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Chiltern District Council
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Business Rates - who pays and who is exempt

Business Rates are usually paid by whoever is the occupier of the property. If the property is empty, then the responsibility falls on the owner or leaseholder.

Certain properties are excluded from the charge. These include:

  • Most farm land and buildings
  • Churches and places of religious worship
  • Sewers
  • Public Parks
  • Certain property used by people with a disability

If a property becomes empty, a period is granted during which nothing is charged. After that date, the full 100% charge becomes due. This period is three months, or six months for certain types of industrial premises / land. This exemption is awarded against the property.

In some cases, a continuous exemption can also be awarded when a property is empty - for example if a property has a rateable value of less than £2,600, or properties wholly owned by charities if the next use pertains to the charity. Full information on these and other continuous exemptions can be found on our page about empty properties.