East Lothian Council

Council tax

Most common council tax reductions

A full council tax charge assumes there are two or more adults, aged 18 or over, living in a property as their main home.

If only one adult lives in a house and it is their sole or main residence, the charge may be reduced by 25%.

Some people may be disregarded in deciding the number of residents for council tax, for example, students or carers.

If you live in the parental home, your parents will be liable for council tax and you need do nothing. However if you live with only one parent and no other adults live there, your parent, carer or guardian should inform us as you may be eligible for a reduction in council tax liability of 25%

When you move into a property, check the situation with the other tenants and clarify who is responsible for paying council tax.

Additional homes owned by those living in tied accommodation may be entitled to a 50% discount.

Empty properties may be entitled to an exemption from charges, a discount of up 50%, or a premium of up to 100%, depending on the length of time that the property has been empty and whether or not the property is furnished.

Removal of second home discount 

At the council budget-setting meeting held on Tuesday 21 February 2017 it was agreed that the discretionary 10% discount applied to second homes will be removed with effect from 1 April 2017. Standard Council Tax charges will apply.

Review of the reduction

Your council tax reduction will continue for a specified period providing the qualifying criteria are being met. East Lothian Council will conduct periodic reviews of your circumstances. If at any time you believe the reduction no longer applies then you must contact the council tax team immediately.

You can find our more about our discount and exemption review process by selecting the following link:

Reduction reviews

How to apply for a reduction

The most common types of reduction are listed below.  If you would like more information about any of these reductions or would like to apply, please select one of the following options:

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or are unsure about whether you are eligible for a reduction in your council tax, please complete a reduction enquiry form.

Council tax reduction scheme  

If you are on a low income, or out of work, the council tax reduction scheme can help to reduce your council tax payments.  

To find out if you're eligible, apply online.

Important information about Universal Credit

From 23rd March 2016, Universal Credit has been extended in East Lothian to include ALL new claimants of working age.

If you are of working age and were intending to make a new claim for housing benefit, you may now be required to claim help towards your housing costs as part of your Universal Credit claim.

You will NOT be able to claim for help with your council tax as part of your Universal Credit claim.  You MUST make a separate claim to East Lothian Council for this.

You can make a claim for council tax reduction online.

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

Telephone: 01875 824314

Help us to reduce paper and costs and receive your future council tax bills by email.

How we use the information you provide.

Benefits are changing. Find out how this may affect you on our Welfare Reform information and advice pages.

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