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Hardship Relief

Torridge District Council has the discretion to grant relief to ratepayers who would suffer extreme financial hardship by paying the whole of their rates bill

Section 49 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 gives the Council a discretionary power to reduce or remit the payment of non-domestic rates by granting Hardship Relief.

How is Hardship relief granted?

Any Hardship relief will normally be granted as a percentage of the rates payable for a specific period, usually the rating year in which the application is made.

What are the general qualifying criteria for Hardship relief?

The principal purpose of an award of hardship relief is to provide short-term assistance to businesses that are suffering unexpected hardship arising from circumstances beyond the business's control and outside of the normal risks associated with running a business of that type, to the extent that the viability of the business would be threatened if an award were not made.

The remission of rates on the grounds of hardship is the exception rather than the rule. The reason for this is that the Government will only fund part of any relief that is given, the remainder of the cost falls directly on local council tax and business ratepayers.

For this reason the council will only grant this relief in exceptional circumstances and where it is evident that it would be in the interests of the local community that the ratepayer remains in business.

How to apply for Hardship relief

Any ratepayer wishing to apply for hardship relief should read the guidance notes and complete an application form.