Council tax, business and benefits online accounts and forms

Due to planned maintenance these accounts and forms will not be available between 9am and 2pm on 26 May 2024. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Business Rates - Discounts and exemptions

Retail Relief

The 2024/25 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 75 percent relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

You must inform us if you exceed this limit.

The relief will end on 31 March 2025.

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 business.rates@onesource.co.uk.

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 percent 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 percent 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 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 business.rates@onesource.co.uk 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 business.rates@onesource.co.uk for more information and to submit an application.

Improvement relief 

If you make certain improvements to your property, you may get relief from higher business rates bills. You do not need to apply for improvement relief or do anything differently. If you meet the necessary requirements, the council will apply the relief to your bills. 

You can find out more about which improvements are eligible by going to the GOV.UK website and searching ‘business rates reliefs’. 

If you have questions about a certificate of qualifying works, please contact the Valuation Office Agency at the email address on your certificate. Please note that the Valuation Office Agency cannot answer queries about the occupation condition or your business rates bill.

What is improvement relief? 

Improvement relief supports businesses who have invested in their property. 

It provides relief from higher business rates bills, where the increase in your bill was due to making certain improvements to your property. 

The relief lasts for 12 months from when the improvement works were completed. 

Who is eligible for improvement relief? Do I need to apply for it? 

You do not need to apply for improvement relief or do anything differently. 

Your local council will apply the relief to your bills if you are eligible. 

To be eligible for improvement relief, you must have qualifying improvement works, and meet the occupation condition. For more information, go to the GOV.UK website and search ‘business rates relief’.

How does improvement relief work?

You will receive a certificate from the Valuation Office Agency  if you have qualifying works. The Valuation Office Agency will give the same information to your local council.

Your council will apply the relief and send you a revised bill if they are satisfied that you meet the occupation requirements. This means that you have occupied the property during and after the improvement works.

I have received a certificate from the Valuation Office Agency. What does this mean?

If you have received a certificate of qualifying works from the Valuation Office Agency, this means that you may be eligible for improvement relief.

Improvement relief provides relief from higher business rates bills, where the increase in your bill was due to making certain improvements to your property.

The Valuation Office Agency will send this information to your local council.

Your local council will apply the relief to your business rates bill if you also meet the occupation condition.

I think my certificate for improvement relief is wrong. Who should I contact?

The Valuation Office Agency values qualifying works and issues certificates to ratepayers.

There is no right of appeal against the certified values, however, you should let the Valuation Office Agency know if you think there is something wrong with your certificate.

You can contact the Valuation Office Agency using the email address on your letter.

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