Unoccupied properties and second homes
This guide covers discounts and exemptions from Council Tax for properties which are unoccupied.
Discounts and exemptions for unoccupied properties
You might be eligible for a Council Tax exemption or discount on an empty property if at least one of these situations applies:
- If a property is empty – unoccupied and unfurnished – it will be exempt from Council Tax for up to 6 months from the date the property was last occupied by you or any previous resident. If the property continues to be empty, a 50% discount applies for a further 6 months.
- If the property is unoccupied and furnished, a 10% discount is due for up to 12 months.
Where discounts, exemptions or additional charges are applied, these may apply to Council Tax charges only, or apply to Council Tax and water charges.
Additional charges for unoccupied property
If your property has been unoccupied for 12 months or more, the amount of Council Tax you pay will be increased by 100%.
You may still be eligible for a discount if one of these situations applies:
- A 10% discount may apply if the property is being actively marketed for sale or rent for up to 24 months after the property was last occupied, or from the date the property was entered on the valuation list.
- If the property is used as a second home and is occupied for at least 25 days in a 12-month period you will not be subject to the additional charge.
- A 50% job related discount may apply where you have two homes because your employer has provided work related accommodation to allow you to carry out your job.
- A 50% discount may apply if the property is empty and is undergoing major repairs and it's less than 6 months since you bought it.
Stirling Council's Empty Homes Officer can help you to find the best way to bring an empty property back into use.
Property undergoing major works
This exemption is for a property that is undergoing or has undergone major repair work to make it habitable, or is undergoing structural alteration. The exemption applies for a maximum period of 12 months, starting from the date you or the previous owner last occupied the property.
If the property has been unoccupied for more than 12 months, a 50% discount applies for 6 months from the date you became the owner.
If the property remains unoccupied after the end of the exemption or discount period, the amount of Council Tax you pay will be doubled.
You must tell us if your property is classed as a second home.
No discount is available, but if you don't complete the form your property may be classified as unoccupied, which can mean additional charges will be applied.
A second home is one where no one lives in the property as their sole or main residence, and it is furnished and occupied for at least 25 days in a rolling 12 month period.