Renfrewshire Council

Council tax discount for an unoccupied property

What council tax discount you can get if your property is unoccupied or unfurnished, how to apply for the council tax discount.

The people who live in a property are usually responsible for paying council tax. If the property is empty, the owner or tenant must pay the council tax even though they don't live there.

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties

You do not have to pay council tax on unoccupied and unfurnished properties for the first six months. After this six month exemption period you will be entitled to 10% discount on your Council Tax for six months. A 100% additional council tax levy (200% charge) will then be payable for as long as the property remains empty.

You may be able to extend the 10% council tax discount phase by up to a further 12 months if you can provide evidence that your property is being actively marketed for sale or let. Awards of exemption and discounts are not automatic, you have to apply for them.

With the exception of the initial six month exemption period you will have to pay full water and sewerage charges.

Second Homes

From 1 April 2024, new legislative changes are being introduced: The Council Tax (Variation for Unoccupied Dwelling's - Scotland) Amended Regulations 2023.

Renfrewshire Council has agreed to utilise these discretionary powers from 1 April and will no longer provide any discount for properties classed as second homes. These properties will now be applied with an increase of 100% as the Second Home Levy.

The changes reflect the Scottish Government's objective to reduce the number of empty properties in Scotland and brings second homes in line with council tax policy on long-term empty homes. The overall aim is to increase housing availability by encouraging more homes to be used for living in.

Exclusions from the levy apply. See details of excluded properties below:

Exclusions from 100% Second Home Levy

Properties classed as job-related or purpose-built holiday homes will not attract the 100% Second Home Levy and will continue to be eligible for a 50% discount.

  • Job-related: a property that has been provided to the occupant by their employer to perform the duties of their job.
  • Purpose-built holiday home: occupation throughout the whole year is not allowed due to any licence or planning restrictions, or the property is unfit to be used throughout the whole year due to its construction of the facilities which it does, or does not, provide.

How to apply

You can apply online for a council tax discount. You'll need an email address to register and apply online.