Council Tax Exemptions
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Some homes may be exempt from Council Tax charges, or exempt for up to 6 months, depending on why the property is empty. For example:
- unoccupied and unfurnished (exempt for up to 6 months, counted from the first date the property is unoccupied and unfurnished), including properties normally rented, but unoccupied and unfurnished between tenants. To be considered unfurnished a property requires to be devoid of all moveable items. (White goods (fixed or built in), carpets, curtains and window blinds are not considered to be items of furniture).
- unoccupied and undergoing major repair or structural alteration (exempt up to 12 months, any exemption period can only be claimed within the first 12 months from the date the property became unoccupied). Fitting a replacement bathroom or kitchen does not constitute major repair.
- left empty due to the death of the last occupier
- left empty by occupier to provide personal care to another person
- unoccupied charity building
- unoccupied church manse
- held for use by a minister of religion
- repossessed property
- subject to Closing or Demolition order
- empty as occupier in prison
- difficult to let because it forms part of another dwelling
- last used in connection to agriculture
The maximum period of exemption for a property which is empty and unfurnished is 6 months.
In the majority of cases a 6 month exemption will be calculated from the start date of the exemption claim. Please note: if an exemption has previously been awarded against a property, this period may count towards the 6 months. This does not apply where the property has been occupied for 3 months, or more, immediately before the start date of a claim.
If your property remains unoccupied after 6 months, a 50% discount will be awarded for a further 6 months, or to the date which is 12 months from the property becoming unoccupied, whichever is earliest.
This discount is applicable to the Council Tax charge only and not water and waste water charges.
If the property is still unoccupied after 12 months a 100% additional Council Tax Levy may be applied and will be payable for as long as the property remains.
Certain occupied dwellings may also qualify to be treated as exempt where all the occupants are:
- under 18 years of age
- severely mentally impaired
- under 20 years of age and are school or college leavers
- care leavers
For further information, please see 'Council Tax Exemptions Information' in Related Documents.