Economic Development and Enterprise

Vacant Premises - Refund of Rates

My Premises were vacant for some months, must I still pay?

Yes. Commercial Rates are due even if a premises is vacant. In certain circumstances the owner may qualify for a refund of rate (see below). Please note also the requirements of section 32, Local Government Reform Act 2014 requiring the owner of property to notify Cork County Council of a transfer of property/interest in property.

How do I qualify for a Rate Refund?

Generally, the main qualifiers for a rate refund/vacancy relief are:

The property must be unoccupied at the date of the Making of the County Rate AND the rate for the year must be paid in full


The property must be unoccupied:
- either for the purpose of the execution of additions, alterations or repairs (this includes demolition and reconstruction) or
- because the owner is bona fide unable to obtain a tenant, at a reasonable rent.

Note, the 'person' who is entitled to occupy at the date of the Making of the Rate is the only 'person' who can apply for a refund.

How do I make an application for a Refund of Rates?

Assuming that you meet the criteria above, you should complete the Application For Refund of Rates (pdf) form for refund and forward the completed form to the Rates Department, Cork County Council, Floor 6, County Hall, Cork. 

You should also forward all relevant documentation in support of your application. 

Such documentation normally includes:

  • Certificate from Auctioneer, copy of brochure/letting notice and newspaper/website advertisement where you are claiming a refund due to inability to source a tenant, or
  • Copies of contractor’s invoices, Certificate of project engineer etc. where a refund is being sought because the premises is under renovation or is subject to improvement works.

A sworn statement of vacancy must also be completed by you in the presence of any of the following:

  • Commissioner of Oaths,
  • Peace Commissioner
  • Practising Solicitor

Refunds can be claimed for each vacant whole month subject to the qualifying criteria being met. 

Applications are normally dealt with after year's end 

Disclaimer: The Information provided above is for guidance purposes only, and is not intended as a definitive legal interpretation of the relevant governing legislation.