Some properties are eligible for discounts from the local council on their business rates. This is called business rates relief.

Small business rate relief

You can get small business rate relief if:

  • your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000
  • your business only uses one property - you may still be able to get relief if you use more

You won’t pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief is reduced on a sliding scale from 100% to 0%.

Rural business relief

You could get rural rate relief if your business is in a rural area with a population below 3,000.

You won’t pay business rates if your business is in an eligible area and either:

  • 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).

Charitable rate relief

Charities, not-for-profit organisations and community amateur sports clubs can apply for charitable rate relief of up to 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes.

In some cases we may increase this discount to 100%, this is called discretionary relief.

Exempt buildings

Certain properties are exempt from business rates.

You may not have to pay business rates on:

  • agricultural land and buildings, including fish farms
  • buildings used for training or welfare of disabled people
  • buildings registered for public religious worship or church halls

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.

Empty properties

You may have to pay the full amount of business rates on empty non-domestic properties.

The charge begins after the property has been empty for 6 months for industrial properties, and 3 months for all other types of property.

Change to Empty Rate Regulations

The Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Property)(England)(Amendment) Regulations 2024
With effect from 01 April 2024,  a property must be continually occupied for a minimum of 13 weeks to benefit from 100% empty rate relief for three months (or six months for qualifying industrial property) when a property becomes empty.

Some properties can get extended empty property relief:

  • industrial premises (e.g. warehouses) are exempt for a further 3 months
  • listed buildings - until they’re reoccupied
  • buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 - until they’re reoccupied
  • properties owned by charities - only if the property’s next use will be mostly for charitable purposes
  • community amateur sports clubs buildings - only if the next use will be mostly as a sports club

Hardship relief

Havant Borough Council occasionally reduces 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.

Transitional relief

The government has a transitional relief scheme which limits the increase of business rates between the two valuation lists over a number of years until the full amount is charged.

This scheme is automatic you do not need to make a claim.