housing advice

Council Tax

Council Tax is a charge set by your local council to pay for various local amenities. Not all students are exempt from paying Council Tax, and only full-time students are exempt.

Full-time students

Part-time students

Halls of Residence

Council Tax Q&A


Full-time students

In a household where everyone living there is a full-time student, including yourself, you do not have to pay any Council Tax.

You should apply to your local authority for an exemption. You, and everyone else in the household, will need to provide a letter proving you are full-time students at UEL.

To count as a full-time student, your course must:

  • last at least 1 year
  • involve at least 21 hours study per week

If you have not informed the Council that you are a full-time student a bill does come through you can still apply for an exemption.

You will get a Council Tax bill if there’s someone in your household who’s not a full-time student, but your household might still qualify for a discount (see below).


Providing proof that you are a full-time student

UEL can provide a certificate/letter proving your student status. To arrange this please contact the Hub either via telephone, email or in person (+44 (0) 20 8223 4444, thehub@uel.ac.uk)

Please note that if you have an outstanding debt with the University your document cannot be processed until the debt has been cleared.


What if I’m a full-time student but I live with someone who isn’t a full time student?

Your household would be eligible for Council Tax, but if only one person in the household is not a full-time student then they would be eligible for a 25% discount on the charge.

There may be some pressure for you to contribute to these payments. It is up to you to arrange with your housemates whether or not you contribute toward any payments of Council Tax incurred by the non full-time student members of your household, but remember as a full-time student you not legally obliged to pay.

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Part-time students

If your course of study is shorter than one year and/or if you study less than 21 hours per week, you are eligible to pay Council Tax.

If you are the only member of your household that is not exempt you are eligible for a 25% discount on the charge.

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Halls of Residence

Halls of Residences are exempt from Council Tax. Students in Halls of Residence are not eligible to pay Council Tax.

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Council tax Q&A

What if I am withdrawn from my programme?

If you are withdrawn as a student of UEL for whatever reason, you will no longer be classed as a full-time student and you will be liable for Council Tax payments.

You could claim Council Tax Benefit to help pay for this, but you will need to seek advice on this from your local authority.

If you do remain living with other full-time students and you are the only non-student in the household you are solely liable to pay the Council Tax. Your housemates may decide not to contribute to your payments as they are not liable for Council Tax, though this is something you need to arrange with them.

You should be able to claim the 25% discount from your local authority if you are the only person liable for the Council Tax in your household.


What if I intermit my programme or go on a placement?

If you intermit your studies or go on a placement you will still be counted as a full-time student with UEL for the purposes of Council Tax. You still need evidence to prove your status as a full-time student.


What about holidays?

So long as you are still registered as a full-time student with UEL you will remain exempt until the last day of studies.


I live with my landlord as a lodger, who pays the Council Tax?

Your landlord is liable to pay the Council Tax but that may include your share in the rent that you pay. You should ask your landlord about this when entering into a contract.


What if my course has ended but I am still living in a property waiting for graduation?

When the date on the letter provided by UEL as the end date of your course has passed, from that point onward you will become eligible to pay Council Tax. Your Local Authority could send you a bill for Council Tax payable by your household.

If you live alone or if you are the only eligible person in the household to pay the tax you will be entitled to a 25% discount.

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