Council Tax discounts and exemptions

Council Tax changes in 2018/19
From 1 April 2018 owners will pay 150% Council Tax for an empty property that is unoccupied for more than 12 months unless it is actively marketed for sale or rent. Find out how you could be affected

How to apply

The most commonly used forms are available to download below. Signed application forms must be returned with any supporting evidence required. All other forms are available by emailing council.tax@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or phoning 0300 123 0900. Forms are also available from the Council’s Customer Service Centres.

If you are on a low income you may qualify for Council Tax Benefit.

Discounts

Single Occupier Discount

If you are the only occupant aged 18 or over in a property you can now apply for a 25% Single Occupier Discount online.

Second Homes

From 1 April 2018 owners of second home will pay 100% Council Tax for their second property, i.e. there will no longer be a 10% discount. This is in terms of The Council Tax (Variation for Unoccupied Dwellings)(Scotland) Regulations 2016 which provides discretion for the council to charge the full Council Tax for any property which is classed as a second home. A property is classed as Second Home if it is no one’s sole or main residence, is furnished and is occupied for at least 25 days each year.

Discounts for people who are aren’t counted

Some resident aren’t eligible to pay Council Tax and can apply for a discount. If all residents of a property fall into 1 of these categories, a 50% discount on Council Tax is awarded - sometimes full exemption is awarded, for example when all residents are students or care leavers. If ONE resident of a property doesn’t fall into one of these categories, a 25% discount is awarded and if TWO or more residents of a property don’t fall into one of these categories, no discount is awarded.

  • Students - Student Discount form
  • Persons in Long Term Hospital/Residential Care - Long Term Care Discount form
  • Persons in prison
  • Severely mentally impaired persons
  • Persons over 18 and in respect of whom Child Benefit is payable
  • Student nurses
  • Apprentices
  • Youth Training Trainees
  • Persons who are Carers/Care workers
  • Residents of Hostels/Shelters
  • Members and dependants of Visiting Forces
  • Members of Religious Communities
  • Spouses and dependants of a Foreign Student
  • care leavers, who are at least 18 years of age but not yet 26 years of age

Disabled Band Reduction

The Council Tax payable on a property can be reduced if the property has certain features to meet the particular needs of someone with a disability. If the qualifying criteria are met the Council Tax is charged as if the property had been placed in the band one below the valid official valuation band, whilst the disabled person is resident. (Band A properties can also qualify for a reduction).

To be considered for a reduction an application must be made in writing, (forms are available electronically by emailing the Council Tax section) and the following criteria must be met:

  1. At least one of the occupants of the property must be substantially or permanently disabled whether by illness, injury, congenital deformity or otherwise; and
  2. The property must contain one of the following features which is required to meet the needs of the disabled person resident in the property:
    1. a room, other than a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory, which is predominately used (whether for providing therapy or otherwise) by the disabled person and is required for meeting their needs; or
    2. an additional bathroom or kitchen which is required to meet the needs of the disabled person; or
    3. Sufficient floor space to permit the use of a wheelchair. (The disabled person must need to use the wheelchair when indoors.)
  3. Completion of a certificate by the disabled person's doctor to confirm the details of the disability and that the facilities listed are required for meeting the needs of that person.

Exemptions

Exemptions can apply to unoccupied or occupied properties. All exemptions offer 100% relief whilst the qualifying criteria is met. Where time restrictions apply these are noted against each category of relief.

  • Unoccupied and unfurnished (Maximum of six months) - Unoccupied and unfurnished form
  • Properties solely occupied by Students - Student Exemption form
  • Properties last occupied by someone living elsewhere to receive or provide care - Long Term Care Exemption form
  • Properties undergoing major repairs and renovations which are ongoing (Maximum of twelve months) - Major Structural Repairs form
  • Property where liability is due solely by a deceased estate where Grant of Confirmation has been made. (Maximum of six months from the date of Grant of Confirmation) - Deceased Estate Exemption form
  • Property where liability is due solely by a deceased estate and where Grant of Confirmation has not been made - Deceased Estate Exemption form
  • Unoccupied Agricultural property
  • When last occupied, all residents were full time students. (Maximum of four months)
  • Unoccupied but owned by a full time student
  • Unoccupied property owned by a charitable body
  • Properties where occupation is prohibited by law, e.g. closing order, demolition order has been served.
  • Unoccupied Manses
  • Properties where liable person is in Prison.
  • Properties that are repossessed
  • Properties that are held by a trustee in bankruptcy
  • Properties owned by Housing Association and are held for use by disabled or elderly people.
  • Properties that are difficult to let because they are part of a larger dwelling.
  • Properties owned by a public sector Housing authority prior to demolition.
  • Unoccupied property owned by MOD
  • Properties reserved by the Government for members of the armed forces
  • Properties used as Student Halls of Residence
  • Property where all occupants are under 18
  • Where a property is occupied by a Member of a visiting force who would normally be liable, or the dependant of such a member.
  • Properties occupied by persons who are classed as severely mentally impaired.
  • Properties where a registered prescribed housing support service is being provided

For any assistance in completing these forms or any other general Council Tax enquires please contact the Council Tax section by telephone on 0300 123 0900 or by email at council.tax@south-ayrshire.gov.uk