Exemptions and reliefs

Depending on the type of property and the business sector you operate in, you may be entitled to an exemption or relief.  


Unoccupied property 

For the first 3 months that a property is empty, or 6 months in the case of certain industrial properties, no business rates will be payable. If a property is still empty at the end of the exemption period, then business rates will be charged at 100% of the basic occupied business rates.

Quarterly reviews are carried out on all empty properties within the borough and this may result in an unannounced visit by a revenues inspection officer. To keep us up to date with any changes in liability at an empty premises, please complete the empty property questionnaire and email to business.rates@hackney.gov.uk.

Exemptions include small properties with rateable values below a certain threshold:


Rateable value threshold 

2011/12 to 2016/17 £2,600

In most cases, the unoccupied rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the empty property rate. Please contact us for full details on exemptions. 

If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of your bill. 

Exempt property

Properties that are exempt from business rates don't appear in the local rating list of the Council. The types of property that are exempt are:

  • agricultural land and buildings
  • drainage authority property
  • fish farms
  • property used for the disabled
  • public parks

If you think that your property should be exempt please contact the Valuation Office Agency at:

Valuation Office Agency 
1st Floor
Lloyds Chambers
1 Portsoken Street
London E1 8BT

Tel: 03000 504 650
Fax: 03000 504 729 
Email: londoncitygroup.vo@voa.gsi.gov.uk


Small business rate relief (SBRR) 

If the rateable value of your business property is below £15,000, you may be eligible for small business relief. If the value is between £15,000 and £50,999 you could be eligible for a lower bill because of a discount called the small business relief reduced multiplier. The rateable value is shown next to the property address on your business rates bill. If you occupy more than one property you may not be eligible for relief.

The table below shows how much you could save:

Rateable value of your propertySmall business relief
£12,000 and below100% off your bill
£12,001 to £15,000Tapered relief

Apply for SBRR

If you have previously applied for small business relief you do not need to re-apply. 

Charity relief 

Charities are entitled to charity relief (also known as mandatory relief) where the property they occupy is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80% of the rates due.

If you think you may qualify for this relief and would like to apply please contact us at business.rates@hackney.gov.uk

Discretionary relief  

We have a discretionary power to grant relief of up to 100% If you are a registered charity in receipt of 80% mandatory rate relief or a not for profit organisation that can demonstrate they are not established or conducted for profit.

If you think you qualify for this relief and would like to apply, please see our information on community partnerships.

Please note we are not duty bound to grant the relief but will consider each case on its merits. You should continue to make payment in line with the bill you have received until you receive notification the relief has been granted.

Hardship relief 

If you are experiencing problems paying your business rates, we have the discretion to consider reducing your rates bill on the grounds of hardship.

When reaching our decision, we must not only take account of any financial hardship you may be experiencing, but also that to grant any relief would be in the interests of the taxpayers of the borough.

If you think you may qualify for this relief and would like to apply please contact us at business.rates@hackney.gov.uk.

Page updated: 14/07/2017 09:15:17