Council tax - Exemptions, Discounts and Additional Charges

How to apply for Council Tax discount and reductions

If you don't already get any of these reliefs or reductions and think you may be due one, please ask us for an application form or  print off a form, fill it in and send it back to us.  Apply right away, else we might not be able to backdate your award.

Water Services charges reduction

The scheme helps households who get Council Tax Reduction. If you have two or more adults in your house, your water charges will be reduced by 25% if you get a full reduction.  If you get partial Council Tax Reduction, your water services charges reduction will be less than 25%.

People with disabilities

If you, or someone who lives with you, have a disability and need an extra room or bathroom to meet their needs or use a wheelchair indoors, then you may qualify for a reduction in your bill. To apply for this please complete Person with a Disability form or call 01786 233210 for further information.


Properties occupied solely by people in the following:categories are exempt for council tax

  • full time students,
  • people who are classed as ‘severely mentally impaired’

Also exempt are unoccupied properties which are:

  • unfurnished (for 6 months from the date last occupied)
  • undergoing major structural works (for up to 12 months from the date last occupied – even if by a previous owner)
  • the responsibility of a deceased person’s estate (up to 6 months after the Grant of Confirmation)
  • the previous resident owner or tenant is in long term care (hospital, nursing or residential care home)
  • former resident owner providing care elsewhere
  • unfurnished agricultural property
  • manses awaiting a minister
  • occupation prohibited by law.

for guidance leaflets see the page on Council Tax benefits here:


You may be able to get a discount of 10%, 25% or 50% depending on your circumstances

  • 10% - Second Home Discount where the property is furnished and occupied for at least 25 days in a rolling 12 month period (evidence of occupation required)
  • 10% - Long Term Empty Discount where the property is unoccupied for up to 12 months since last occupied (regardless of ownership)
  • 10% - Long Term Empty Discount where the property is unoccupied for up to 24 months since last occupied if the property is actively being marketed for sale or rent (evidence required)
  • 25% -Single Person Discount where only one person 18 years or older is living in the property as their main home 
  • 25% -Disregard Discount where only one person counted, others are not counted due to their special circumstances (see below)
  • 50% -Disregarded Discount where all residents over 18 years are not counted due to their special circumstances (see below)
  • 50% - Purpose Built Holiday Home or a second home with planning restrictions that prevent it being lived in all year round
  • 50% - Job Related Discount where the owner has been provided with other accommodation to be able to carry out their job
  • 50% - Major Repairs Discount for up to 6 months from the date of purchase, for a property that has been empty for more than 12 months and the new owner is rwquired to carry out major repair to make it habitable

The following people are not counted due to their special circumstances – skill seekers; certain apprentices (there is an upper wage limit); certain full time students; certain student nurses; recent school leavers; people who are classed as ‘severely mentally impaired’; certain carers; long term hospital and care home patients; and members of religious communities.

Additional Charge for Unoccupied Properties from 1 July 2014

From 1 July 2014, properties that have been unoccupied for 12 months or more will be subject to a charge of 200%. There will be no addition to the Water Charges.

The Scottish Government changed the rules to allow the additional charge to encourage owners to return empty properties back into use as quickly as possible. The Forth Valley Empty Homes Project Officer can provide help and advice to find the best way to bring empty properties back into use.

See Discounts above for any other appropriate discount that may be due.



Further information…