If your domestic property was vacant before 1 October 2011, you may be entitled to claim a vacancy for that period. You cannot claim a vacancy after that date but you may be eligible for exclusion from rates if you and your property meet certain criteria.
A backdated vacancy can only be considered for a period before 1 October 2011. A property is classified as vacant for rating purposes if it is unoccupied, unfurnished and not used for storage. A property is devoid of furniture when all furniture not permanently attached to a wall, floor or roof is removed.
If your domestic property was vacant before 1 October 2011 you will need to complete a Vacancy application form. Land & Property Services (LPS) cannot award a vacancy without a completed application. Also, you must attach third party evidence that the property was vacant for the whole period of your application.
This application cannot be considered to include any vacant period after 1 October 2011.
You will require one of the following:
To apply for a vacancy, you must submit an application form. This form will tell you the terms of a vacancy and what was required throughout the vacant period. You can download the form using the link below. The form is writeable, which means that you can either complete the necessary details and then print it off, or download the form first and complete it. The completed forms should then be returned to the address shown at the bottom of the form:
Please print out this form, reading the Guidance Notes carefully, and send it to the address provided. Alternatively, you can contact LPS and request an application form. Contact details for LPS are as follows:
You can also write to or visit your local rating office - you will still need to complete an application form and enclose the appropriate evidence. You can use the following link to find LPS offices:
You must continue to pay your rate bill while your application is being assessed. If your application is successful LPS will refund the amount you have overpaid or credit the amount due to your account.
From 1st October 2011 the same level of rates will be due on all domestic properties whether occupied or empty. You can find more information on the Rating of Empty Homes, including possible exclusions in the following links: