Most full-time students don’t have to pay council tax but every year many students receive court summons or summary warrants because they haven’t informed their local council of their student status.

  • If you live in halls of residence you will be automatically excluded from paying council tax.
  • Tell your local council when you move in and when you move out of the property, even if you think that you don’t have to pay council tax.
  • If you’re living in rented accommodation, every student in the house needs to ask their university to verify a student certificate stating they’re a full-time student. These need to be sent to the council tax department of your local council. The council will then send you a revised bill stating that no council tax is payable if all the tenants are full-time students.
  • Full-time students are no longer ‘jointly and severally liable’ for council tax on non-exempt properties, i.e. properties that are not occupied solely by full-time students. This means that if a non-student, who is a joint tenant with you, doesn’t pay the council tax liable on the property, no full-time student living there who is also a joint tenant can be held responsible for any money owed to the council.
  • Student council tax discounts and exemptions can be backdated.
  • Don’t ignore council tax bills, court summons or summary warrants.
  • If you move into private accommodation before the start of your first term, you may well be liable for the council tax until the term begins, as you are not a full-time student until then. You will become liable again at the end of your course.

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