Claim your student exemption

If you are a full time student you may be able to get a 100% discount on council tax. London School of Economics (LSE) students can apply using the form below, without having to provide a certificate: 

LSE council tax student discount form

Students of all other universities must:

  1. Obtain a student certificate from their place of study;
  2. Register for a Camden Account;
  3. Register for council tax in the Camden Account;
  4. Upload your student certificate using the student exemption form in the Camden Account;

Please note we no longer accept certificates via email. 

You don't need to complete the above forms if:

  • You live in halls of residence
  • You live in a house of multiple occupation (this is a shared property where the tenants rent a room and have separate tenancy agreements with the landlord. In these cases the landlord is liable for council tax.)

Tell us about a change

You must tell us if:

  • You drop out of your course
  • Someone moves in or out
  • Change in your course, e.g. the end date

Contact us

Phone

020 7974 6470

Council tax for students - further information

Council Tax is a charge administered and collected by councils. Properties occupied by one or more students may get a discount or exemption depending on the circumstances of the occupants. You need to make sure that you register for Council Tax. 

Further information for how council tax affects students are listed under the headings below:

Properties that are exempt from council tax

Properties that are only occupied by students are exempt from paying Council Tax.

Properties only occupied by students are exempt from paying Council Tax providing:

  • The property is the main home of one or more people who are students; or
  • The property is only occupied by students as term time accommodation.

Properties will be considered to be occupied during holiday periods as long as students:

  • Continue to be an owner or a tenant and have previously used or intend to use the property as term time accommodation.

Student criteria

For the purpose of Council Tax exemptions a student is someone who is:

  • Undertaking a full time course of education where the course lasts for at least one academic or calendar year. 
  • Required to study for at least 21 hours per week for 24 weeks at a prescribed educational establishment, e.g. a university or college of further education.
  • Under the age of 20 years and remains in further education. The course must last for at least 3 months during which the student is required to study for more than 12 hours per week.
  • A practising foreign language assistant who is registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchange.
  • A student nurse undertaking a project 2000 course.
  • A school or college leaver who leaves after 30 April of an academic year. They qualify as students until 1 November in the same year.
  • A person who is not a British citizen and is the spouse or dependent of a student and is prevented by the terms of their leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom.

How students claim an exemption

As soon as students solely occupy a property, please provide the details of all occupants to the council.
We will require the following information:

  • The name of each student who lives in the property
  • The date they moved in. If the property is rented, we may ask for a copy of the tenancy agreement. 
  • The student certificate from their university/college. It must show the start and expected end dates of the course and the number of hours of study per week.     

You can email or post to apply. Please see ‘How to contact us’  

What happens when a student moves in or out

You will need to let us know of any changes in the occupants of the property. 

If a new occupant moves in and they are a student, they will need to provide their name, the date they moved in and their student certificate. 

What happens after your course finishes

You will be charged Council Tax from the date your course has ended. If you decide to enrol on a new course, you will be liable to pay Council Tax until the start date of your new course. You will be required to send your certificate for your new course. Student cards are not accepted. 

You may be eligible to claim Council Tax Reduction. Apply for council tax reduction  

Council tax discounts

A discount can be applied where all of the occupants except one are students. The definition of a student for Council Tax purposes is in the section headed ‘Student criteria’

Example:

4 people live in a property as joint tenants, but only 3 of them are students

The 3 students are not counted for Council Tax purposes for the duration of their full time courses. The course start and end dates are defined on their student certificates. This will leave one ‘counted person’ and will allow a 25% discount to be awarded.

Who needs to pay the remaining Council Tax charge once a 25% discount has been updated?

The one person who is not a student will be responsible for the remaining Council Tax. 

What happens in a shared communal area (house of multiple occupation)

A property may be classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if the occupants have their own separate/individual tenancies and pay rent separately for the parts of the property that they exclusively occupy whilst sharing communal areas such as the kitchen and bathroom.

The owner of the property is responsible for Council Tax where a property is classed as a HMO.

Example:

4 students have individual tenancy agreements to occupy one room each in a property. Because they do not form a single household or rent the property as a whole, the property would be classed as a HMO. The owner would be the responsible for Council Tax, but could apply for a property exemption. We require a list of each student occupier in the property along with their proof of student status and the date their tenancy started (and where different, the exact dates they moved in.)  You can email or post proof of the required information to apply.  

Other students who may apply for an exemption or discount

School leavers

You are considered to be a school leaver if you are under the age of 20 and have left school or college between 30 April and 01 November of the current year.

Note that you will be treated as a school leaver for Council Tax purposes even if you do not eventually enrol on a course.

Students who live in a halls of residence

If the hall of residence is mainly occupied by full time students and owned or run by a college, a university or a charitable institution, it is exempt. If you are a student living in a hall of residence you do not need to do anything yourself because the organisation running the residence will claim the exemption.

Foreign Language Assistants

You must be registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and appointed as an assistant at a school or other educational institution in Great Britain.

Spouses, civil partners or dependents of students from abroad

You must be the spouse, civil partner or dependent of a student from another country.

The terms of the visa allowing you to live in this country must state that you are not entitled to work or have access to public funds (Only one of these conditions needs to apply). You will need to provide a copy of the relevant passport to verify that that this is the case.

Students on qualifying courses

You can be considered to be a student on a qualifying course if:

  • you are under the age of 20
  • the number of hours you are required to study exceeds 12
  • your course lasts for at least 3 calendar months
  • most of the tuition is undertaken between the hours of 8.00am and 5.30pm
  • the course is not a correspondence course
  • the course is not undertaken in relation to any job that you do

Student nurses

If you are a student nurse on a Project 2000 course or a nurse who is studying to become a midwife or health visitor you will be treated as a full time student.

You are not counted if you are a student nurse on any other type of course leading to an appropriate qualification under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979. This means that the person paying the Council Tax may only be entitled to a discount.

The former home of a full time student

If you are a full time student who has left a property you own in order to study, the property may be exempt if:

  • it was your main residence immediately before you became a full time student
  • you vacated it less than 6 weeks before starting your course
  • no one has occupied it as his or her main home since you vacated it

Your entitlement to exemption will stop when you complete your course even if you do not move back into your former home.

Students who reside with persons who suffer from a severe mental impairment

Your home or, a property that you own, is exempt if;

  • you are a full time student, a foreign language assistant, or, a student on a qualifying course and
  • the person who lives with you or, in your property, suffers from a severe mental impairment.