Guide

Rental properties and business rates

Rates on rental properties: responsibility and landlord allowance

Landlords, owners and tenants are often not fully aware of who is responsible for rate payments on rental properties.

Rates for rental properties are governed by Article 20 of The Rates (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 (amended 2006) and must be considered different from owner-occupied properties.

Liability for rates on a rental property is determined by the Capital Value for Domestic Properties or Net Annual Value for Non Domestic Properties.

Since 1 April 2015, the amount of allowance given to landlords has been standardised at 10 per cent for both Article 20 and Article 21 types of rate accounts. This level of allowance applies across the board to all landlords.

Domestic properties

The table below gives details of who is responsible for paying rates on domestic rental properties, for example, houses and flats.

Capital Value of the property

(Find the Capital Value of your property)

Rental Properties

House in Multiple Occupation

(property which is let to three or more tenants from two or more families – for example student house)
£150,000 or less

Landlord Pays

Landlord Pays
Greater than £150,000

Tenant Pays

(unless the landlord has signed up to a formal agreement under Article 21with the department to pay rates) To sign up under Article 21, an application form must be submitted.
Landlord Pays


Download the LPS application form for the 10 per cent Landlord Allowance (PDF, 132K).

Non-domestic properties

The table below gives details of who is responsible for paying rates on non-domestic rental properties, for example, shops and offices.

Net Annual Value
(shown on rate bill)


(Find the Net Annual Value of your property)
 
Frequency of rent payment Who Pays?

£0 - £750

Any Frequency Owner (landlord)
£751-£1590 Monthly or weekly (less than quarterly) Owner (landlord)
£751-£1590 Quarterly or longer Occupier
(tenant)
£1591 and above N/A Occupier
(tenant)


How to apply

To apply for an Article 21 landlord allowance, please complete the application form below and send to:

Land & Property Services
Central Landlords Team
Lanyon Plaza
7 Lanyon Place
Town Parks
Belfast
BT1 3LP

Download the LPS application form for the 10 per cent Landlord Allowance (PDF, 132K).

How to add another property to an existing rate bill

If you wish to add another rental property to your portfolio, you must detail your request in writing and send to LPS at the address above or by email to: landlords@lpsni.gov.uk

Change of ownership

If ownership of one of your properties changes you must inform LPS immediately otherwise you will continue to receive a rate bill for this property. You must send written confirmation of the change of ownership to LPS including a copy of the solicitor's letter showing:

  • completion date of the sale
  • name and contact details of the new owner or name of the solicitor/estate agent who acted on behalf of the new owner

You must send LPS this written confirmation to the following address:

Land & Property Services
Central Landlords Team
Lanyon Plaza
7 Lanyon Place
Town Parks
Belfast
BT1 3LP

or by email to landlords@lpsni.gov.uk

If you are in doubt or you require further information you can contact LPS Central Landlords Team:

  • Email landlords@lpsni.gov.uk
  • Tel 0300 200 7801 (charged at local rate)
  • Tel +44 28 9049 5794 if calling from outside the UK
  • Text relay 18001 0300 200 7801

Payment of rates

Landlord Article 20 and 21 accounts will normally qualify for 10 per cent discount if payment in full is received by Land & Property Services (LPS) on or before the last banking day in September. If paying by any method, other than Direct Debit single payment, you should allow at least 5 working days for your payment to reach us.

If you are unclear how to make payment see further guidance on paying your business rates.

Landlords whose tenants receive help with rates

Landlords may have tenants who receive full or partial assistance with their rates from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). LPS advises that, where the landlord is liable for the payment of rates, they ask NIHE to make any payments directly to themselves rather than the tenant or LPS. This will help to ensure that bill payment deadlines set by LPS are met.

Rating of empty homes

The same level of rates is due on all domestic properties whether occupied or empty. There are some exclusions that may apply. Rating of empty homes - exclusions.

All empty domestic properties are charged rates regardless of whether or not they are in the rental sector. There are alternative payment provisions available to landlords depending on the type of rate account that applies to their property. If you require further information you can contact LPS Central Landlords Team:

  • Email landlords@lpsni.gov.uk
  • Tel 0300 200 7801 (charged at local rate)
  • Tel +44 28 9049 5794 if calling from outside the UK 
  • Text relay 18001 0300 200 7801

Non-domestic vacant rating

Different rules apply to non-domestic properties which are empty. Read guidance on non-domestic vacant rating.

If you are in any doubt you should contact Land & Property Services (LPS) at your local rating regional office.