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Council Tax - exemptions, discounts and increases (unoccupied properties)

When a person has died

If a property is unoccupied because the occupier has died, as long as it is unoccupied, and liability for Council Tax falls solely to the estate of that person, it could be exempt from Council Tax. If the property was owned jointly with someone else, is owned by someone else, or is held in a Trust, liability for Council Tax will fall to that owner, or Trust, and this exemption category won’t apply.

If your application is successful, exemption can be awarded indefinitely whilst Grant of Confirmation is awaited from the Sheriff Court. Once Grant of Confirmation has been obtained, exemption can be awarded for up to a further six months as long as it remains unoccupied, and ownership has not been transferred to someone else.

Once the maximum exemption entitlement has been exhausted, the property may be subject to an empty property surcharge (200% Council Tax charge), depending on how long it has been unoccupied and what the circumstances are at that point. For more details on empty property surcharge and other exemption categories, select the most relevant category in the related content which best describes the reason for the property being empty.

If you or anyone in your family needs help in dealing with your bereavement, Cruse Scotland provides professional support for adults, children, and families across Scotland. Further information is available on the Cruse Scotland website or by calling 0808 802 6161.