Reduce rate liabilities

Are you fully utilising the Government’s Covid-19 relief scheme and minimising liability for empty space?


  • Have you reviewed the Government’s Covid‐19 rates relief scheme? Less obvious property uses may be eligible for 100% relief from the 1st April 2020 to the 31st March 2021.
  • Are you protected through lodging a Check against your assessment?
  • Did you hold empty/vacant space during the crisis and now face a full rates liability?


The UK government has introduced 100% Business Rates relief for a year, primarily focused across the Retail and Leisure sectors, hard hit during the crisis. However, cases have been won to include a number of mixed and more obscure uses within the scheme.

Despite significant pressure, the Government has provided no help to those suffering considerable hard-ship outside the retail and leisure sectors. We consider that there are two significant opportunities:

  • Avison Young can log checks for companies against business rates assessments to maximise savings. We logged 15,000 checks on behalf of clients during the first national lockdown which helped secure savings backdated to 23rd March 2020. In light of the second national lockdown since 5th November 2020, Avison Young is now conducting a second round of checks to offer clients additional savings.
  • As we continue to navigate a difficult market, the difficulty in letting vacant space will become more apparent. Empty rates will become an increasing burden. There may be opportunities to negate or significantly reduce this cost. We can explore with you a number of schemes to reduce vacant rate liabilities. We are proud market leaders and pioneers in the field of empty rate management. The scheme that we adopt was given legitimacy in the High Court (Makro Self Service Wholesalers Limited v Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council [2012] EWHC) and which has recently been subject to a judicial review. Depending on the scheme adopted, we can ensure savings of up to 78% on annual liability.

Our market leading business rates team of 70 operates across the UK. The sector depth and experience of the team is unrivalled, and we are proud of the quality of advice and rate liability mitigation work we undertake for our clients.

We represent some 1,500 clients across public and private sectors, who operate from circa 25,000 assessed properties and manage over £5 billion of total RV, around 8% of the value of all assessments in the UK. Over the last 7 years we have saved our clients £2.5 billion in business rates.

Have a question?

Key contact

David Jones Principal and Managing Director Business Rates