A question on many students' minds going into the new university year is surrounding council tax on student homes and accommodation.

In this blog we’ll be covering what a council tax bill is, who has to pay it, and where students stand when it comes to paying it or not!

What is council tax?

Council tax is a form of tax which property owners pay and is typically worked out based on the value of the property. The property owner pays this tax annually and it goes towards local amenities such as rubbish collection, park and public space upkeep, local public buildings such as libraries, town halls, and more.

Who must pay council tax?

All property owners are required to pay council tax annually on their property. There are a few cases where exemptions can be given or discounts approved, but generally speaking all households are taxed.

Do full time university students pay council tax?

When in a student accommodation where everyone is a full-time uni student, you will be exempt from paying council tax.

At all universities there is an advice and counselling service you can talk to should you need assistance claiming your exemption. In the event you’re asked to provide evidence, a certificate of enrolment can be collected from the student enquiries centre and submitted to your local council tax office.

To be exempt from paying council tax (as a full-time student), you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Studying a course lasting at least one year
  • Be studying 21 hours per week minimum

Once you are no longer studying and/or meeting the above requirements, you’ll be classed as a working professionalwhen it comes to council tax and will no longer be disregarded.

If you aren’t studying full time but are unsure on where you stand regarding council tax, keep reading.

Do part time university students pay council tax?

Not all students are full time, and that can be for a range of reasons. When it comes to council tax however, part time students aren’t unfortunately exempt like full time students.

If you don’t meet the requirements above for the full-time student exemption, not to worry! You may still be able to claim a discount on your council tax bill.

How do I apply for council tax exemption or reduction?

Applying for your council tax exemption is pretty straightforward thankfully! The government now provides a digital service where you’ll be able to apply easily online.

You’ll need to start by visiting the “Apply for a Council Tax discount” page on the GOV.UK site. From there it’ll prompt you to enter the postcode of your student accommodation (or whichever property it is you’re applying for an exemption on).

It should then direct you to your local authorities’ website where you’ll be asked to fill in more details and complete an application. Be prepared to have documents and information on hand such as your national insurance number and other methods of identity verification.

Should you have any trouble with the above, you can contact your local council via this same website. There is also information available on the GOV website should you require also

Split The Bills is not a financial advisor. This should not be considered as professional financial advice. Do your own research & consult a professional financial advisor before making any financial decisions!

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