Council Tax - Student Discount and Exemption

Student-only households

Halls of residence are automatically exempt. You don't need to do anything.

Full-time students who don't live in Halls don't usually need to pay council tax. If everyone in the household is a full-time student, you must apply for an exemption.

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 using our online Student Evidence Upload form. A certificate is required for each individual occupier before an Exemption can be granted.

Student Exemption / Discount Application


Student Evidence Upload form


Where non students live in the property

You may be able to get a discount on your bill:

  • If one household member (over 18) isn't a student, the property can't be exempt. The non student is responsible for the bill and may be able to get a student discount.
  • If two or more household members (over 18) aren't students there is no exemption.

Who is a full time student?

You are classed as a full-time student for council tax if:

  • you are 18 or over and at college, university or similar;
  • your course lasts at least 24 weeks in the year; and
  • it involves at least 21 hours of study a week; and
  • the college or university considers your course to be full-time.

In addition:

  • you are also classed as a full-time student if you are 18 or 19 and on a non-advanced course like A-levels that lasts at least three months and involves at least 12 hours of study a week.
  • your college or university must be in the UK or the European Union, you don't have to attend; you can be engaged in distance learning as long as you meet the other student criteria
  • you must live in the UK.

Student Nurses

If you're a nursing or a midwifery student, including those on pre-registration undergraduate courses and post-registration health visitor training, you count as a student. For discount purposes a student nurse means a person undertaking a course which if successfully completed, would lead to registration under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1997. Student nurses taking traditional hospital based training do not count as students.

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. We may ask for evidence for this.


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