Properties only occupied by full time students will be exempt. There will be no Council Tax to pay once proof of student status is received.

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Student discount or exemption online form

In order to claim Exempt Dwelling Status for their property, students need to provide a Student Certificate (available on request from the University / College) to the City Council by either using our online Student Evidence Upload form, in person at the City Library or at a Customer Service Centre. A certificate is required for each individual occupier before Exemption can be granted.

From 1 April 2004 a student who is disregarded for the purpose of working out a discount is not held jointly liable if there is someone else with the same status and legal interest in the property who is not a student.

If the non student occupiers are benefit claimants, then there can still be some reduction in the bill. See Council Tax Reduction scheme (CTR) for more details.

If the non student occupier(s) are not benefit claimants there will be something to pay, although there could be a discount if there is only one non student occupier. 

Who is a student?

A student is any person taking a course at a prescribed educational establishment or institution (University, College etc.) and includes :

  • A foreign language assistant
  • A person on a full time course
  • A person under 20 years of age on a part-time qualifying course of education
  • A Project 2000 nurse or those studying at university or college are regarded as students for Council Tax purposes.

A qualifying course of education is one which:

  • Lasts more than 3 months;
  • Hours studied exceeds 12 hours per week;
  • The individual taking the course is under 20 years of age;
  • Is not a correspondence course;
  • Is normally a day time course
  • Is at or below 'A' Level standard

A full time course of education is one which:

  • Lasts at least one academic year;
  • Requires attendance for at least 24 weeks in each academic year;
  • Normally requires an average of 21 hours a week study, tuition or work experience or a combination of such periods during periods of attendance.

Student Nurses

Some student nurses are not counted as members of the household for Council Tax purposes. If a property is only occupied by student nurses they will all be disregarded, which means 50% of the Council Tax due for the property will be payable.

Which nurses are regarded as student nurses?

Those working towards a first inclusion on the register maintained under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979.

What if the student has a break in their studies ?

For example, leave of absence due to ill health etc, as long as they remain enrolled with the establishment and intend to return to their studies they would continue to be considered as a student for Council tax purposes. This is described as a period of 'intercalation'. Evidence of the break in studying would be required to allow this.

Overseas students & their spouses

Students who have partners who are not students would normally be treated in the same way as any two co-occupiers of a property. An exception to this are students who have a spouse or dependent who is not a British citizen, and who is prevented by the terms of their entry visa to the United Kingdom, from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits. In this case the spouse would be treated as the student was, subject to receipt of the appropriate documentation from the University/College.

Page last updated: 
13 March 2018
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