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Rates on rental properties

Many landlords, owners and tenants are not fully aware of their liability for rate payments on rental properties. Rates for rental properties are governed by different rules from owner-occupied properties.

Who is responsible for rates on a rental property?

Rates for rental properties must be considered different from owner-occupied properties.

Liability for rates on a rental property is determined by the Capital Value for Domestic Properties or Net Annual Value for Non Domestic Properties.

Article 20 accounts from 1 April 2015 where a rented domestic property has an assessed capital value of £150,000 or less it will be the landlord that is liable for the rates.  

For properties with a higher value (above £150,000) the tenant will be liable for rates unless the landlord has signed up to a formal agreement with the Department to pay rates on the property, in which case Article 21 applies. Where a tenant is in any doubt about this he or she should contact LPS.

Landlords are permitted to collect rates from tenants through their rental arrangements in order to discharge their liability to pay rates to the Department of Finance and Personnel, Land and Property Services.

Different rules of liability, however, apply where the house can be classified as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO).

A HMO is defined as a property which is let to three or more tenants who come from two or more different families. The owner/landlord is responsible for the collection and payment of rates for HMOs regardless of capital value or frequency of rent payment.

10 per cent Landlord Allowance

From 1 April 2015, the amount of allowance given to landlords will be standardised at 10 per cent for both Article 20 and Article 21 types of rate accounts. This level of allowance will apply across the board to all landlords.

How to add another property to an existing rate bill

If you wish to add another rental property to your portfolio, you must detail your request in writing and send to LPS at the following address:

Land & Property Services
Central Landlords Team
Lanyon Plaza
7 Lanyon Place
Town Parks

or by email:

Change of ownership

If ownership of one of your properties changes you must inform LPS immediately otherwise you will continue to receive a rate bill for this property. You must send written confirmation of the change of ownership to LPS including a copy of the solicitor's letter showing:

  • completion date of the sale
  • name and contact details of the new owner or name of the solicitor/estate agent who acted on behalf of the new owner

You must send LPS this written confirmation to the following address:

Land & Property Services
Central Landlords Team
Lanyon Plaza
7 Lanyon Place
Town Parks

or email:

Landlords whose tenants receive help with rates

Landlords may have tenants who receive full or partial assistance with their rates from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).  Landlords should note that on occasion the benefits paid may not cover the full rates assessed on the property or the benefits previously paid may be reclaimed by the NIHE. Where a balance of rates remains to be paid, the Landlord will be required to pay this.

Rating of empty homes from October 2011

The same level of rates is due on all domestic properties whether occupied or empty. There are some exclusions that may apply. You canread more information on rating of empty homes exclusions at link below:

Please note that the four percent early payment discount is now applied to empty property rates.

All empty domestic properties are charged rates regardless of whether or not they are in the rental sector. There are alternative payment provisions available to landlords depending on the type of rate account that applies to their property. If you require further information you can contact LPS Central Landlords Team:

If you are in any doubt you should contact Land & Property Services (LPS) Central Landlords team:

  • email:
  • phone: 0300 200 7801
  • Tel 0044 28 9049 5794 if calling from outside the UK
  • text relay: 18001 0300 200 7801

Liability for landlords - domestic properties (eg house or flat)

  Who pays?
£0–£150,000 Owner (landlord)
£150,001 and above Occupier (tenant)

You can find the capital valuation of your property on the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) website

Liability for business rates - non-domestic properties (eg shop or business)

  Frequency of rent payment Who pays?
£0–£750 Any frequency Owner (landlord)
£751-£1,590 Monthly or weekly (less than quarterly) Owner (landlord)
£751-£1,590 Quarterly or longer Occupier (tenant)
£1,591 and above Monthly or weekly (less than quarterly) Occupier (tenant)

Payment of rates

Landlord Aricle 20 and 21 accounts will normally qualify for 10% discount if payment in full is received LPS on or before the last banking day in September. If paying by any method, other than Direct Debit single payment, you should allow at least 5 working days for your payment to reach us.

If you are unclear how to make payment please follow the link below to find out more information on payment options

More useful links