Business Rates - Discounts and exemptions

Retail Relief

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the extension of the Retail Relief scheme.

The award of 50 per cent for the 2022/23 year has now been increased to 75 per cent for the 2023/24 year.

The 2023/2024 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 75 per cent relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

You must inform us if you exceed this limit.

The aforementioned relief will end with effect 31/3/2024.

More information and full details on eligibility can be found on the GOV.UK website.

If you are entitled to receive this relief, please email us at

Small Business Rates Relief

If a ratepayer’s sole or main property has a rateable value which does not exceed £15,000, the ratepayer may receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for the property of up to a maximum of 100 percent.

The level of reduction will depend on the rateable value of the property. For example, eligible properties with a rateable value below £12,000 will receive 100 per cent relief.

Eligible properties between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive partial tapered relief.

To be eligible to receive this you must occupy a property within the rateable value bands mentioned above and only occupy one premises in England and Wales.

If you later get a second property you will still get the discount for twelve months.

After the twelve months you can still get the discount on your main property if:

  • none of your other properties have a rateable value above £2,900
  • the total rateable value of all your properties is less than £20,000 (£28,000 in London)

Apply for small business rates relief

Checks are undertaken to confirm your eligibility when you apply.

Charity Relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80 per cent relief where the property is occupied by the charity or the club and is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs).

Apply for charitable relief

Empty Property Rate Relief

Business rates are generally payable in respect of unoccupied non-domestic property.

However, they are generally not payable for the first three months that a property is empty.

This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial premises, whilst certain other properties such as vacant listed buildings are not liable for business rates until they are reoccupied.

Apply for empty relief

Section 44a Part Occupied Relief

Section 44a of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 enables Havering Council to grant Business Rates Relief on a business premises that is partly occupied, as long as this situation is for 'a short time only'.

How to apply for Business Rates Section 44a Part Occupied Relief

To apply for Business Rates Section 44a Part Occupied Relief, you must submit a request in writing to us.

The written request must include:

  • dates upon which the business premises will only be part-occupied
  • a plan of the property clearly marking the areas that are occupied and unoccupied
  • a plan showing how it is intended to bring the unoccupied part back into use and within what timescales

Retrospective claims will not be considered.

Requests for Business Rates Section 44a Part Occupied Relief must be submitted as soon as, or even before, the premises become part-occupied.

Please note, you are not entitled to withhold payment of rates pending the determination of any application made.

Premises inspection and the issue of a Valuation Office certificate

Once a request has been received by us, a visit will be arranged for our inspectors to view the premises and confirm the 'short-term' period requested and other details in the submitted part-occupation plans.

Following the inspection, if entitlement to a 'short-term' period of Business Rates Section 44a Part Occupied Relief is agreed, then a request will be submitted by us to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) for a Part-Occupied Certificate to be issued, for the agreed period of Rate relief.

As soon as we receive the Valuation Office certificate an amended Business Rates Bill will be sent showing the amount of Rate Relief granted and the period for which Business Rates Section 44a Part Occupied Relief has been granted.

The relief will end automatically on expiry the agreed 'short-term' period, which will depend upon the circumstances of the case, or at the end of the financial year, if that is sooner.

If we do not grant relief we will write to you to explain why.

There is no formal right of appeal as this relief is discretionary.

Please contact to apply. 

Discretionary Rate Relief

Under Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act (1988), Havering Council has the discretionary power to award relief on business rates where 'it is satisfied that it would be reasonable for it to do so, having the regard to the interests of persons liable to pay council tax set by it.'

Please contact for more information and to submit an application.


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