What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is a charge made by Local Authorities to all households within their borough. The value of the property and the number of residents within it will generally determine how much is charged from year to year. It funds services such as libraries, refuse collection, policing and fire services.

It can be an expensive bill, but luckily most full-time students don’t have to pay it. This is called ‘Council Tax Exemption’.

Who is exempt?

Full-time students are exempt, and to count as full-time for purposes of Council Tax Exemption, your course must:

  • Last at least 1 calendar or academic year, where you’re required to undertake the course for at least 24 weeks out of the year;
  • Normally require at least 21 hours of study, tuition or work experience per week during term time.
Important to know: You will only be eligible for Council Tax Exemption during your official course dates, as stated on your student record. This means that when you start your course and apply for exemption, you'll only be eligible from your official start date, which will be on your record and appear on your Confirmation of Study Letter.


How does my living situation affect Council Tax?



I live in university Halls of Residence



I live in a private residence



I live with non-students; will I have to pay Council Tax?


Does my visa status affect Council Tax?



I'm an EU/international student, am I exempt from UK Council Tax?



I’m an exchange student, am I exempt from UK Council Tax?


How does my student status and mode of study affect Council Tax?

In addition to the information here, we recommend referring to guidance about student status in our article Understanding student status: what does my status mean for me?



I'm a part-time student



I’ve taken a break and interrupted my studies



I’m still studying but considering an interruption



I'm a distance learning student; how does this affect Council Tax?



I'm a former student and need to retrospectively prove my student status 


How do I apply for Council Tax Exemption?

You will need to get a Confirmation of Study letter and provide this to your council/local authority.


Who is my Local Authority and how do I contact them?



I’ve received a bill for Council Tax; what do I do?



I’ve received a court letter/been contacted by a bailiff; what do I do?


I need further support related to Council Tax

Make sure you have read through all the information in this article; it should address the majority of questions about Council Tax.


I’m claiming welfare benefits; how does this affect my Council Tax?



I still can’t find the answer to my question