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 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.
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 in each academic or calendar year (as the case may be) 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.
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 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.
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.
If you are not working or on a low income you may be eligible for some support with your council tax. Apply for council tax support
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’
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.
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.
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.