Business rates relief

Types of business rates relief

Certain types of property or business may be entitled to relief (discount) on their business rates. See below for details of the types of relief available.

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  • COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

    Applications for CARF are now closed. If you have applied, we will be in touch over the next three to four weeks to tell you the outcome of your application, or to ask you for any extra information we need.

    This is a rate relief available to reduce bills for the 2021-2022 tax year, for businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 but which did not qualify for rate relief under the expanded retail discount or nursery discount schemes.

    For more information, please read our  COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) policy (PDF 424KB).

    If your business is struggling to pay its business rates bill, please email business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk, and we'll work with you to see what assistance we can provide.

  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief 2022-2023

    This relief has been provided by the Government to support the businesses that make our high streets and town centres a success and help them to evolve and adapt to changing consumer demands.

    The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) Relief Scheme 2022-2023 will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 50 per cent relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

    We have applied RHL relief automatically to accounts where our records suggest that the business will qualify. Each business needs to check all of the award conditions and tell us if it should not receive RHL relief.

    If you think that your business qualifies for RHL relief but it is not shown on your business rates bill, please email us at business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk.

    Eligible properties

    These are properties that are occupied, and wholly or mainly used:

    • as a shop, restaurant, café, drinking establishment, cinema or live music venue
    • for assembly or leisure (including sports clubs, nightclubs, theatres, sport and leisure facilities, gyms, public halls, clubhouses)
    • as a hotel, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation.

    For more information about what property uses are eligible, please see the guidance on the Government website.

    Please note that the Government does not consider provision of the following or similar services to be eligible uses for the purposes of this relief:

    • Financial services (for example: banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers, betting shops)
    • Medical services (for example: vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
    • Professional services (for example: solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, employment agencies, estate agents, letting agents)
    • Post office sorting offices

    Limits on relief

    Cash cap - a ratepayer can only claim up to £110,000 of RHL relief for all eligible hereditaments in England. This cash cap applies at a Group company level (so holding companies and subsidiaries cannot claim up to the cash cap for each company) and also to organisations which, although not a company, have such an interest in a company that they would, if they were a company, result in its being the holding company.

    Subsidy (state aid) - RHL relief is subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). This chapter only applies to subsidies over the value of approximately £343,000 per beneficiary over a three-year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years) (the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit). Extended Retail Discounts granted in 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 do not count towards the limit. COVID business grants received from local government and any other subsidy claimed under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit over the three-year period should be counted.

    Multiple property declaration

    If your business (or another company in your Group) does receive RHL relief for other properties, but the total is below the £110,000 cash cap and you have not received more than the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance of £343,000 over three years (including 2022-2023) then you need to download and complete the declaration form below. You will need to list all the RHL relief being received for other properties, and if appropriate list all the other subsidies you have received.

    After you have completed the form, please email it to us at business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk.

    Opting out of relief

    A business can opt out of RHL relief for the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 for one or all properties it occupies. If you want to do this, please email us at business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk confirming the account numbers and property addresses for which you are opting out. You must also confirm that you are authorised to do this on behalf of the ratepayer. You can do this at any time until 30 April 2023, and we will then remove the relief from your account and send you a new bill.

    Please note: if you do opt out of these reliefs you will not be able to change your mind and opt back in again at a later date.
  • Expanded retail relief and nursery discounts (for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022)

    This relief has been provided by the Government as part of its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    From 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2021 it is a business rates holiday - this means that the rates bill for eligible properties during that period is reduced to zero.

    From 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 it is a relief of 66 per cent - this means that the rates bill for eligible properties will be reduced by that amount. Where a business occupies more than one property, there are limits on the total value of relief a business can receive.

    Eligible properties

    for expanded retail relief:

    These are properties that are occupied, and wholly or mainly used:

    • as a shop, restaurant, café, drinking establishment, cinema or live music venue
    • for assembly or leisure (including sports clubs, nightclubs, theatres, sport and leisure facilities, gyms, public halls, clubhouses)
    • as a hotel, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation.

    For more information about what property uses are eligible, please see the guidance on the Government website.

    for nursery relief:

    These are properties that are occupied, and wholly or mainly used:

    • for the provision of childcare in the Early Years Foundation Stage by providers that are on Ofsted's Early Years Register.

    Premises that have closed temporarily due to the Government’s advice on COVID-19 will be treated as occupied. 

    Limits on relief

    For the period 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, the total relief a business can receive is limited to £105,000, or £2 million if the business occupies a property that was required to be closed on 5 January 2021.

    If you think your business qualifies for expanded retail relief or nursery relief but you have not received a bill showing this, please email us at business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk.

