Skip to content

Find out if you are eligible for a rates reduction or relief on your non domestic property and how to make an application.

A Non-Domestic property may be eligible for a reduction in rates if:

  • the premises is empty
  • the premises is occupied by a charity or non-profit making organisation
  • used for a recreational purpose
  • where nursing care is provided or
  • a small business

Details of some of the Rates Relief we offer are provided below.  Please use the appropriate application form and include all required information to assist us to process your application on time.  If you require any assistance please contact the Non Domestic Rates section.

Mandatory Relief

Charitable organisations are entitled to 80% Mandatory Relief under Section 4(2) and (8) of Local Government (Financial Provision etc.) (Scotland) Act 1962.  New applications must be submitted within 28 days of date of issue of the rates notice using the appropriate application form.

Mandatory Relief Application form

Discretionary Relief

Discretionary Relief is available to non-profit making organisations, under Section 4(5) of Local Government (Financial Provision etc.) (Scotland) Act 1962, that do not receive funding to assist with rates costs, from Local or Central Government. Copies of the organisation's constitution and latest audited accounts must be submitted with any application.

West Dunbartonshire Council in terms of our policy and review of the use of public monies for rates relief is undertaken with the upmost diligence and requires that organisations and clubs demonstrate, within their constitution and rules, a commitment and benefit to all members of the community and that there is no restrictions enabling all to participate regardless of age, gender, race, religious belief or disability.

Discretionary Relief Application form

Recreational/Sports Clubs - Unlicensed

100% Discretionary Relief is available to Recreational/Sports clubs not licensed to sell alcohol. Applicants should submit a completed application form along with copies of their constitution and latest audited accounts. These are examined to establish that the applicant is a bona fide sports or recreational Club, and that no income from the sale of alcohol, tobacco, etc., appears in the accounts.

Recreational/Sports Clubs - Unlicensed Application form 

Recreational/Sports Clubs - Licensed

Available to organisations constituted as Private Members Clubs and licensed to sell alcohol.  Copies of accounts and constitution are required. Accounts should relate to the base year for Re-valuation, currently 2007/2008. If these are not available, accounts for subsequent years can be index-linked to 2007/2008. The gross turnover figures for bar, food, gaming and tobacco should be entered. The Council will then calculate the non-licensed element of Rateable Value. This is the figure on which relief may be awarded.

Recreational/Sports Clubs - Licensed Application form 

Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

With effect from 1st April 2006, Mandatory Relief of 80% is available for Community Amateur Sports Clubs (Licensed and Unlicensed). There is no Discretionary Relief available and 20% is due and payable.

Disabled Persons Relief

Relief of up to 100% is available to establishments where nursing care is provided within terms of the Rating (Disabled Persons) Act 1978. Premises must provide care or after care for disabled, elderly, or infirm persons, or those suffering mental illness. Applicants must provide a plan or diagram of the premises (hand drawn plans are acceptable) and, if used as a nursing home or hostel, details of residents and staff.

Disabled Persons Relief Application form

Rural Rate Relief

A sole shop, general store, or post office in rural communities having a rateable value to or less of £8,500, may qualify for 50% Mandatory Relief.  Also a sole petrol filling station or a pub in rural communities with a rateable value of £12,750 may also qualify.

Disc Rate Relief Application form

Small Business Bonus Scheme 

The Small Business Bonus Scheme provides relief to businesses with properties in Scotland with a combined rateable value of £35,000 or less.

Table below outlines thresholds and amount of relief available

Small Business Bonus Scheme Information

Combined Rateable Value of all premises in Scotland

Percentage of relief available, subject to eligibility

Up to £10,000

100%

£10,001 to £12,000

50%

£12,001 to £18,000

25%

*Over 18,000 up to £35,000

25%                                                on each property with rateable value up to £18,000

*This allows a business with 2 or more properties with a cumulative rateable value up to £35,000 to qualify for relief of 25% on individual properties with a rateable value of £18,000 or less.

The level of relief afforded for each business will depend on:

  • the combined rateable value of all properties in Scotland which the business own, lease or are entitled to occupy (this also includes unoccupied subjects).
  • whether or not each property is eligible for one of the existing rates relief schemes
  • the level of other public sector assistance received

Apply for Small Business Bonus 

Small Business Rates Relief

Small Business Rates Relief was introduced on 1st April 2003 to help alleviate the burden of Non Domestic Rates costs for genuinely small businesses.

