Business rates - exemptions and reliefs

Charitable and discretionary business rate relief

Charities are entitled to charity relief (also known as mandatory relief) where the property they occupy is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80% of the rates due. If the property is empty, mandatory relief may be granted provided the property is to be used for charitable purposes when next in use.

We have the discretion to give additional relief up to a further 20% to such charities. This is known as discretionary relief.

We also have the discretion to grant discretionary relief in respect of property occupied by certain bodies which are not established or conducted for profit. Certain organisations that are not registered charities will qualify for mandatory relief under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965; for example opted-out schools, the United Medical Schools of Guy's and St Thomas's and certain housing associations. 

Discretionary relief is given to non-profit making organisations. It is given at our discretion. To qualify for discretionary relief the organisation must be a club, society or other organisation established and conducted wholly or mainly for recreational or sporting purposes and have a main objective that is charitable, religious, concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts.

We can only grant discretionary relief for the current rate year, it cannot be backdated. Only 75% of the relief granted to the organisation is contributed from the NNDR pool, the other 25% is borne by the council taxpayers of the authority.

If you believe you are eligible for relief, you need to complete the mandatory charity relief application form or discretionary relief application form as appropriate and return it to us at the address on the form. You can also get copies of these forms by contacting us.

Please note that this document should not be faxed or e-mailed as original signatures are required.  

Small business rate relief is also available.

Business rates


Tel: 0300 303 8659

Fax: 0208 464 8016

PO Box 126, Bromley, BR1 3ZT