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Non-domestic rates

Reliefs and Exemptions

There are several reliefs and exemptions that may reduce the amount of Non-Domestic Rates you are charged.

Empty Property Relief

If non-domestic properties are unoccupied, a reduction in the amount of Rates payable may be given.

The level of relief given will vary depending on the circumstances of the property and the length of time it has been unoccupied.

From 1 April 2023, the administration of Non-Domestic Rates empty property relief was devolved by the Scottish Government to Scottish local authorities.

Our policy was agreed at a meeting of the Finance & Resources Committee on 1 March 2023. It was decided for the financial year 2023/24, that the Empty Property Policy mirrors the reliefs that were in place for the financial year 2022/23.

Qualifying for Empty Relief

The following criteria should be met before an award of Empty Property Rates Relief can be accepted:

  • There should be no physical occupation by any person, for any purpose.
  • All moveable stock has been removed from the property.
  • There should be no furniture, equipment tools or moveable equipment/machinery left in the property.

Applying for Empty Relief

Please email the Revenues Team at to request an application form. Please complete and return the form enclosing documentary evidence to support your application.

The documentary evidence should be in the form of:

  • Zero or minimal fuel bills. The fuel consumption must be a detailed actual reading and not a customer-estimated reading.  Where the consumption is not zero, earlier or later bills must be supplied for comparison. The fuel bills must cover over 50% of the empty period. 
  • Dated receipts or invoices for work carried out in the refurbishment of the property. These must show the date of the work for the subject address.    
  • Copy of a “To-Let” advert showing the date of the publication and the subject address of the property.
  • Any other evidence which independently verifies that the property is/was unoccupied during the period of the claim, subject to acceptance by us.

Please note: photographs may be supplied as additional evidence with at least one of the above-listed criteria. These must show both the inside and outside of the property, and must demonstrate the date taken. Most digital cameras will automatically stamp the date on the photograph, otherwise a daily newspaper must be visible in the photograph with its date also visible. 

The documentary evidence should cover the full period of your claim and confirm that the property was unoccupied and unfurnished.

Relief Awarded

Unoccupied industrial property is eligible for 100% relief for the first six months since becoming unoccupied and thereafter 10% indefinitely. Other (non-industrial) unoccupied property is eligible for 50% relief for the first three months since becoming unoccupied and thereafter 10% indefinitely. A change of ratepayer does not affect the qualifying time period.

From 1 April 2020 and to determine eligibility, a property is treated as if it had been unoccupied during any period of occupation that ended within six months of when it started.

N.B. The amount of relief awarded is based on the property and not the ratepayer. Therefore, if you are a new occupier claiming for empty property relief, and the previous occupier has also claimed for empty relief, this may affect the amount of relief you will be awarded.

Following an award of the empty exemption where a claim is accepted for a period immediately before your claim period, then you may lose all or some of your exemption.


If a property is unoccupied and is already in receipt of Empty Property Relief, you may be entitled to exemption from the unoccupied charge.

For the categories listed below, 100% rate relief may be awarded for the full empty period.

Properties with Rateable Values of less than £1,700:

  1. Properties unoccupied due to death.
  2. Properties unoccupied due to insolvency.
  3. Properties that are prohibited by law from occupation.
  4. Properties that are under a compulsory purchase order.
  5. Properties that have a Preservation Order, Listed Buildings and Ancient Monuments.
  6. Properties unoccupied due to Administration.

Page last updated:
08 Feb 2024

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