Policy Discretionary Rate Relief for Partly Occupied Premises policy

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10. Purpose of the policy/strategy

2.1 This policy sets out the criteria, the conditions that need to be met and the type of information to be provided when a ratepayer applies for a reduction in their rates bill due to part occupation.

Section 44A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 gives Billing Authorities discretionary powers to require the Valuation Officer to apportion the rateable value of a property between the occupied and unoccupied parts where it appears to the Billing Authority that part of it is unoccupied but will remain so for a short time only. This is a discretionary provision, and full rates will remain payable on a partly occupied property if the Billing Authority chooses not to exercise its power in this respect.

2.2 The purposes of this policy is to:

  • Ensure that all ratepayers making application for this discretionary rate relief are treated in a fair, consistent and equal manner.
  • Set a framework for how ratepayers can apply for this relief
  • Make clear the limited criteria under which relief will be awarded
  • Highlight that it only granted for a short period.
  • Set out the delegated authority for dealing with applications.