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Cardiff Council

Are there any reliefs available

Yes, there are various ways in which your business rate bill can be reduced. These include:

Transitional Rating Relief

The Welsh Government has introduced regulations that will assist business ratepayers whose entitlement to Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) is reduced or removed as a result of increases in the rateable value of their hereditament following the implementation of the new National Non-domestic rating list.

Eligible ratepayers will be entitled to a phased reduction in any resultant increase in their liability over a three-year period (75% reduction in year one, 50% in year two and 25% in year three).

In order to be eligible for transitional relief, the hereditament must:

  • have been shown on a local list on 31 March 2017 (the day before the new lists compiled on 1 April 2017 have effect);
  • have been eligible for small business rates relief on 31 March 2017 – depending on the increase in the hereditaments rateable value, the ratepayer may or may not still be in receipt of SBRR following the revaluation;
  • have an increase in liability of more than £100 which is the de minimis threshold set below which the administrative costs of providing this relief are deemed to outweigh the benefits;

  • not be in receipt of relief under section 44A of the 1988 Act (for partially occupied properties);
  • not be a case to which section 45A of the 1988 applies (unoccupied hereditaments: zero rating) and be the same ratepayer who occupied the hereditament on 31 March 2017. This ratepayer must continue to occupy the hereditament for the duration of the transitional relief period. If not, the relief ceases to apply.

There will be no need to apply for this type of relief as it will be applied to ratepayer’s accounts automatically. 

Charitable/discretionary rate relief


Charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property in the local rating list which is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80% of the occupied rates bill and from 1 April 2008 100% of the empty rate bill (provided that the next use of the premises is by the charity for their charitable purposes). Billing authorities have discretion to remit all or part of the remaining 20% of a charity’s bill for occupied rates and can also give up to 100% relief in respect of property occupied by certain organisations not established or conducted for profit.


Small Business Rate Relief (Wales)


From the 1st April 2007 small business rate relief has been available to occupied properties with low rateable values. The amount of relief available depends on the rateable value and type of property concerned.


Some of this relief is mandatory and where possible is awarded automatically, but for some types of relief an application is required.


A new Small Business Rate Scheme​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window has been introduced in Wales.


New Development Scheme


The New Developments Scheme's main aim is to offer financial assistance to developers in order to stimulate construction and encourage development.


The scheme allows for additional rating relief is given to owners of "new" developments that remain empty on completion. A new building is one that has been completed less than 18 months previously and buildings completed on or after October 1, 2013 and before October 1, 2016. The level of relief awarded will be 100 per cent for the qualifying period.


New development application form (25kb PDF)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window 


Email the completed form to:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window


Or post it to:

Business Rates Section
City Hall
CF10 3ND


Rate relief for partly occupied properties (section 44A)


Where it appears to the authority that part of a property is unoccupied and will remain so for a short period, then the authority can ask the Valuation Office for an apportionment of the rateable value and therefore charge rates on the occupied part. It should be noted that the unoccupied part may still be liable to an empty rate charge.


Unoccupied Property Rate Relief


Up to 31st March 2008 owners of unoccupied non-domestic properties were entitled to 50% empty rate relief. Liability began after the property had been empty for three months. Certain types of property, for instance factories and warehouses, were totally exempt from the empty rate charge.


New legislation introduced wef 1st April 2008 has now removed that discount and the total exemption previously enjoyed by industrial properties has also now been removed.


The new legislation means that non-industrial properties such as offices/shops will be liable to a 100% liability if unoccupied for more than 3 months. Industrial properties are liable to a 100% liability if unoccupied for more than 6 months.


Some properties will still qualify for an exemption to the empty rate charge, ie listed buildings and properties with a low Rateable Value. Due to the economic recession the low rateable value threshold had been set to RV £ 18,000 for the financial year 2010/2011, but this is now to be reduced to RV £2,600 wef 1st April 2011.


Hardship relief


Consideration may be given to the reduction or remission of the amount payable if it can be demonstrated that a ratepayer would otherwise sustain hardship and that it is in the interests of the Council Tax payers of Cardiff for such action to be taken.


For information or advice on any of the above please contact us



Tel: 029 20871491

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