Richmondshire District Council

Completion notices

A completion notice sets out the “completion date” for newly-built commercial premises. From this date, the owner of the property must pay business rates.

The owner will receive a notice when a commercial premises is structurally complete, or where the remaining work is expected to be finished within three months.

How a completion date is decided

Council officers visit and review commercial premises that are being built or altered.

Evidence, such as photographs, is gathered to help us make the right decision.

A property is substantially complete when:

  • The basic structure is complete
  • Internal walls are built, although not necessarily plastered
  • Floors are laid, although the screed or top coat of concrete need not have been laid

If properties are very close to completion, the amount of time allowed in the notice to finish the property may be quite short.

The criteria for determining completion for business rates purposes are substantially different to those for determining completion for building control, therefore whether building control certificates have been issued or not is not directly relevant.

If a property is complete but not occupied

If the premises are unoccupied and empty from this 'completion date', then the premises will be eligible for a three-month exemption while it remains so. If it is an industrial premises, up to a six-month exemption can apply.

Right of appeal

If you disagree with a completion notice, you should appeal within 28 days to the independent Valuation Tribunal. Or you can write to us first, saying why you disagree with the completion date. We may ask for more information, or will tell you our decision as soon as possible, so you have enough time to appeal further, if you wish. A revised completion notice will be issued, if necessary.

Contact the Valuation Tribunal Service at:

Hepworth House, 
2 Trafford Court, 

Telephone: 0300 123 2035
Or visit the VTS website

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