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Students and Council Tax

Full-time students aren't usually counted for Council Tax.

Apply for a Council Tax student discount or exemption »

You are classed as a full-time student for Council Tax rules if:

  • you are aged 18 or over and you are 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.

Your college or university must be in the UK or the European Union.

You are also classed as a full-time student if you are engaged in distance learning as long as you meet the other student criteria.

If you have a student living with you

You can get a 25% discount on your Council Tax if, apart from the student(s), there is only one person over the age of 18 living in the property.

For example, a single parent living in a property with an adult son or daughter who is a full-time student will get a 25% discount on their Council Tax.

You need to apply for this discount » 

If everyone living in your property is a full-time student

If everyone living at a property is a full-time student, it will be exempt. This means you don't have to pay Council Tax for the property.

You need to apply for this exemption »

Full-time students at the beginning or end of their course

Please note that the Council Tax exemption only applies for the duration of your course.

If your tenancy starts before your course, you will be responsible for paying the Council Tax between your tenancy start date and your course start date. We will send you a Council Tax bill if this applies to you. From the date your course starts until the date it ends you will be exempt, providing you are a full-time student for the duration of your course.

If your tenancy ends after your course, you will be responsible for paying the Council Tax between your course end date and your tenancy end date. We will send you a Council Tax bill if this applies to you. 

Student halls of residence

If the property is a student hall of residence it is automatically exempt, you don't need to tell us.

If you own your own home and have left if empty to study somewhere else

Your home will be exempt if own your own home and have left if empty to study somewhere else. To get this exemption you must be a student, or become a student within six weeks of leaving your home and no-one else except students were living there when you left it. 

If this applies to you, please contact us. 

If you live with someone who isn't a full-time student

If one household member (aged over 18) isn't a student, the non-student is counted for Council Tax and is responsible for paying the bill. The bill is reduced by 25% because the other household members are students. The non-student may be able to get Council Tax Support to help with the rest of the bill if they have a low income.

You need to apply for this discount »

If two or more household members (aged over 18) aren't students, there is no reduction. The non-students are responsible for paying the bill. They may be able to get Council Tax Support to help with the bill if they have low incomes.

If you are a student owner-occupier, you will be responsible for paying the Council Tax bill if there are non-students living in the property.

Other students

Student nurses

Student nurses studying academic courses at universities or colleges are classed as students for Council Tax purposes.

This only applies to student nurses who are studying to be included on the register for the first time. Nurses who are already on the register taking further courses are not classed as student nurses.

Foreign language assistants

Foreign language assistants registered with the Education and Training Group of the British Council are classed as students for Council Tax purposes.

Please send your certificate from the Education and Training Group with your application.

People under 20 in full-time education

You may get a 25% discount if someone living in your property is aged under 20 and is on a qualifying course of education or is receiving Child Benefit.

Non-British spouses of students

A non-British spouse of a full-time student can be classed for Council Tax purposes as if they are also a full-time student.

This can apply to a spouse or dependant of a full-time student if they are prevented by immigration from taking paid employment or from claiming benefit in the UK.

Contact Council Tax

Email: council.tax@dover.gov.uk

Phone: 01304 872199

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