If you occupy a non-domestic property and part of it is unoccupied for a short period of time, then we have the discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.

This discretionary provision is provided for in the Local Government Finance Act 1988 under Section 44A.

The discretion allows us to make a request to the Valuation Office to apportion the rateable value of the property between the occupied and unoccupied parts where it appears that part of a property is unoccupied and will remain so for a "short time only".

It is not intended that Section 44A be used where part of a property is temporarily not used or its use is temporarily reduced. Instead Section 44A is aimed at situations where there are practical difficulties in occupying or vacating a property in one operation perhaps because new accommodation to which the ratepayer is moving is not fully ready for occupation and it is phased in over a number of weeks or months. Similarly, where a building or buildings become temporarily redundant it might be reasonable to grant relief for the unoccupied part.

When the Valuation Office has apportioned the rateable value they will issue a certificate of the values to us.