Frequently Asked Question


Can I get a reduction if my property is vacant?


On 1 April 2016 the legislation determining how empty property rates relief is calculated has changed. The new legislation, set by the Scottish Government, is applicable to all empty non-domestic (business)properties Scotland-wide

Aberdeen City Council has implemented this new legislation from 1 April 2016 and this will be reflected in your Business Rates bill for 2016/17 and beyond (if applicable).

If you are responsible for an empty non-domestic property, the following empty rates relief applies:

  • Non exempt properties (e.g. offices, retail and leisure subjects): empty relief is calculated at 50% of the normal charge for the first three months and thereafter 10% relief applies for the remainder of the period whilst the property is empty.
  • Industrial subjects (e.g. factories, warehouses and workshops): full relief from the normal charge is calculated for the first six months and thereafter 10% relief applies for the remainder of the period whilst the property is empty.
  • Exempt properties (e.g. rateable value less than 1,700, listed buildings (including any subjects in the above two categories), properties where occupation is prohibited by law): full exemption from the normal rates charge will continue to apply for the period the property is empty
  • If any property is already empty and has been granted a reduced rates charge prior to 01/04/2016, this is taken into account when calculating the rates charge for 2016-17, assuming the property remains empty.

    For example , an industrial property that became empty on 01 January 2016 would already have benefited from three months full exemption up to 31 March 2016. The new 90% charge will therefore will therefore become effective from 01 July 2016 and this will be reflected in the business rates bill issued in April 2016 unless circumstances have changed.

    Any request for granting empty property relief must be made using the relevant application form available from our website www.aberdeencity.gov.uk and following the links for Business and Trade. We will also continue to ask for suitable evidence that the property is vacant and may also request that a visit is carried out to verify details.