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Advice and support

Our Business Advice and Support page has more information on other types of financial help available.

Empty Property

Business Rates will not be payable for the first three months that a property is empty. After the three month period rates will be charged at 100% unless the property is exempt e.g. Listed buildings, empty properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. NB. Industrial property will be exempt for 6 months, or has a rateable value of less than the following limits:

  • Up to 31 March 2009                    RV 2,200
  • 01 April 2009 - 31 March 2010     RV 15,000
  • 01 April 2010 - 31 March 2011     RV 18,000
  • 01 April 2011 - 31 March 2017     RV 2,600
  • From 01 April 2017                       RV 2,900

In brief, office and retail premises receive 100% relief for the first three months, and industrial and warehouse premises will receive 100% for the first six months, from when the property becomes empty.

All rate relief for these properties will end after this time and Non Domestic Rates will be chargeable in full. You can find more information about business rates at the My Business Rates website.

Partially Empty Property

If only part of the premises is being used, it may be possible to reduce the amount of business rates that are paid. If you wish to claim this relief you should contact us immediately, and we will arrange for one of our Visiting Officers to visit your premises. 

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme 2024/25

As per The Autumn Statement on 22 November 2023 the Chancellor announced an extension to the 2023/24 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief Scheme providing relief of 75% up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business to eligible occupied retail, hospitality and leisure properties in 2024-25.

Business Rates Relief: 2024/25 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Scheme - GOV.UK (

Small Business Rate Relief

Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value that does not exceed £50,999 (and who are not entitled to other mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier. In addition, generally, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value that does not exceed £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%. For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a 100% reduction in their rates bill.

Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either—

  1. one property, or
  2. one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,899. The aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b) must not exceed £19,999 outside London or £27,999 in London on each day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.

The Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Where a ratepayer meets the eligibility criteria and has not received the relief they should contact their local authority. Provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will automatically continue to receive relief in each new valuation period.

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by a ratepayer who is in receipt of relief (other changes will be picked up by the local authority). The changes which should be notified are;

  1. the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and
  2. an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.

Supporting Small Business Relief Scheme

At the 2022 Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that the 2023 Supporting Small Business (SSB) scheme will cap bill increases at £600 per year for any business losing eligibility for some or all Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief at the 2023 revaluation. SSB was first introduced at the 2017 revaluation to support ratepayers facing bill increases greater than the Transitional Relief caps due to loss of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

For more information visit the Business Rates Relief 2023 webpage on the Government website. 

Rural Rate Relief

Businesses in a pdf Rural Settlement (6 KB) could qualify for Mandatory or Discretionary Rural Rate Relief on their Non Domestic Rates bill. A Rural Settlement is a defined area with a population of less than 3000.

To qualify for Mandatory Relief, the business premises must be the only Post Office, general store, public house or petrol filling station in the rural settlement. Food shops may also qualify for relief and do not need to be the only food shop in the rural settlement.

In addition to Mandatory Relief for those businesses mentioned above, we are able to grant Discretionary Relief. Other types of businesses in a rural settlement may also qualify for just the Discretionary Relief. 

In all cases, the business must be used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community. A list of the areas that are designated Rural Settlements is available on our website or at our shops at Malvern, Tenbury Wells and Upton.

Mandatory Rural Rate Relief: To qualify for 100% Mandatory Rural Rate Relief, your business premises must:

1. Be within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
2. Have a rateable value of not more than £8,500 in the case of a Post Office, general store or food shop.
3. Have a rateable value of not more than £12,500 in the case of a public house or petrol filling station.
4. Be used in whole or in part, as a general store, Post Office or both, or as a public house, food shop or petrol filling station.
5. Be either the only general store, the only Post Office, the only public house or the only petrol filling station in the rural settlement.

Please note: it is possible for both a general store and a Post Office in the same rural settlement to qualify for Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.

Please note: if you do not qualify for Mandatory Relief, you may still qualify for Discretionary Relief dependent on meeting certain criteria.

Discretionary Rural Rate Relief: We may grant up to 50% relief to any general store, food shop, Post Office, public house or petrol filling station which does not qualify for the Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.

Other types of business can also apply for Discretionary Rural Rate Relief of 50% provided that it:

1. Is within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
2. Has a rateable value of less than £16,500.
3. Is used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community, and
4. Is reasonable for us to make such a decision having regard to the interests of persons liable to pay Council Tax set by it. To download an application form click on one of the links below:

Charitable and Discretionary Relief

Registered charities, charitable organisations and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC's) are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property, that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Relief is given at 80 per cent of the bill. We have the discretion to give a further 20% relief on the remaining bill depending upon what the premises are used for.

We also have the discretion to give up to 100% discretionary relief on all or part of any rate bill, for property occupied by certain non-profit making organisations for example; sports clubs, societies, village halls and youth associations.

If you wish to apply please contact us or use our Mandatory and Discretionary Rate Relief application form. You can get further information on Rate Relief by visiting the My Business Rates website.

pdf Charitable relief guidance (243 KB)

Hardship Relief

Businesses may be entitled to a reduction from rates if they are suffering hardship, and they can show that the local community would suffer a loss if the business was to close. As each case needs to be determined on its merits, please contact us for further information.


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 03004 560 560.

Don't forget: if you move into, out of, or within Malvern Hills you need to let us know as this will affect your bill. You can also find further information about Business Rates on the Businesslink website.