Properties occupied by one or more students may qualify for a discount or exemption, depending on the circumstances of the occupants.
Halls of residence
Students who live in halls of residence provided by their university or college are not required to register with the council for Council Tax. However, the information provided below will help students understand what their responsibilities are should they leave halls of residence to live in rented or owned property. You may also download a copy of our Council Tax Student Information Leaflet.
Council Tax exemptions
Properties occupied only by students are exempt from paying Council Tax providing:
The property is the main residence of one or more people, each of whom is a student; or
The property is occupied by one or more students as term-time accommodation
Properties will be considered to be occupied during holiday periods so long as:
Council Tax discounts
Where the circumstances of the occupants of a property do not allow a property exemption (e.g. where not all residents are students) it may be possible to award a discount on the amount of Council Tax which is payable.
A discount will be awarded where there is only one occupier of a property who is not a student as defined below.
What is a student?
For the purpose of Council Tax exemptions and discounts a student is someone who is:
Undertaking a full time course of education provided by a recognized educational establishment where the course lasts for at least one academic or calendar year. The student must be required to study for an average of 21 hours per week for 24 weeks; or
A PHD student who is "writing up"
Under the age of 20 years and in further education. The course must last for at least 3 months, during which the student is required to study for more than 12 hours per week; or
A practicing foreign language assistant who is registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchange; or
A student nurse or student midwife; or
Certain apprentices and youth training trainees; or
A person who is not a British Citizen, is a spouse or dependent of a student and is prevented by the terms of their leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom from taking paid employment or claiming benefits.
School or college leavers under 20 years old who leave after 30th April continue to qualify as students until 1st November of the same year.
How do students claim an exemption or discount?
As soon as a student occupies a property, it is important that details of all occupants are provided to the council.
We will require the name of each adult (i.e. over 18 years old) who lives in the property and the date they moved in. If the property is rented we may ask for a copy of the tenancy agreement.
Supporting evidence to prove ‘student status’ is required before a discount or exemption will be awarded.
You will need to let us know of any changes of occupants in the property.
If a new occupant moves in and they are a student, proof of their ‘student status’ must be provided
You can download an application form, or collect one from the customer service enquiry counter or by making a request by telephone, e-mail or fax to the Revenues and Benefits office. Please see ‘How to contact us’
What evidence is acceptable to prove ‘student status’?
A certificate of student status provided by the educational establishment. The original certificate must be provided, copies are not acceptable.
The student registration number if the course is provided by Leicester University or DeMontfort University.
For PHD students, a letter from the academic registrar of the university confirming the terms of the study being undertaken
If none of the above are available, the letter offering a place the student a place at the college or university plus proof that the course fees have been or are being paid.
Who would be liable to pay the charge after a discount has been awarded?
Where a property is occupied by both students and non-students and each occupant is jointly responsible as an owner or tenant, only the non-students will be liable to pay Council Tax.
What happens when students live in a property which is classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
If a property is occupied by more than one family unit where the residents pay rent separately for different parts of the property and perhaps share cooking or washing facilities, the property may be classed as a HMO. The owner of the property is the liable person for Council Tax where the property is classed as a HMO.
Both Leicester University and De Montfort University provide lists of students living in the city to the Council, however, these lists are not 100% accurate, and are not updated if a student changes their address. There are many instances every year where students face legal action to recover unpaid Council Tax, simply because they did not inform the council of their address or their student status.
Save yourself and the Council money, time and trouble by providing your name, address and student details as soon as you move to Leicester or change your address within Leicester.
If YOU don’t tell us that you are a student, you may be held liable to pay Council Tax, plus any applicable court fees and bailiffs’ fees.