If you live in a hall of residence or accommodation which is wholly occupied by full time students, such as a shared student house, the property will be exempt from council tax.
If you live in a hall of residence the exemption is automatic. If you live elsewhere, you need to notify the council tax office that you live in a student household. In order to claim the exemption the students will need to advise the council tax office that they are registered as full time students. Please complete the Student form.
We have to see proof of their student status. Solent and Southampton Universities provide us with a list of their students. Students at other establishment will need to provide a copy of their student certificate to the council tax office. The certificate can be obtained from their university/college faculty office.
A document with your course and registration dates printed on it. You can obtain a copy from your academic registrar/student records department. We need to see original certificates not photocopies.
Solent University and Southampton University will provide the Council with a list of their students. Please advise us if you are a student with Solent University or Southampton University so that your account can be noted and updated once the list is available.
It is common for students to reserve a property before the course commences. Inform the council tax office that you are a student and where you are studying. Solent and Southampton University provide the Council with a list of their students but you still need to inform us you are studying there. The list is normally available October/November. If you are studying at any other establishment you will need to provide your certificate as soon as it is available.
If your tenancy commences a little earlier than your course then the exemption or discount will be backdated to the start of your tenancy.
Please remember if you do not contact us you will receive a council tax bill for the full amount.
It would be a good idea to nominate someone to collect all the certificates in your house as soon as possible and then you can be sure that any reduction will be actioned in good time.
Higher education - A student (over 18) undertaking a full time course of education at a prescribed educational establishment, ie a university.
Further education - A student (18-20) on a full time course for education, for example, studying for A level certificates or ONC/OND qualifications.
Overseas students - If you are an overseas student you can still qualify for an exemption. If you have a non-British partner the exemption will cover you both providing your passports are produced showing the endorsement “No recourse to public funds”.
Student nurses - Student nurses studying academic courses at universities are considered to be students.
Student nurses taking a course at a college of nursing and midwifery or a college of health, which will lead to their first qualification as a nurse, midwife or health visitor are also considered to be students. They are entitled to a discount or exemption in the same way as other students.
Foreign language assistants - If you are a foreign language assistant, to gain a discount or exemption you will need to provide a Certificate of Registration from the British Council which you should have received following your appointment at school or college.
If you are under 18 you will not be taken into account when the council tax bill is calculated and you will not be liable to pay.
If there are two or more non-students living in the household the full council tax charge is payable jointly by the non-students. If there is only one non- student living in the property the non-student will be liable to pay the bill and will qualify for a 25% discount. The students will not be held jointly and severally liable for the council tax charge once their student status is confirmed. If the property is rented then any non students are liable to pay if the property is let on a joint tenancy, otherwise the owner is liable to pay.
A student will be liable to pay council tax if he/she has the highest interest in the property. For example, a resident owner who is a full time student is liable for 75% of the charge where there is also one non-student lodger or for the full charge if there are two or more non-students lodgers.
A student who has a higher interest in the property than the other occupiers will also be liable to pay the charge. For example, the student holds the tenancy in their name only but the property is also occupied by one non-student (75% charge) or two or more non-students (full charge).
If the property is a “House in Multiple Occupation” the owner will be liable to pay the bill if there are non-student residents.
Houses in multiple occupation are:
• Properties that were built or adapted for multiple occupation or,
• Properties occupied by more than one household, where residents pay rent separately for different parts of the property and share cooking and washing facilities.
The owner or leaseholder of the whole property will be the person who is liable to pay the council tax although they are still entitled to the same student discount or exemption depending on the number of non students.
If you do not meet the criteria to be classed as a student for a council tax exemption and you are on income support or any other benefit you may still be entitled to council tax reduction to cover your share of the bill. More information can found from the Housing and council tax reduction website or you can contact them on 023 8083 3009.
If you are currently exempt from council tax and there is a change in your circumstances or of anyone in your household, you must tell us.
Examples of a change of circumstances include
• Changing your address
• You or someone you live with leaves their course
• The course changes from full time to part time
• The people you are living with change