ASTOP supports communities by partnering charities with landlords so they can both benefit from business rates reductions. These initiatives significantly reduce landlord costs and give non-profit organisations and charities rent-free temporary office and retail spaces across the UK.

Our work lets landlords benefit from empty property rates relief while their premises are occupied by community-driven projects. Retail and office space that is filled through charitable partnerships is typically better maintained and more secure than empty space and, as a result, becomes easier to relet. Supporting local community-focused projects also offers excellent PR and ESG/CSR opportunities. Such initiatives are also typically welcomed by local councils and are widely supported as an acceptable mechanism for empty rates mitigation.

Through our work, ASTOP has gained an unrivalled local community development network across the UK. This allows us to offer tailor-made ethical solutions for any type of vacant commercial site. Since 2009, our team has been busy empowering local communities and transforming over 500 empty properties, saving more than £15m in dilapidation, vandalism, squatting, social, PR, media and other costs often associated with unused premises.

Watch our video or contact us to learn more.

Business Rates Reduction: Ethical Help For Landlords

If you are wondering how to avoid business rates on empty property, we can help. The team at ASTOP offer commercial organisations the chance to save on empty rates while supporting recognised and reputable good causes. We help you partner with the deserving through rent-free, legally binding rolling tenancy/licence agreements. Any savings to the property business rates are shared between you, us and the good cause. Everyone wins.

The benefits of a property partnership with us include lower maintenance requirements on your empty property and important contributions to your Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. The positive image of a busy, occupied property has been proven to speed up reletting too.

ASTOP’s service presents a low-risk, legal and proven way to combine the twin needs of charities, non-profit organisations and commercial landlords. We work with the latter to legitimately reduce their business rates on empty and unused assets. Currently, tax deductions for donating office space to a nonprofit typically sit at 50% of business rates. Charities can benefit from an 80% reduction too.

Other Benefits to Landlords and Agents

Other Benefits to Landlords and Agents

Charities looking for premises search for all types of space including offices, retail spaces and meeting rooms. We match them with landlords or their agents and help them operate rent-free with business rates covered in easy-to-terminate tenancy or licence agreements.

In addition to financial rewards, landlords productively using empty space can lead to CSR and public relations successes. Indeed, many of our clients are celebrated for making positive community contributions by making an empty property available to the nonprofit sector. This is in stark contrast to the negative PR around decline, crime and anti-social behaviour that is sometimes associated with empty, unused commercial property.

Flexible Leasing Arrangements

As they are actively used by responsible tenants, occupied offices and retail spaces are proven to be quicker to re-let than empty properties. We ensure that any lease agreements are short-term and support immediate vacation should it be required. This is made explicit in any arrangement and charities often leave a property once it has been let commercially with just one month’s notice.

Should a charity gain more funding or become more established, as often happens, more long-term arrangements are often welcomed by both parties. Many short-term lets we have arranged have turned into longer-term partnerships as good causes create headquarters or service centres in previously empty properties. This is something we are always delighted to facilitate should it occur. As always, our intention is to create win-win scenarios for landlords and not-for-profit organisations.

The reason we have been successful over many years is our ability to genuinely match the expectations of good causes with landlords and their agents. Everyone benefits.

Flexible Leasing

Real World Success Stories

The idea of bringing people together to co-work is central to ASTOP’s work. Fostering partnerships between aligned charity and non-profit organisations and property owners has many benefits. Taking advantage of free commercial space to offer complementary community services, in our experience, often mitigates the issue of closed commercial properties causing areas to decline and decay. The twin goals of providing free office and retail space whilst saving landlords from excessive costs mean a positive outcome for all parties.

This is demonstrated by testimonials from the people we work with. Clients include Barclays, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Savills, Land Securities & Pearl & Coots. You can read more success stories here.

“The Global Educational Trust has a free bookshop in Bishop Auckland and, having visited the shop recently, I was very impressed… an innovative and worthwhile use of what was previously an empty shop, and a valuable contribution to the revitalisation of the town centre, this is an initiative I wholeheartedly support.”

Helen Goodman
MP for Bishop Auckland

“My colleagues and I have found ASTOP’s social goal of transforming unused spaces for good causes to be easy to understand, explain and introduce to charities and landlords/agents alike… Thank you for your support of BitC and our commercial and social networks.”

David Camm
RH Prince Charles’ Business Connector Programme


Join Us in Making a Difference

ASTOP has a proven track record of providing ethical business rate relief for empty commercial properties. We do this by partnering up commercial landlords with worthy not-for-profit, charity and community organisations who need support.

If that sounds like something you would benefit from, why not contact our team today?