Students and council tax

Full-time students don’t usually have to pay council tax. Find out if you’re eligible for an exemption.

Council tax is paid to your local council so that they can spend the money on providing local services like transport, police, fire, libraries, leisure and recreation and rubbish collection. It’s a tax on domestic property and how much you pay is determined by how much your property is worth. 


For council tax purposes a full-time student is enrolled on a course that:

  • lasts at least 1 year
  • involves at least 21 hours of study per week

You will need a Statement of Student Status to prove you are eligible. You can print out a copy of your own statement in Portico

If you are a full-time student and live in a house where everyone is a student you will be eligible for a discount. Halls of residences are automatically exempt.

If you don’t meet these definitions of full-time student, you can’t claim exemption from council tax, even if your course is defined as full-time by your university or college. 

Once you have finished studying you are no longer classed as a full-time student even if you may not have received your results or been to your graduation ceremony.

Further advice is available from the Students' Union UCL Advice Service.

How to apply

You should apply to your local council. If you can’t apply online, you will need to contact your council to find out how to apply. 

Find your local council

Apply online

More information

Find out more from Citizens Advice