Reliefs and reductions

3. Discretionary Rate Relief

Who can apply for discretionary rate relief?

  1. A charity or trustees for a charity, where they are the ratepayer and the premises are wholly or mainly
    used for charitable purposes. They will also qualify for 80% mandatory relief under Sections 43 & 45 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

  2. One or more organisations, occupying the premises, which are not established or conducted for profit.

Each of the organisation’s main objectives must be:

  • charitable
  • philanthropic
  • religious
  • concerned with education
  • concerned with social welfare
  • concerned with science, fine arts or literature.

Clubs, societies, or other organisations not established or conducted for profit, which occupy premises used wholly or mainly for the purposes of recreation.

How much discretionary rate relief can be granted?

Up to 20% can be granted to charities and up to 100% to non-charities.

Who pays for the relief?

Central Government meets part of the cost of all discretionary rate relief. The local council tax payers meet the rest of the cost.

Time limits

Up until 30 September relief can be backdated to the start of the previous financial year i.e. a decision to award relief made on 30 September 2014 can be backdated to 1 April 2013.

Relief can be granted for a specific time period, but if it is not then a complete financial year’s notice must be given of any adjustment.

If you already receive (or have received) relief for another property in the borough

As both discretionary and mandatory rate relief depends on the use of premises you need to complete a new application for each property you occupy.

You will not necessarily be granted discretionary rate relief just because you received it on a previous property.

If you share the property

Some properties are divided into a number of separate rating assessments. For example, separate rooms or floors in an office block may be individually assessed, alternatively the block may have just one assessment.

If you either share a rating assessment with another organisation, or another organisation uses your premises (for example if your clubhouse is regularly used by another group) then we need to know about them.

We need to know who they are, how often they use the premises and what they use the premises for.

Assess your claim within eight weeks

We aim to assess your claim within eight weeks, however if we are unable to do so we will advise you of how much longer it is likely to take.

Once your claim is assessed we will inform you of the decision in writing.