You are classed as a full-time student for Council Tax rules if:
- 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?
To apply please complete the following form:
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.
When the student signs a tenancy agreement on a property, they will be liable for Council Tax from the start date of that agreement and provided they are full time students, and the Council is in receipt of proof of that full time student status, exemption will be applied to the account for the duration of the full time course of education.
They will remain liable for Council Tax from the start date of the tenancy agreement to the end date of the agreement unless the landlord of the property accepts an early release to the tenancy agreement and proof of that release has been provided to the Council
Therefore, if the student's full time course ends before the end of the tenancy agreement, a charge will become payable as follows:
- If the property is left unoccupied but furnished, a 100% charge will be payable from the end of the students course until the end of the tenancy agreement
- If the student remains in the property after the end of their course, and they are the sole occupier, a 25% single occupancy discount will be applied to the account and a 75% charge will therefore be payable from the end of their full time course
- If the student subsequently vacates the property before the end of their tenancy, a 100% charge will be payable from the date they vacate the property until the end of their tenancy agreement
- If more than one person remains in occupation of the property and both their courses have ended, a 100% charge will be payable until the end of their tenancy
- If more than one person has signed a tenancy agreement to occupy the property, for example if they have each signed a separate tenancy agreement, in this situation the property is classed as a house in multiple occupation and the landlord/owner of the property is liable for the Council Tax. This means that if the occupiers are all final year students, the landlord will be liable for any Council Tax due from the end of their student courses until the end of their tenancy agreements
- However, if the occupiers have all signed just one tenancy agreement with several names on, this is a joint tenancy agreement and all the occupiers are therefore jointly and severally liable for the Council Tax
- If the occupiers are all final year students, they will all be jointly and severally liable for any Council Tax that becomes due from the end of their courses until the end of their tenancy agreement.
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.
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.
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 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.
How to claim exemption at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)
We have made it easy for full time UCLAN students to claim exemption. We have introduced an arrangement whereby the University sends an electronic list of all full-time enrolled students each October. We can then cross-check this list with claims for exemption.
More information can be obtained from GOV.UK and reading working out your council tax .
If you're a student living and studying in Preston you can contact the council's Contact Centre, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston 01772 906902 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
UCLAN students can obtain further advice from The Students Union Advice Centre 01772 894880 or see the NUS national website.