There is an empty rates relief scheme in operation, whereby if your commercial property is left empty you will not owe any rates for the first three months. If following this period the property remains empty you will be required, as from 1 April 2013, to start paying empty property rates charged at 90% of the bill. The person or company entitled to use the property will have to pay the bill.

There are, however, some circumstances where a charge of empty property rates does not apply, for example: industrial properties (you must fill in a short questionnaire to see if your property qualifies); and those properties with a rateable value of less than £1,700. Before any award of any reduction is made by the local authority, arrangements will be required to visit the property to check it is empty.

Further detail and applications can be accessed from: http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/3669/Empty-rates