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Apply for a student household exemption

A home is exempt from Council Tax when it is lived in only by students, certain partners or dependants, or school leavers, either as their permanent home or as their term-time home.

About the exemption

A home will also be exempt when it is left empty during vacations as long as it is intended that only students, or their non-British dependants, or school leavers, will live in it next term.

A property will remain exempt if left empty during vacations, as long as the occupants will be returning to the property and continuing on the same course of education on their return. If a student finished a course, and starts a new course the following term, they will not be exempt from Council Tax liability for the interim period.

You must tell us about any changes that may affect the exemption, such as when someone who is not a student moves in.


To qualify for an exemption, students must be in one of the following groups:

Group 1

  • students are under 20 years old, and
  • doing a course of further education such as ‘A’ level, ONC or OND standard which is at least 3 months long, and
  • involves at least 12 hours instruction, tuition, and/or supervised study per week
  • is not a correspondence course
  • is not taken as a consequence of their job
  • is not an evening class

Group 2 

  • Students are attending a university, polytechnic or college doing a full-time course which is at least one academic year long (or calendar year if the establishment does not operate within the academic year).

Group 3

  • students are registered with the Central Bureau for Education Visits and Exchanges, and
  • working as a foreign language assistant at a school or other Educational Institution in Great Britain.

Partners and dependants

To qualify for an exemption, partners or dependants of students must be:

  • not British Citizens, and
  • unable to work for money or claim benefits by the terms of their entry into this country.

School leavers

To qualify for an exemption, school leavers must be under the age of 20 and have finished a qualifying or full time course of education between 30 April and 1 November. We will count them as school leavers until 1 November following the end of their course. If they reach the age of 20 before 1 November we will count them as school leavers up until their birthday.

You will need

  • Your Council Tax account number
  • For students under 20 (group 1) - a certificate from the student’s college confirming:
    • The student’s name
    • Date of birth
    • Course name
    • Course start and end dates
    • Name and address of school/college
  • For full-time students (group 3) – a certificate confirming the conditions
  • For foreign language assistants (group 3) - a headed letter from the school/college confirming:
    • The assistant’s name
    • Name and address of school/college
    • Appointment start and end dates

Before you start

This form is for new applications only.

Do not complete this form if you:

Your personal information provided on this form will be used in accordance with the Council’s Personal Information Policy.

What happens next

We will either reduce the bill or let you know why we have not been able to do so.

If we need more information we will contact you.

Start my application

Medium - This form usually takes a few minutes to complete

Updated: 15 July 2020

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