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New properties - Business Rates

Information about new properties and completion notices

What is a completion notice?

We'll serve a completion notice to you if you're an owner of:

  • a newly built property
  • an existing property that has been physically altered

The completion notice will tell you the completion date. This is the day on which the property becomes liable for business rates.

The completion notice will be issued when:

  • a building is considered to have been completed; or
  • where the work remaining to be done can reasonably be expected to be complete within three months

How we decide a completion date

The definition of 'complete' is not defined within business rates law.

However, with reference to case law, it's a property that is deemed structurally complete. For example, weatherproofed, roof on and windows, plastered internally (if required) and having internal walls and stairs. It may not need to be connected to utilities.

The criteria for determining completion for business rates purposes are different to that for Building Control Completion Certificates. So, whether building control certificates have been issued or not isn't directly relevant.

What if a property is complete but unoccupied?

From the completion date a three month exemption (or six months for qualifying industrial units) will be awarded provided the property remains unoccupied. After the exemption has expired, full ‘empty’ rates will become due.

The following properties will continue to be exempt if the:

  • property has a rateable value of £2,899 or less
  • owner is prohibited by law from occupying it or allowing it to be used
  • property is vacant due to action from Crown or local authority with a view to prohibiting the use of it
  • building is a listed building or if the whole of it is under a building preservation notice
  • owner is only a personal representative of a deceased person, or as a liquidator

What if I disagree with the completion notice?

You can appeal the completion notice by contacting us. You'll still be liable from the date specified on the completion notice while you're waiting to hear about your appeal.

If we can't reach an agreement with you, you have the right of appeal to the independent Valuation Tribunal. You must make this within 28 days of receiving the notice.

Contact details for the Valuation Tribunal

VTS, 3rd Floor Crossgate House, Wood Street, Doncaster, Yorkshire, DN1 3LL

Tel: 0300 123 2035

Alternatively you can email the Valuation Tribunal or visit the Valuation Tribunal website.