Full-time students are exempt from paying council tax. To count as full time your course must last at least a year and involve at least 21 hours of study per week.
If everyone in your property is a full-time student the whole household will be exempt.
If you are sharing with someone who is not a full-time student the household will not be exempt and any non-student would be liable. However, if only one of you isn't a full-time student that person would be counted as a 'single person occupant' and get a 25% reduction.
Full-time students include:
• Students enrolled on a full-time university course;
• Students doing a placement as part of a full-time course;
• Students enrolled on a full-time course who are doing resits on a part-time basis or without attendance, e.g. modular repeats or reassessments without attendance;
• Students who have suspended, but not ended, their studies e.g. taken a Leave of Absence.
At the end of your course you will become liable for council tax until the end of your tenancy, even if you move out early. This could mean you are liable for council tax in this area from early July to August-September. It is your responsibility to contact the council to tell them you're moving out and make sure you pay any council tax you are liable for, as costs can escalate quickly if you don't pay.
Proving Your Status
The University sends a list of full-time students to the local councils of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent and Cheshire East. However, we still advise contacting your local council to tell them your name is on the list and to make sure they don't send you a bill. If you're living in another council area or if there are any problems with the list you can send them a student status letter - you can find this by logging into eVision, clicking on the 'Common Actions' button on the home page, then selecting the 'My Status Letter' button.
It is very important that you don't ignore correspondence from the council as they will keep pursuing you for council tax until they've confirmed your student status and you could still be liable for any costs the council has incurred, such as debt collectors and court fees, in spite of your council tax exemption. Make sure you contact the council as soon as possible and if you need any help you can come to ASK.
Unfortunately, part-time students are not exempt from paying council tax. The only exception is if you are officially a full-time student but are repeating on a part-time basis (see above).
Full-time Postgraduate Research continuation students will still be exempt from council tax and their names will be included on the list of full-time students sent to the local councils. If you're having any problems with the council, please get in touch with us.