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Council Tax - Exemptions

 

Exemptions

You may get an exemption on your Council Tax if certain conditions exist. The most common conditions are:

Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished:

  • for up to 6 months from the date the property was last occupied or furnished for a period of 6 weeks or more;
  • for an indefinite period where the property is on agricultural land and was last occupied for agricultural purposes.

Properties that are occupied where:

  • all residents are full time students or certain student nurses;
  • all residents are severely mentally impaired;
  • all residents are under the age of 18.

Properties that are unoccupied where:

  • the liability is due to be met by the estate of a deceased person provided that no grant of confirmation has been made or no more than 6 months have passed since the grant of confirmation has been awarded;
  • the property is uninhabitable due to the structure being repaired, improved or reconstructed. This exemption will apply to a maximum of 12 months from when the property was last occupied;
  • the resident has left the property for the purpose of receiving personal care.  There is no time limit to this exemption;
  • the resident has left the property for the purpose of providing personal care for someone else. There is no time limit to this exemption;
  • the person resident is in prison;
  • occupation is prohibited by law;
  • the property is unoccupied and is being be held for occupation by a minister of religion to perform his/her duties;
  • the property is owned by a student who is living elsewhere for their studies;
  • the property is owned by a Charity for its charitable purposes.

Note: There may be other exemptions available and further conditions may exist for those noted above. For further information please contact 01506 776800 or email us at counciltax@westlothian.gov.uk

If your circumstances change you must tell us within 21 days.

By law West Lothian Council must protect the money we manage. We will share information you give us with other organisations responsible for auditing or managing public funds, to prevent and detect fraud.

We will review awards of discount and exemption and reserve the right to use credit reference agencies to validate any such awards.

Click here to see further information regarding the National Fraud Initiative (new window).

 

Updated 22/01/2012

Frequently Asked Questions

Click a question to see the answer.

Do full time students have to pay Council Tax?

If only students live in the property, they can apply for a 100% exemption on the Council Tax. We need proof of your student status from your college or university before you can get any exemption.

What exemptions can be claimed on Council Tax when there is a bereavement?

Where Council Tax liability is due solely by the estate of a deceased person and grant of confirmation to the estate has been made, there is a 6 months maximum exemption. Where Council Tax liability is due solely by the estate of a deceased person and grant of confirmation of the estate has not been made, there is an unlimited exemption.

Will I be entitled to any reduction in the Council Tax if my property is in need of structural repairs?

You may be entitled to a Council Tax exemption for up to 12 months from the date the property was last occupied, providing the property is in need of major structural repairs and the property is unoccupied. You will need to supply documentary evidence such as a building warrant, a receipt for any work carried out, planning permission or a home improvement grant. The length of time an exemption can be awarded is dependent on the type of repairs required to make the property habitable. We can only award a maximum of 12 months exemption in these cases, then a 10% discount is applied against the property.