteers.

The Valuation Tribunal provides a free service and they cannot award costs against you. You have to meet your own costs in going to the tribunal hearing, including any loss of earnings, and the costs of anyone you chose to represent you.

You can also contact us to discuss the Notice(s) to see if any disagreement can be resolved without the need to pursue a formal appeal. Any discussions with us will not affect your right to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal, though a formal appeal needs to be raised within the 28 days deadline.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can a completion notice be backdated?
A. No, a notice and completion date can only be with immediate effect or up to three months in advance of the premises becoming structurally complete.

Q. How will the completion notice paperwork be issued?
A. By registered post to the home address or registered address of the owner.

Q. What happens if the property is up for sale and unoccupied on the date that the commercial premises enters the valuation list?
A. The property will be eligible for up to three months of exemption from business rates, or up to six months on industrial premises, where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished. Once the three or six months have elapsed, if the property remains unoccupied the full charge of business rates will be payable.

Q. What happens if I can't complete the building work by the completion date due to financial or personal reasons?
A. Legislation doesn't allow us to take other factors into consideration for the purposes of setting a completion date for the date of entry to be changed for any reason, whether financial or personal. The property need not be structurally complete by the completion date, only capable of completion.

If you disagree with the completion date when the paperwork is issued initially, you have the right to appeal within 28 days of the issue date of the Completion Notice to the Valuation Tribunal.

For more information, email