East Lothian Council

Council tax

Other types of council tax reduction

Pink pig

The following types of council tax reduction are also available:

Difficult to let separately - a property which forms part of or is in the ground of another property which is difficult to let separately and where the owner or tenant has his sole/main residence in that other dwelling.  An example of this would be a granny flat.

Empty agricultural - an unoccupied and unfurnished property, which is situated on agricultural land and when last occupied and used, was done so together with the land.  This would be a property which has been used by a farmer for the purpose of doing his job and the property is now empty and unoccupied. This is often the case with casual workers at harvest time or lambing time.

Empty bankrupt - an unoccupied property which forms part of  the permanent Trustee in Bankruptcy.  The exemption applies whether the property is furnished or not and avoids additional liabilities being incurred by the trustee which cannot be met from the bankrupt individual.

Empty charitable - an unoccupied dwelling owned or tenanted by a charity, which when last occupied, was in the duties of the charity and that occupation ceased less than 6 months previous.

Empty minister - an unoccupied manse held available by or on behalf of a religious body for occupation by a minister as a residence from which they would perform their duties.  This exemption can be applied whether it was last occupied by a minister i.e if a church had no minister and let out the property and then it became empty, the church could receive an exemption on the grounds that it was held for a minister.

Job related and tied accommodation - a property is considered as job related if it is provided for that person as part of their (or their spouse/civil partner’s) employment and is not their sole or main residence.  If a property is job related and you can prove that you only use the property for work reasons and your sole/main residence is elsewhere (and provide a copy of your bill and confirmation from your employer) you may be entitled to a job related 50% discount.

This also applies to tied accommodation where you must leave your sole/main residence in order to take up residence where your job insists that you live on the premises.  

Multiple properties - a dwelling, where it is occupied by or could be occupied by a person, who does not constitute a single household and that are occupied by one or more persons.  The land and property form part of a registered prescribed housing support service is provided and at least one kitchen, toilet or bathroom which is shared by some or all of the tenants.

Occupation prohibited by law - a property where the occupation is prohibited by law or which is unoccupied and is subject to a closing, demolition or compulsory purchase order.

Persons living in international headquarters and defence organisations - a member, or a dependent of a member of a headquarters or organisation under International Headquarters and Defence Organisation Act 1964

Prescribed housing support service accommodation - a property may be exempt if one or more residents reside in the property of which a registered housing support service is being provided to at least one of the occupants.

Religious community - a person who is a member of a religious community, the principal occupation of which consists of prayer, contemplation, education, the relief of suffering, or any combination of these; and has no income or capital of his/her own (disregarding any income from a pension from a former employer) and is dependent on the community to provide for his/her material needs.

Repossessed property - an unoccupied property which a heritable creditor has called up his security (repossessed).

The heritable creditor is the lender of the money and has called in his security.  Where there is a default on the repayment of the loan (normally a mortgage) they will take repossession of the property.  The owner will no longer live in the property but will remain as liable (under the legislation of an owner always being liable in the Hierarchy) while repossessed but a full exemption will be applied to the account, any arrears prior to this will still be due by the owner.  An exemption will not commence until the dwelling is vacated by the occupants.

The exemption continues until either possession is relinquished or the property is sold.  

Residents in certain dwellings - a person will be disregarded if he/she has their sole/main residence in a dwelling which is providing residential accommodation as a hostel or night shelter; the accommodation is provided in units that are not self-contained; for persons of no fixed abode and no settled way of life; and under licence to occupy and do not constitute tenancies.

To be demolished - a property which is owned by a local authority or a registered social landlord and which is being kept unoccupied with a view to having it demolished.

Trial housing - Housing Associations may have ‘trial flats’ for the disabled or a person over pensionable age.  These flat/houses are normally within sheltered housing complexes and are held available for the purpose of a tenant ‘trying out’ living  in the complex before making the decision to give up their house.  They may then be granted a tenancy of their own, but this will be a different dwelling to that which they have trialled.

Visiting forces - a property which is owned or tenanted by a person who has a relevant association with visiting armed forces.  The person has a relevant association if he or she is a member of that force or a civilian component of the force or is a dependant of a member (but not if they are a British citizen).

The above has to be in association with the Visiting Forces Act 1952 but only certain countries are named and covered by the Act.  These details are held within Council Tax and are under Schedule 1 (11) of LGFA 1992.


How to apply for any of these reductions

If you would like more information or would like to apply for any of the reductions above, please complete our Reduction enquiry form


East Lothian Council, PO Box 13251, Haddington, EH41 3HA

Telephone: 01875 824314

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East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.