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Council Tax is charged by the Local Council on residential homes to help pay for local services like bin collection and road maintenance. But we have good news - many students don’t have to pay council tax. The catch is that you have to take action to apply for your exemption or reduction.. Here’s our Advice Service’s guide to whether or not you need to pay and what you should be doing to save yourself some cash.


If you’re living in UCL halls of residence you won’t have to pay council tax at all.

Private Accommodation

Different rules apply to students living in privately rented accommodation and whether you pay council tax depends on who you live with. If you are on a full-time course of at least one academic or calendar year you do not have to pay council tax - so long as all the occupants of the property are full time students. You must however apply for an exemption and details on how to apply are here.

If you are a full-time student living in a property which is not occupied solely by other full-time students or ‘exempt persons’ you do pay, but may still qualify for a discount, more information can be found here.

All of these rules apply to home, EU and international students alike. 

Whilst most full-time students are not eligible to receive council tax benefit, certain groups may be. If you are a lone parent or part of a student-parent couple, a disabled student or are receiving Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance you may qualify for council tax reduction.

Part Time Students

Being a part-time student does not exempt you from paying Council Tax, however you may qualify for council tax Reduction.

5 top tips

1. Apply for an exemption now, you can do this here

2. You’ll need a statement of student status to prove to the council that you are full time student, you can print out your own statement from the front page in Portico.

3. If you get a council tax bill even though your household is exempt you can apply for an exemption but do it quickly.

4. Do not ignore council tax reminder letters, act on them immediately to prevent court action.

5. Contact our Advice Service for advice and help with council tax.