Students and Council Tax
Students and Council Tax
In general full-time undergraduate or postgraduate students, whether they live in private property or University residences, are exempt from council tax. Being exempt means that you are not personally liable to pay Council Tax. However there are some exceptions to this – see:
It is your full-time status as designated by the University which confirms you as a full-time higher education student for council tax purposes. Your own interpretation of your full-time study commitments is not applicable. If in doubt, please contact the Academic Registry Office: email@example.com
Part-time undergraduate or postgraduate students, including distance learners, are not exempt from council tax but may receive assistance towards their council tax bill if on a low income. Writing-up students are not exempt from council tax but may receive assistance via Council Tax Benefit towards their council tax bill if on a low income.
Full-time students who have temporarily suspended their studies remain exempt from council tax.
Although most full-time students are exempt from council tax there is an exception to this. If a student lives with with a person who is not exempt then a council tax bill will be generated for that property and least one person will be liable. Who this is will be determined by your position in a “liability hierarchy”.
Liability Hierarchy (from highest to lowest)
Resident with Freehold interest in the property
Resident with a leasehold on the property
Resident statutory or secure tenant
Resident who is a licensee
Who comes highest in the hierarchy becomes the liable person. A student who shares accommodation with a non-student and is level in the hierarchy remains not liable. A student who owns a property but shares with non-students, therefore making the dwelling liable, is higher in the hierarchy and as a consequence will become personally liable. This is a complex area and if you feel that you may be affected by this plesae contact your local council for further advice.
Student Property Exemptions
The following properties are exempt from council tax because of the people who occupy them:
- Student Halls of Residence;
- A property occupied solely by students even if it is not the students’ sole or main residence. A property which is only occupied by students during term-time remains exempt during vacation periods if at least one of the students has a freehold or leasehold interest in all or part of the property and has been living in the property during term time or intends to live there.
- A property occupied only by a student and his/her partner or dependant who is a non-British citizen not allowed under immigration rules to work or claim benefit.