Council Tax discounts

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5. Students

If you live in university halls, or in a house where everyone is classed as a full-time student for Council Tax purposes, you'll be exempt from paying Council Tax. The rules are different if you live with someone who's not a full time student, but your household could still get a discount.

If you live only with other full time students: exemption from Council Tax

A place occupied only by full-time students is exempt from Council Tax.  So if you live in a university halls, or a house where everyone is a full-time student you shouldn't get a bill.

If you think you should be exempt but are still getting a bill, contact the Council Tax office right away.

Working out if you're a full-time student for Council Tax purposes

You'll usually be considered a full-time student for Council Tax purposes if:

  • you attend a university or college lasting for at least one academic or calendar year- with a requirement to attend for at least 24 weeks out of a year and with periods of study of at least 21 hours per week during term time, or
  • you are under 20 and your course leads to a qualification up to (but not above) A level standard or equivalent - as long as it lasts for more than three months and involves more than 12 hours of study per week.

However not all courses count towards 'full-time student' status.  For example, it doesn't usually apply to distance learning or evening classes.  Also, you won't be considered a full-time student if you're doing a course related to your job - such as a day release.

You must also be studying at a 'prescribed place of education'.  This will include established universities and most colleges.  Ultimately, though, it's up to your Local Authority to make the decision as to whether you meet the requirement.  If your application for discount is refused you do have the right of appeal.

If you live in with someone who's not a full-time student

Council Tax is charged per 'dwelling' or household, and each household is issued with a single Council Tax bill.

If there's someone in the household who's not a full-time student the liable person will get a bill, but may qualify for a discount on the full amount

Foreign spouses or dependants of students   

You will be disregarded if you are the spouse , civil partner or dependant of a student, are not a British Citizen, and are prevented by the terms of your permission to be in the UK either from taking paid employment or from claiming Benefits. The Council will need to verify student status and will ask for confirmation that the spouse or dependant has "no recourse to public finds" stamped on their passport

Student Nurses

You will be disregarded if you are a student nurse on a course leading to registration under the nurses' part or midwives' part of the Register. Student nurses studying for their first inclusion on the Register are not counted.  Nurses who are already on the Register but are taking further courses are counted.  Students nurses studying academic courses at universities are excluded from this definition as they are considered as students.