Council tax for students

You might have to pay council tax on the home you live in but, as a student, you might qualify for a reduction or exemption.

Who has to pay the council tax?

Generally, the person occupying the property, so long as they are aged 18 or over, will be the person responsible for paying the council tax.

If you are a student and live in the property as joint tenants with other people you will all be jointly liable for the bill.

There are some situations where the owner of the property is responsible. These include where :

  • the property is a house in multiple occupation (HMO), for example, a house lived in by a number of people who all pay rent, but no-one is responsible for paying the whole of the rent (ie: you are not joint tenants),
  • the property is a hostel.

How much is the council tax?

Council tax is a tax on domestic properties and is collected by local authorities. Each property is valued and put into a valuation band. A different amount of council tax is charged on each band.

To find out which tax band your property is in visit Gov.UK.

Can I get any help to pay the council tax?

As a student you might not have to pay the full amount of council tax:

Exemptions

Some properties can be exempt from council tax. These include where :

  • all the occupants are full time university or college students
  • the property is a hall of residence mainly occupied by students
  • all the residents are under the age of 18.

If your property is exempt it means you don’t have to pay any council tax, regardless of your income or how much savings you have.

Discounts

If you are the only person living in the property you will get a 25% discount on your council tax bill.

When working out how many people live in a property, some people are not counted. These are called disregarded people. If everyone who lives in the property is disregarded, there will be a 50% discount on the bill.

Disregarded people include:

  • full-time students
  • young people on certain youth training schemes
  • apprentices
  • school or college leavers still aged under 20 who have left school or college after 30 April. They will be disregarded until 1 November of the same year or until they reach 20
  • those who are aged 18 or under and someone is entitled to child benefit for them.

Reductions

If you are on benefits or have a low income, you might qualify for a reduction to your bill. This is known as the Council Tax Reduction scheme or Council Tax Support.

Where can I get more help?

To find out more about council tax, exemptions, discounts and reductions, click here.

To find details about council tax in your area, including contact details for your local council, use this postcode search tool :

Other pages in advice for young people

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This page was last updated on: November 14, 2019

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.