Discounts and reductions

On this page we give you information on

  • Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions
  • Council Tax Reduction (this replaced Council Tax Benefit)

Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions

There are circumstances in which you may be entitled to a discount or exemption on the amount of Council Tax due.  Discounts may be available if you are the only adult aged 18 or over in the property.  Also, some people are not counted when deciding how many adults are resident in a property.  If you think you may be eligible for a discount please select the appropriate link on the right.

  • single occupancy discount 
  • Apprentices 
  • Paid and unpaid care workers 
  • Residents who are in receipt of Child Benefit 
  • Full time students 
  • People who are resident in hospital or care/nursing home 
  • Mentally impaired and receiving benefit 

Exemptions

There are some circumstances when a property may be exempt from Council Tax.  Please select the appropriate application form from the list on the right:

  • The property is unoccupied and unfurnished for up to six months 
  • The property is incapable of being lived in because it is being structurally repaired, improved or reconstructed (up to 12 months from the date property last occupied) 
  • All the residents are full time students or under the age of 18 

Changes to Second Homes and Long Term Empty Properties

From 1 April 2019 the amount of Council Tax charged for Second Homes and Long Term Empty properties will change. Second Homes will no longer receive a 10% discount and properties which have been unoccupied for more than 12 months will be charged an additional 100% premium resulting in a 200% Council Tax charge being imposed.

These changes are prescribed in the following legislation:

Local Government Finance (Unoccupied Properties etc.) (Scotland) Act 2012. Please see the link for more details: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2012/11/section/1 

Council Tax (Variation for Unoccupied Dwellings) (Scotland) Regulations 2013. Please see the link for more details: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/sdsi/2013/9780111018750/contents 

Council Tax (Variation for Unoccupied Dwellings) (Scotland) Amendments Regulations 2016. Please see the link for more details: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/sdsi/2016/9780111032763 

There may be circumstances where the premium is not applicable. Please see the table below detailing the type of property and when exemption, discount or premium will apply:

Type of Property From 1 April 2019
Unoccupied and Unfurnished No charge for up to 6 months from the date the property was last occupied
  50% Discount after 6 months up to 12 months
  200% charge after 12 months
   
Unoccupied and Unfurnished properties marketed for sale or rent No charge for up to 6 months from the date the property was last occupied
  50% Discount after 6 months up to 12 months
  10% Discount after 12 months up to 24 months
  200% charge after 24 months
   
Unoccupied but furnished properties 10% Discount for up to 12 months from the date the property was last occupied
  200% charge after 12 months
   
Unoccupied but furnished properties marketed for sale or rent 10% Discount for up to 12 months from the date the property was last occupied
  10% Discount after 12 months up to 24 months
  200% charge after 24 months
   
Unoccupied and Unfurnished New Build properties No charge for up to 6 months from when the property was first added to the Council Tax Valuation list
  50% Discount after 6 months up to 12 months
  100% charge after 12 months up to 24 months
  200% charge after 24 months
   
Unoccupied and Undergoing (or has undergone) major repair works or structural alteration No charge for up to 12 months from the date the property was last occupied
  200% charge after 12 months
   
Unoccupied and Undergoing (or has undergone) major repair works or structural alteration and marketed for sale or rent No charge for up to 12 months from the date the property was last occupied
  10% Discount after 12 months up to 24 months
  200% charge after 24 months
   
Newly purchased properties which remain unoccupied and are requiring major work to render it habitable or undergoing structural repair to bring them back in to use 50% Discount for up to 6 months from when the property was purchased
  200% charge after 6 months
   
Properties purchased after 1 April 2019 that have been empty for more than 12 months and remain unoccupied whilst undergoing modernisation/renovation to bring the property back into use

100% charge for 6 months

  200% charge after 6 months
   
Furnished properties which are no one’s sole or main residence but are lived in for at least 25 days per year (Second Homes) 100% charge


Help for people with Disabilities

If you or someone who lives with you has a disability, you may be entitled to a Council Tax discount.  Please use the link on the right if you think you are eligible.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction is a means tested reduction scheme administered by the Council on behalf of the Scottish Government. It replaced the Department for Work and Pensions Council Tax Benefit scheme from 1 April 2013. You can apply for Council Tax Reduction if you are:

  • A tenant (local authority, social landlord or private landlord)
  • An owner-occupier

For us to proceed with your application, you will need to provide us with proof of your identity, National Insurance number, income, savings and all capital.  This information is also required for your partner if you have one. If you are living together as a couple your income is assessed jointly.  

Benefit or reduction is normally paid from the Monday after we receive your claim form, so you should register your claim as soon as possible. You can do this using our Benefit Claim Enquiry Form. Complete and return this to us as soon as possible and we will then contact you for further information about completing the more detailed full claim form. 

If your own income is too high for you to qualify for Housing Benefit and/ or Council Tax Reduction but someone else in your household is on a low income, you may be entitled to an Alternative Maximum Council Tax Reduction (previously known as a Second Adult Rebate) of up to 25% of your Council Tax liability. It is important you do not delay in applying as in most cases we are not able to backdate Council Tax Reduction even if you would have been entitled to an award if you had claimed earlier.

If you require further information telephone 0300 123 4510 and ask for the Council Tax section.