Mandatory and Discretionary Rate Relief

Charities or organisations which are not established or conducted for profit may be entitled to help with their Business Rates bill.

Mandatory Relief

If you are a Registered Charity, a Charity that is exempt from registration or a registered Community Amateur Sports Club you may get Mandatory Relief. This means you could get 80% off your bill. To apply for this relief please download the Mandatory Relief application form.

Discretionary Relief

If a property is occupied by an organisation that is not established or conducted for profit, whether charitable or not, the Council may offer a discretionary relief. This means you may get up to 80% off your bill.

The council also has the discretion to award 20% "Top-up" relief. This is when 80% mandatory relief has already been allowed. Please note - this is only ever allowed in exceptional circumstances. Contact us for more details.

If you have not applied for Discretionary Rate Relief before, please download the Discretionary Relief application form.

Discretionary Rate Relief FAQs

Who can apply for discretionary rate relief?

Charities and other non-profit making organisations can claim discretionary rate relief. For non-profit making organisations to qualify they must be organisations whose main objects are philanthropic or religious of concern with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts or a club, society or other organisation whose property is used for the purpose of recreation. As an amount of relief has to be met from Council funds, any successful applicant must be able to demonstrate a major beneficial contribution to well-being of the Bradford District's residents.

How do I apply for relief?

The attached application must be completed and returned to be assessed by the Council. A copy of 2 years audited accounts and constitution must also be submitted. All groups will be assessed according to the relevant conditions, but should you feel that there is any more information that the Council will find useful in making this judgement, please feel free to expand upon your application. The Council must be satisfied that a large number of conditions are met and the organisation is of significant beneficial value to the residents of the District.

How much relief can be awarded?

Charities are entitled to 80% Mandatory Charity Relief, provided they are occupying premises wholly or mainly for charitable purposes. Further discretionary relief for charities can be granted up to a further 20% providing certain conditions are met. Discretionary relief for other non-profit making organisations (i.e. not registered charities) is limited to a maximum of 80% if the relevant conditions are met.

How long will relief be granted for?

If relief is granted, it will be awarded for a fixed period of three years only. All change of circumstances must be disclosed to the Council in order to review the level of relief awarded. If the relief is subsequently terminated at the end of the financial year (31 March), at least one year’s notice of the change will be given. All applicants will be given the right to reapply after the award expires by filling in a new application form.

Do I have to pay rates while my application is being assessed?

Rates are still due and payable. If an organisation is successful in their application, any overpayment will be refunded.

What are the types of organisations that may be awarded relief?

The following charities and non-profit making organisations may be entitled to relief if the required conditions are satisfied. The Council must be satisfied that the organisation's activities have a major benefit to the residents of Bradford. Organisations working in respect of the following (amongst others) may be considered:

  • social disadvantage 
  • health and welfare 
  • children (under 16 years) 
  • youth services 
  • the elderly 
  • ethnic community groups 
  • arts and crafts 
  • employment and training 
  • the disabled 
  • business development 
  • community centres 
  • sports and leisure 
  • education

Who can I contact for further information?

If you wish to discuss any aspect of your application please feel to contact the Business Rates department on telephone 01274 437744 or email us at

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Council Switchboard : 01274 432111

Council Address : Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1HX

© 2017 City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council