Local government finance circular 4/2022 - non-domestic rates relief: guidance

This circular provides general information relating to current arrangements for non-domestic rates reliefs in 2022 to 2023. It also provides examples of supporting documentary evidence. The information was compiled with the involvement of officers from COSLA and the IRRV.

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Fresh Start Relief

117. The key legislation is sections 24 to 25 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1966, the Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Property) (Scotland) Regulations 1994, and The Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2018.

118. Mandatory relief of 100% is available for a period of up to 12 months, for certain occupied premises. The following two criteria must be met:

  • the property has been in receipt of Empty Property Relief for a continuous period of at least six months immediately prior to the applicant's occupation;
  • the property has a RV of up to £95,000 (up from £65,000 until 31 March 2021); and

119. Where there is a change of occupier during the qualifying period for this relief, the new occupier may still receive the remaining balance of this relief. Equally nothing in the regulations precludes an occupier vacating for six months and re-occupying the property being ineligible for Fresh Start relief.

120. This relief is mandatory and 100% funded by the Scottish Government.

121. Local authorities will have to consider whether this must be awarded as TCA MFA. As no sectoral restrictions apply and this relief is available for a particular circumstance (newly reoccupied long-term empty property), it is unlikely to confer a selective advantage however.



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