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Council Tax exemptions, discounts and increases - unoccupied properties

Unoccupied property

If no one is living in the property and there is no furniture you may be able to reduce your council tax bill by 100% for up to 6 months.

If the property has already been exempt for the maximum 6 month period and there is still no one living in it and no furniture you may be able to reduce your Council Tax by 50% for up to another 6 months. This will not reduce your water and waste water charges. 

If the property is unoccupied but furnished, you may be able to reduce your Council Tax charge by 10% for up to 12 months. If it is a second home, you may be entitled to a 10% discount for as long as you meet the qualifying criteria (see second home discount below).  

From 1 April 2019, a property that has been continuously unoccupied for 12 months or more, is not actively being marketed for sale or let and does not meet the qualifying criteria for exemption or discount, a 200% Council Tax charge will apply (sometimes referred to as a 'variation'). However, if the property is being actively marketed for sale or let, a 10% discount can be awarded for up to a further 12 months. If the property remains unoccupied after 24 months, the discount will end and a 200% Council Tax charge will apply. Water and waste water charges on your property will remain unaffected by the increased Council Tax charge.

Unoccupied periods

The period of time a property is deemed as 'unoccupied' is calculated from the first day it became empty. This may have occurred prior to you buying or renting the property. This means that if the property has been lying empty or a reduction has been awarded on the property previously, the level and duration of any reduction you are entitled to may be affected. Similarly, it may result in a 200% council tax charge.

If the address you are/were living at whilst your property is/was unoccupied is outside South Lanarkshire, you will be required to provide proof of this with your online application. This can be a Council Tax bill for this address or a letter from the person you are/were living with.  Please have this ready to upload before you begin your application.

Second home discount

If the property is furnished but only occupied for short periods throughout the year (at least 25 days), you may be able to reduce your Council Tax charge by 10%. This will not reduce your water and waste water charges.