Empty Property Relief

Empty property relief will be devolved to Local Authorities from 1 April 2023 which means reliefs and exemptions will no longer be legislative. This gives Local Authorities the decision on when to award relief and exemptions on empty properties. Scottish Borders Council are yet to agree their policy however there is not expected to be any changes for 2023-2024.  


  • we can grant 50% relief of rates for a maximum of three months to business properties which are empty
  • when properties remain empty longer than three months, 90% of the property charge is billed
  • if a property is unoccupied from 1 April 2016 and is an Industrial Building with no retail element, we can grant 100% relief for a maximum of six months
  • when the properties remain empty longer than six months a 90% charge is then billed

Certain categories may be exempt from the 90% property charge. These include properties:

  • which are listed buildings or have a preservation order
  • with a rateable value of less than £1.7k
  • where the person entitled to possession is a trustee for sequestration, liquidation or executors
  • where the company has been wound up under the Insolvency Act
  • prohibited by law from occupation
  • which are under compulsory purchase
  • that do not comprise of any building or part-building

Apply for a reduction

You can apply using our online form. If you need any assistance, contact our Customer Advice and Support Service.

Apply for Empty Property Relief online