All Non Domestic subjects in Scotland with a cumulative rateable value of £11,500 at 1st April 2005 - 31st March 2008 (£10,000 from 1st April 2003 - 31st March 2005), or less are eligible for a discount of between 5% and 50%.

Small Business Rates Relief Application form

Renewable Energy Relief

With effect from 01/04/10, Renewable Energy relief is available to a ratepayer who uses a property solely for the generation of renewable heat or power (or both) from the sources indicated on the application form.

The renewable energy relief will be applied before any other calculation of relief and the amount of relief awarded must not breach State Aid de minimis limits i.e. 200,000 Euros, approximately £175,000, over a rolling 3 year period.

A reduction of the rates payable will be applied as specified in the table below:

Renewable Energy Relief
Rateable Value% of Rates Relief
£145,000 or less 100%
More than £145,000 but not exceeding £430,000 50%
More than £430,000 but not exceeding £860,000 25%
More than £860,000 but not exceeding £4,000,000 10%
More than £4,000,000 2.5%

Renewable Energy Relief Application form

New Start Relief

With effect from 01/04/13, a New Start Relief will be available for new properties entered onto the Valuation Roll between the periods 01/04/13 and 31/03/17 and which are unoccupied.

In order to qualify, the property must be unoccupied at the time of being entered onto the Valuation Roll and the entry on the valuation roll should not be as a result of a division of an existing entry or conversion of a domestic property, or a property previously exempt from rating.

Relief of up to 100% is available for a period of up to 18 months which can be discontinuous e.g. where a property is occupied for a short period prior to becoming empty again. Where the maximum period of relief has been granted, this may become available again where the property is occupied for a period of 6 weeks or more prior to once more becoming unoccupied.

New Start Relief may also be applied for up to 18 months after 31/03/17, provided it is entered onto the Valuation Roll on or before 31/03/17.

There can be no interaction with any other form of relief, e.g. SBBS etc. and any award of relief must not breach State Aid de minimis limit i.e. no more than 200,000 Euros, (approximately £175,000), over a rolling 3 year period.

New Start Relief Application form

Fresh Start Relief

With effect from 01/04/13, Fresh Start Relief will be available where previously unoccupied shops and offices are newly occupied. Relief of up to 50% is available for a period of 12 months. The Scheme will run for a 3 year period from 01/04/13.

In order to qualify, the property must have been in receipt of Empty Property Relief for a continuous period of 12 months, during the period immediately prior to the award of Fresh Start Relief and have a rateable value of £45,000 or less. When last occupied, the property must have been used as a shop or office, the 'fresh' use of the property when occupied can be for any purpose.

Where there has been no previous use of the property, then the use of the property when occupied, must be as a shop or office.

The definition of a shop or office for this relief.

Any period/s of occupation lasting less than 6 weeks during the preceding 12 months will be ignored for the purpose of granting Fresh Start relief.

There can be no interaction with any other form of relief, e.g. SBBS etc. and any award of relief must not breach State Aid de minimis limit i.e. no more than 200,000 Euros, (approximately £175,000), over a rolling 3 year period.

Fresh Start Relief Application form

Empty Property Relief

Premises have to be completely unoccupied to qualify for empty property relief.

Unoccupied non domestic properties may be entitled to a reduction in the amount of rates payable. The level of relief afforded will depend on the reason the property is unoccupied and the period of time being claimed.

 Levels of relief available from 01/04/2016   

  • Industrial properties: 100% of the rates charge for the first 6 months property was unoccupied and 10% thereafter.
  • All other non-domestic properties: 50% of the rates charge for the first 3 months property was unoccupied and 10% thereafter.

Premises which are classed as exempt under the following categories will be entitled to 100% relief.

  1. Properties with Rateable Values of less than £1,700
  2. Properties unoccupied due to death or insolvency
  3. Properties which are prohibited by law from occupation
  4. Properties which are under a compulsory purchase order
  5. Properties which have a Preservation Order, Listed Buildings and  Ancient Monuments
  6. Properties not comprising one or more buildings or a part of a building.

Empty property relief applications must be supported with documentary evidence; no relief will be granted retrospectively WITHOUT VERIFICATION that the property was empty.

Please Note

Rates must continue to be paid in accordance with your rates notice until your empty property relief application has been assessed and replacement documentation issued.

How to Apply

To apply for Empty Property Relief please complete application.

Empty Property Relief Application Form