Empty Property Relief

Changes to Empty Property Relief in Edinburgh from 1 April 2024

Our Non-Domestic Rates Empty Property Relief Policy is changing. If you’re currently receiving Empty Property Relief, this will end on 31 March 2024 and from 1 April 2024 the full rates charge will apply.

The exception to this is properties declared empty after 1 January 2024. These properties will receive 3 months of 50% rates relief. For example, relief awarded on 1 February 2024 will end on 30 April 2024 and then full rates charge will apply.

What this means for Non-Domestic Rates properties that become empty after 1 April 2024:

Eligible empty premises will receive 50% rates relief for 3 months. When this 3 month period ends, the full rates charge will apply. This relief will be applied from the date the property was first identified as empty. 

Further information

  • There is no right of appeal to the Non-Domestic Rates Empty Property Relief Policy change.
  • Business properties where occupation is “prohibited by law” will continue to receive 100% Non-Domestic Rates relief. None of the other previous 100% empty relief categories, including for listed buildings, will continue to apply.
  • The Non-Domestic Rates empty property relief is awarded to the property and not the business. This means the relief applies from the date the property was declared empty, irrespective of a change in owner or tenant.
  • A minimum 6-month occupancy will be required before we’ll consider a new application for empty property relief.
  • Read our Empty Property Relief policy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have any further questions related to the upcoming changes to Empty Property relief from 1 April 2024 email ndremptyproperties@edinburgh.gov.uk.

If you are contacting us about a specific property in Edinburgh, then please remember to include the address and 6 digit Non-Domestic Rates account number in your email to us.

If you haven't already informed us that your property is empty we cannot consider any new award of relief. To notify us of a newly unoccupied property please complete the empty property relief application form:

Download the Empty Property Relief form (PDF 32.5 KB)

Up until 31 March 2024 our previous Empty Property Relief Policy will continue to apply:

  • 50% relief of rates for a maximum of 3 months
  • 10% relief of rates when properties remain empty longer than 3 months

Certain categories of property were also previously exempt from the 90% charge:

  • prohibited by law from occupation
  • which are under compulsory purchase
  • with a rateable value of less than £1,700
  • which are listed buildings or have a preservation order
  • where the person entitled to possession is a trust for sequestration, liquidation or executors

From 1 April 2016, if an industrial building with no retail element was unoccupied, the Council could also grant: 

  • 100% relief for a maximum of 6 months
  • 10% relief for longer than 6 months