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Council tax reductions

Information about council tax discounts, eligibility criteria, disregarded persons, and reductions and premiums for empty properties.

Student council tax

The information provided is intended as guidance only and is not a full statement of the law. 

You are classed as a full-time student for council tax rules if you are enrolled on a full time course and:

  • you are aged 18 or over and you are at college, university or similar
  • your course lasts at least 24 weeks in the year, and
  • it involves at least 21 hours of study time per week

Your college or university must be in the UK or the European Union.

You are also classed as a full-time student if you are engaged in distance learning as long as you meet the 21 hours and 24 week student criteria.

How do I apply for a council tax student discount or exemption? 

Please remember you must supply proof of your studies by either a letter from your provider or certificate.

If everyone living in your property is a full-time student

If everyone living at a property is a full-time student, it will be exempt. This means you do not have to pay council tax for the property.

If one or more household members (over 18) are not students

If one or more household members (over 18) are not students there is no exemption, however there may be a reduction. Please see other sections of this page.

For example, a single parent living in a property with an adult son or daughter who is a full-time student will get a 25% discount on their council tax.

Student halls of residence

If the property is a student hall of residence it is automatically exempt, you don't need to tell us.

If you live with someone who isn't a full-time student

Where the property is occupied by a mixture of full time students and part-time or non students the property is not exempt from council tax. The non-student may be able to get council tax support to help with the rest of the bill if they have a low income. 

Student tenancies

Find out about student tenancies and what happens when courses end or people move out.

People under 20 in full-time education

You maybe entitled to a discount if someone living in your property is aged under 20 and is on a qualifying course up to and including A levels.

You normally have to study for 12 hours or more per week and the course should last for at least three months.

Student nurses

Student nurses studying academic courses at universities or colleges are classed as students for council tax purposes.

This only applies to student nurses who are studying to be included on the register for the first time. Nurses who are already on the register taking further courses are not classed as student nurses.

Foreign language assistants

Foreign language assistants are treated as students during any period that they are appointed as such at a school or other educational establishment anywhere in Great Britain, provided that they are registered as a foreign language assistant with the British Council.

Please send or upload a copy of your certificate from the Education and Training Group with your application.

Last updated: 04 July 2024

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