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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:​

The applications closed on Sunday 31 March 2024.​

​The Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief Scheme 2023 to 2024 is available to qualifying businesses who operate in the retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors. Eligible business will receive a 75% reduction to their non-domestic rates net liability in 2023 to 2024. The maximum cash value of the rates relief allowed, across all properties in Wales occupied by the same business, should not exceed £110,000.

The relief will be provided as a subsidy by way of Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA). The same business must not claim more than £315,000 in total of MFA over three years (including 2023 to 2024). Previous iterations of this scheme in Wales were not provided as a subsidy and should not be counted towards the MFA limit. The gross value of relief claimed by the same business must not exceed £110,000 (to comply with the terms of this scheme) or £315,000 from 2021 to 2022 to 2023 to 2024 inclusive (to comply with subsidy control requirements). Businesses claiming the relief must declare that the amount being claimed does not exceed those limits, before the relief can be awarded.

Businesses are required to declare that they meet the eligibility criteria and state which properties they seek to claim relief on. Where 75% of liability across a business’s properties exceeds £110,000 or the MFA limit, businesses are required to specify which properties they would like the relief to apply to. Businesses may choose which properties they seek relief for. Where the total relief allowed for other properties is close to the maximum amount of £110,000 or the MFA limit, an amount of relief of less than 75% may be allowed for a further eligible property.

An application form must be submitted to each local authority where a business is operating. Each form must include details of all properties for which relief is being sought throughout Wales. If an application is not made, then relief cannot be awarded.

Any attempt by a business to deliberately claim in excess of £110,000 relief will risk the withdrawal of relief granted under the scheme to that business by any local authority in Wales. Information on relief claimed under the scheme will be shared with other local authorities and the Welsh Government, enabling any aggregate claims in excess of £110,000 to be identified and if necessary, acted upon.

The Welsh Government and Cardiff Council will not tolerate any business falsifying their records or providing false evidence to gain this discount, including claiming support above the £110,000 cap or the exemption threshold. A business that falsely applies for any relief, or provides false information or makes false representation in order to gain relief may be guilty of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006 and subject to legal action, in addition to having all Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief removed from all of their properties for the 2023 to 2024 scheme.

Apply for the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief Scheme 2023 to 2024
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Charitable or 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.


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 certain 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 removed that discount and the total exemption previously enjoyed by industrial properties was also removed at that time.

The new legislation meant that non-industrial properties such as offices/shops are now liable to pay a 100% liability after being unoccupied for more than 3 months. Industrial properties are liable to a 100% liability after being unoccupied for more than 6 months.

To benefit from this initial 3 or 6 month exemption a property had to be occupied for a minimum period of 42 days (known as the “6 week rule”).

However, the Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Property) (Wales)(Amendment) Regulations 2021 now mean that from the 1st April 2022 a property will only qualify for the 3 or 6 month exemption if it had previously been occupied for a period 26 Weeks (182 days).

Operationally this means any property that becomes vacant up to 31st March 2022 and satisfies the old “6 week rule” will be awarded a new 3 or 6 month exemption period. Any property that becomes vacant from 1st April 2022 will have to have been occupied for a period of 26 Weeks to qualify for the exemption.

Please note some properties are exempted from paying the empty rate charge, some examples being listed buildings and properties with a low Rateable Value, this currently being RV £2,600.


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

Contact us​​


Tel: 029 20871491

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