    Opting out of relief

    A business can opt out of expanded retail relief or nursery relief for the period from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 for one or all properties it occupies. If you want to do this, please email us at business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk confirming the account numbers and property addresses for which you are opting out. You can do this at any time until 30 April 2022, and we will then remove the relief from your account and send you a new bill.

    Please note: if you do opt out of these reliefs you will not be able to change your mind and opt back in again at a later date.
  • Small business rate relief

    You can get small business rate relief if:

    • your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000
    • you occupy the property
    • your business only uses one property - you may still be able to get relief if you use more

    What you get

    You will not pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

    For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief will go down gradually from 100% to 0%.

    If you use more than one property

    When you get a second property, you’ll keep getting any existing relief on your main property for 12 months.

    You can still get small business rate relief on your main property after this if both the following apply:

    • none of your other properties have a rateable value above £2,899
    • the total rateable value of all your properties is less than £20,000

    You’re a small business but do not qualify for small business rate relief

    If your property has a rateable value below £51,000, your bill will be calculated using the small business multiplier, which is lower than the standard one. This doesn’t apply if the property is unoccupied, or you receive another business rate relief.

    How to get small business rate relief

    You do not need to make a written application for small business rate relief, but we do need to check that you meet the conditions to receive the relief. If you think that you should be getting this relief, but it isn't shown on your bill, please apply using the button lower down the page.

    Changes you need to tell us about

    If you are receiving small business rate relief, you must tell us if:

    (a) you take up occupation of an additional property; or
    (b) there is an increase in the rateable value of a property you occupy outside the area of Dacorum Borough Council.

  • Charity and registered community amateur sports club relief

    Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs are entitled to 80 per cent relief where the property is occupied by the charity or club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered community amateur sports club.

    We have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Full details can be found in our  Discretionary Rate Relief Policy (PDF 100KB).

    For more information, please contact the Business Rates team.

  • Rate relief for businesses in rural areas

    Certain types of properties in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 - for example, the only general store, post office or food shop and with a rateable value of less than £8,500, or the only public house or petrol station and with a rateable value of less than £12,500 - may be entitled to relief. The property has to be occupied, and an eligible ratepayer will get relief of the full rates charge (50 per cent is mandatory relief and 50 per cent is centrally funded discretionary relief).

  • Partly occupied property relief

    A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.

    For further details, please contact the Business Rates team.

  • Unoccupied property rating

    Business rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty (or the first six months for industrial premises).

    After this period, empty rate is charged at 100 per cent of the bill. However, in most cases, the empty property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs.

    There are also a number of exemptions from the empty rate, for example:

    • listed buildings
    • small properties with rateable values of less than £2,900 from 1 April 2017

    For further details, please contact the Business Rates team.

  • Local discretionary relief

    Local authorities have a general power to grant discretionary local discounts or hardship relief in specific circumstances. For full details, please see our File Discretionary Rate Relief Policy (PDF 100KB).

    For more information, please contact the Business Rates team.

  • Supporting small business relief

    Ratepayers losing Small Business or Rural Rate Relief as a result of the 2017 revaluation will have their increases limited to the greater of either (i) a cash value of £600 per year, or (ii) the matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme. This relief will run for five years to 31 March 2022 and ratepayers will receive the relief until this date or they reach what their bill would have been within the relief scheme, whichever is first.

    This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). Further information can be obtained from us.

  • Subsidy control (State aid)

    The award of discretionary rate reliefs is subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). The subsidies chapter only applies to subsidies over the value of £343,000 per beneficiary over a three-year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years - the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit). Extended Retail Discounts or Nursery Discounts granted in 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 do not count towards the limit. COVID-19 business grants received from local government and any other subsidy claimed under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit over the three-year period should be counted.

    If you are receiving, or have received, any subsidy claimed under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), you should inform us immediately and provide details of the aid received.

Apply for business rates relief

Some businesses and community organisations are able to claim a discount on their business rates.

Small business rates relief

For businesses occupying:

a) only one property, which has a 2017 rateable value of less than £15,000

b) more than one property provided that none of the additional properties have a rateable value above £2,899, and the total rateable value is less than £20,000.

Apply for small business rates relief

Mandatory relief

Organisations such as charities and sports clubs, which are not run for profit, can claim 80 per cent business rates relief by completing and returning the form below.

 Mandatory relief application form (PDF 159KB)

Discretionary relief

Organisations that are not run for profit and demonstrate excellent local impact, inclusivity and community engagement can apply for 100 per cent business rates relief by completing and returning the form below. You will also need to supply evidence with your application.

 Discretionary relief application form (PDF 177KB)

Contact us

Email: business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk
Business rates telephone helpline: 01442 228268