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Get ready for Brexit. Information on how we are preparing for Brexit in South Gloucestershire.

Part occupancy relief

Section 44a of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 grants local authorities a discretion to grant relief where it appears to the authority that part of a property is unoccupied and will remain so for a ‘short period of time only’.

The council is not permitted to have a policy with regard to the determination of this rate relief, as the exercise of its discretion must be based on the individual circumstances of each case. This means that each application will be considered on its own merits, however regard will be given to the appropriate legislation and associated guidance provided by central government.

The definition of what may constitute a ‘short time only’ is not prescribed and will be decided by the authority, dependant upon the individual circumstances of each case.

Section 44a relief is not intended to be used where part of a property is temporarily not used, it is aimed at situations where there are practical difficulties in occupying or vacating part or parts of the property.

The relief commences on the day the premises became partly occupied and ends on the first day of the following:

  • where all or part of the unoccupied area becomes occupied
  • at the end of a financial year (31 March) a new application will be required if the unoccupied period crosses over two financial years
  • the person liable for Business Rates changes

If you think this applies to your property, please write to us. You should explain the situation providing the dates in question. You should also enclose a rough plan clearly showing the occupied and unoccupied areas.

Please note that an inspection will be required to verify the status of the property, so we will not be in a position to consider applications for retrospective periods.

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