SCOTLAND > Other Reliefs

Empty rates relief

All empty commercial properties receive 50% relief on the liability that would have applied if the property was occupied. The relief is applicable for an initial three month period after which the property will receive a 10% relief. Unoccupied industrial property will receive 100% rates relief for an initial six months and thereafter 90% of the rates liability will be payable.

Listed buildings and properties with a rateable value under £1,700 are exempt from empty property rates.

Fresh start relief

Fresh Start relief has been expanded from 1st April 2018 by reducing eligibility criteria to 6 months unoccupied prior to new occupation (the property must have been in receipt of empty property relief prior) doubles the relief to 100% for the first 12 months of new occupation and extends the relief to all categories of property with Rateable Value under £65,000.

Charities and CASCs

Charities can apply for relief of up to 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes. Local councils can provide additional ‘discretionary relief’ (up to 100%). Non-profit recreation clubs are not automatically entitled to relief, but local authorities can grant discretionary relief of up to 100%.

Enterprise areas

Businesses in certain sectors setting up or relocating to an enterprise area site can qualify for up to 100% rates relief until March 2020.

Rural rate relief

Businesses in a designated rural area with a population below 3,000 can obtain 100% business rates relief if the business is:

  • a small food shop, general store or post office with a rateable value below £8,500
  • a small hotel, public house or petrol filling station with a rateable value of up to £12,750
  • any other business providing a benefit to the community with a rateable value of up to £17,000

Renewable energy generation relief

Community Organisations that produce heat or power from certain renewable sources may obtain rates relief on sliding scale from 2.5% to 100% based on the rateable value of the property from which generation activity is undertaken.
Renewable generation property built between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 may be eligible for 10% rates relief if it has a rateable value up to £500,000 and 1.5% rates relief if above £500,000.

From April 2018, hydro generation properties with a rateable value under £5m will be eligible for 60% rates relief.

Hardship relief

Local authorities are able to provide hardship relief if they believe that it is in the interests of the local community to do so.


Many of the reliefs and discounts identified in this App are subject to European State Aid de minimis thresholds. An enterprise may not receive relief which qualifies as European State Aid amounting to greater than Є200,000 (around £176,500 in December 2017) over a rolling three year period. The ceiling for de minimis aid for undertakings involved in road transport is Є100,000.