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.

Council Tax Charges

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%.

Scottish Water Household Charges 2018/19

Here you can find further information on Scottish Water's 2019/20 Household Charges .

Scottish Water helpline number is 0800 0778 778. 

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.


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

  • 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 required to carry out major repair to make it habitable

Following the 2019/20 budget meeting on 21 February 2019 a decision was made to remove the 10% second homes discount from 1 April 2019.  A second home is a property which is no one’s sole or main residence, but which is furnished and lived in for 25 days or more during the previous 12 months. If your property was not lived in for at least 25 days in the last 12 months, then it must be classified as an unoccupied property rather than as a second home. Although no discount will be awarded, reviews may still be carried out to ensure your property is still being used as a second home.

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; certain care leavers under the age of 26; long term hospital and care home patients; and members of religious communities.

Council tax exemption for care leavers

In terms of the Council Tax (Discount) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2018 a person shall be disregarded for the purposes of Council Tax if the person is a Care Leaver.

A Care Leaver is a person who:

  • is at least 18 years of age but not yet 26 years of age;
  • was on that person’s sixteenth birthday or at any subsequent time looked after by a local authority;
  • is no longer looked after by a local authority

If you are the only adult resident in the property and qualify as a Care Leaver, you could be exempt from paying Council Tax - this means no tax is payable.  If you are not the only adult resident, a 25% discount may apply depending on your household circumstances. Care Leaver Certificate

Additional Charge for Unoccupied Properties

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.

Please be advised you may still be eligible for a discount if any of the following situations apply:

  • 10% discount may still apply if the property is actively being marketed for sale or rent for up to 24 months after the last occupation date, or from the date the property was entered on the valuation list (new properties).
  • 10% second homes discount may apply if the property is occupied for at least 25 days in a 12-month period.
  • 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.
  • 50% discount may apply if the property is empty and is undergoing major repairs and it is less than 6 months since you bought it.

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 Empty Homes 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.

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