If you live in university halls, or in a house where everyone is classed as a full-time student for Council Tax purposes, you’ll be exempt from paying Council Tax.

Who counts as a full time student  /  What you need to do  /  Living with non-students  Telling us about a change  /  Other discounts and exemptions 

Who counts as a full-time student for Council Tax purposes

You’ll usually be considered a full-time student for Council Tax purposes if: 

  • you're enrolled on a course of education lasting for at least one academic or calendar year, and
  • your course requires you to study at least 21 hours per week, and at least 24 weeks out of the year. 
    You must meet both of these criteria for the hours and weeks.


  • you’re under 20 and your course leads to a qualification up to (but not above) A level standard or equivalent. As long as it lasts for more than three months and involves more than 12 hours of study per week.

What you need to do

If you’ve moved into university accommodation or halls of residence, you don’t need to do anything. It’s the responsibility of the university to inform us that only students live in their accommodation.

If you’ve moved into other accommodation, we’ll need to confirm your student status in order to grant your Council Tax exemption. You can’t claim your exemption until your course has started. You will need to register with your university or college at the beginning of the academic year. Please remember to use your Bath and North East Somerset address when registering.

There are different processes depending on where you are studying:

Students at the University of Bath and Bath Spa University

We’ll be able to validate your student status with the university directly, as long as you agree for your details to be passed to us when you register. To do this you must leave the tick box at the bottom of the online registration form checked. Contact us once you've registered and we'll check your details and apply your exemption.

University of Bath students: Register your details online at www.bath.ac.uk/registration-on-line

Bath Spa University students: You'll be invited to register with Bath Spa University at the beginning of your course and at the start of each academic year that you study at the university. During registration you'll have the opportunity to consent for your details to be shared with B&NES Council for Council Tax purposes, as explained above. 

If you didn't opt for your details to be shared with B&NES Council during BSU registration for the current academic year, you should request confirmation of your student status to submit to us. Please email mycourse@bathspa.ac.uk to request a student council tax email or council tax letter. This will be sent to your BSU email account or term-time address, which you will then need to submit to us. 

Students at other institutions

If you're studying at a different institution, you’ll need to get in touch with us. You can either complete the online exemption form, or phone us on 01225 47 77 77.  

We may be able to contact the establishment ourselves to confirm your student status, or we may ask you to provide your Student Certificate. A Student Certificate can be obtained from the Student Administrator at your college or university. If you’re able to scan a copy of your certificate, please email it to us at counciltax@bathnes.gov.uk. Alternatively you can post a copy to Council Tax, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG, or drop it into a One Stop Shop in Bath, Keynsham or Midsomer Norton.

Living with non-students

If you live with someone who’s not a full-time student

If you’re a full-time student and you live with someone who isn’t, in most cases your household will receive a Council Tax bill. Depending on who else lives with you, your household might be able to get a discount (or in some cases an exemption). 

If you're a student and you share your address with someone who is not a full-time student, then we can reduce the Council Tax bill by 25%.

If you're a student and you rent your address with two or more joint tenants who are not full-time students, then there is no reduction and the people who are not students are liable to pay the Council Tax.

Students with a partner or dependants from overseas

If you're a student, and your partner or dependants are not British citizens and are not allowed to work or claim benefits, you will both (or all) be exempt from paying the Council Tax. This means that you will not have to pay it. You need to send us a copy of your partner's passport and your student certificate.

Students living with an owner-occupier

If you live with someone who owns the house you live in and they're not your partner, that person must pay Council Tax. However, they may be able to claim a 25% discount because you're a student.

Part-time students

Part-time students must pay Council Tax, but they may be entitled to some help towards paying the bill.

Full-time students who share with part-time students

If you're a full-time student and you share a property with a joint tenant who is a part-time student, then we reduce the Council Tax bill by 25% and the part-time student is liable to pay the Council Tax.

For more information about other discounts your household could qualify for, please visit the discounts and exemptions section.

You must tell us about any of the following changes

  • If you leave your course early you will no longer be exempt from paying Council Tax. Even if you live in a property with other students, you will become liable to pay Council Tax from the date you leave your course.  
  • If you or any of the people you live with cease to be students. 
  • If you or anyone else moves in or out of the property before the end of the tenancy agreement. You must also let your landlord or letting agent know.

If you have a student exemption or discount you must tell us within 21 days of any change in your circumstances that could affect it. 

Other discounts and exemptions

See the discounts and exemptions page for more information.

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