Empty property relief is not being removed. From 1 April 2008, 100 per cent. relief will be available for three months in respect of all empty non-domestic properties, and for six months for empty qualifying industrial and warehouse properties. 100 per cent. relief will continue to be available permanently for other classes of empty property which will be specified in regulations to be laid before Parliament for approval shortly.
For those empty properties in respect of which 100 per cent. relief is not available permanently, after the initial periods of 100 per cent. relief come to an end, the empty property rate will be 100 per cent. of the basic occupied rate.
The Crown is liable to pay rates on its properties in the usual way. Crown property will therefore be eligible for empty property relief for the appropriate period and after that period ends, will be subject to the normal empty property rate.