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An exemption from payment of Council Tax can apply where a property is:

  • unoccupied and unfurnished
  • undergoing major repair work or structural alteration
  • unoccupied due to the death of the last occupier
  • held for use by a minister of religion
  • is empty due to repossession
  • difficult to let because it forms part of another dwelling
  • unoccupied due to legal prohibition

Certain occupied dwellings may also qualify to be treated as exempt where all the occupants are:

  • certain types of students
  • under 18 years of age
  • severely mentally impaired
  • under 20 years of age and are school or college leavers
  • care leavers between the age of 18 and 26

Making your application

You must carefully check your eligibility below before making an application.

You may be asked to provide evidence to support your application for a discount or exemption. If you are unable to provide this at the point of application, you can still submit your request and provide the evidence at a later date.

Apply for Council Tax Exemptions

Council Tax exemptions

Council Tax exemptions are listed below:

Unoccupied and Unfurnished

By law a property may be exempt from Council Tax (including Water/Sewerage charges) if it is unoccupied and unfurnished for a maximum period of six months. If exemption has been awarded to the previous owner / occupier you may only be entitled to the remaining balance of the 6-month period.

Severe Mental Impairment

For Council Tax purposes, someone is considered severely mentally impaired if they have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent.

This includes people who are severely mentally impaired as a result of a degenerative brain disorder such as Alzheimer's disease or other form of dementia. The person must have a certificate of confirmation signed by a registered medical practitioner and stamped by the Medical Practice.

If you are making a retrospective claim you must submit a letter of entitlement from the Department of Works and Pensions which states which benefit was in payment and the date that benefit was paid from.

You must meet the above medical conditions and receive one or more of the following benefits:

  • attendance allowance
  • severe disablement allowance
  • care component of disability living allowance (middle or high rate)
  • daily living component of personal independence payment
  • employment and support allowance
  • disabled element of working tax credits
  • income support which includes a disability premium
  • armed forces independence payment
  • incapacity benefit
  • increased rate in disablement pension (where constant attendance needed)
  • universal credit which includes the limited capability for work element and work related activity
  • standard or enhanced rate of daily living component of adult disability payment
  • highest or middle rate of care component of child disability payment
  • working tax credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • universal credit which includes an amount relating to limited capability for work and work related activity, or would do, but not for the fact that they are a member of a couple with a joint award with limited capability for work and work related activity included in respect of the other member of the couple

Care Leaver

A care leaver may qualify for a Council Tax discount or exemption. A care leaver is a person who:

  • is at least 18 years of age but not yet 26 years of age
  • was on their 16th birthday or at any subsequent time looked after by a local authority and
  • is no longer looked after by a local authority


Where the sole occupier or all occupiers are students.

A student discount or exemption can be awarded if:

  • a person is taking a specified course of education at a UK University or further education establishment which lasts for at least 24 weeks within each academic year and where the period of study consists of an average of at least 21 hours per week
  • a person is, aged under 20, attending an education establishment which is at, or below, the following standards: leading up to Higher Scottish Certificate of Education or equivalent, National Certificate of the Scottish Vocational Education Council or Scottish Vocational Qualification Level III. The period of study exceeds, on average, 12 hours per week and the course taken is not as a consequence of an office or employment held, nor arranged under Skills Training
  • a person registered with the Central Bureau for Education Visits and Exchanges and working as a foreign language assistant at a school or other Educational Institution in Great Britain

A student nurse discount or exemption can be awarded if:

  • a person who is undertaking a course which would, if successfully completed, lead to first-time registration under: 
    • parts 1-8 of the Register maintained under Section 10 of the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979. Part 10 of the above Register where that person is employed by a Health Board, Regional or District Health Authority

    • part 10 of the above Register where that person is employed by a Health Board, Regional or District Health Authority


You may be exempt from Council Tax for a house which is unoccupied and unfurnished and which is subject to repossession by a Bank, Building Society.

Processing your application

Your application will not be reviewed until all supporting evidence has been provided. It may take up to one calendar month for your application to be processed.

Change of circumstances

If you are currently receiving a Council Tax Exemption and your circumstances change you must inform us immediately by calling the number below.

Contact Information

Revenues and Benefits
Civic Centre North
John Dickie Street
East Ayrshire
Telephone: 01563 554400