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Council tax discounts

Students

If you are a student or there is a student in your home, you may be entitled to a council tax reduction.

Definition of a student

For council tax purposes a student is someone who is:

  • 18 years old and their parent or guardian is still entitled to child benefit for them
  • Under the age of 20 and they left school or college on or after May 1, having finished a qualifying course of education in the same year. This will stop if they reach the age of 20 during the period May 1 to October 31, or at October 31 (whichever is sooner)
  • Under the age of 20 and studying for a qualifying course of education that is not higher education.
  • Taking a full-time course of education, at a college or university. (This is at least 21 hours per week for 24 weeks within an academic year.)
  • A student nurse and studying academic courses at college or university (e.g. student midwives and trainee health visitors)
  • Appointed as a foreign language assistant at a school or college in Great Britain and registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges

Exemptions

An exemption can be granted on your council tax if

  • the home is only lived in by full-time students
  • a full time student leaves their home empty during term time to go elsewhere to take up a full time course

You can apply for a student exemption by completing the online form.

Discounts

The full council tax bill assumes that there are at least two adults living in the property. When only one person over 18 years lives in the property a discount of 25% can be awarded. However, some adults are not counted, and in certain circumstances a discount can still be awarded if there is more than one adult.

Students are one of the groups of people who are not counted. For example:

Household composition Discount awarded
2 parents and 1 student No discount as 2 other adults counted
1 adult and 2 students 25% discount as only 1 adult counted
2 adults one of which is a student 25% discount as 1 adult counted

How to claim a student reduction

If you think your council tax should be reduced because all but one of the adults in the household are students, you can apply online for a single person discount.  

You will be able to attach the proof we need with your form or send it to us afterwards.

Details of the proof that should be provided.

Situation
Someone who is...
Proof required
18 years old and their parent or guardian is still entitled to Child Benefit for them
  • A copy of the first two pages of child benefit book or
  • Official letter confirming child benefit (including who it is for)
Under the age of 20 and they left school or college on or after May 1, having finished a qualifying course of education in the same year
  • A letter from the schoolconfirming the student’s name, date of birth., that they were studying full time, the details of the qualifying course and the date they ceased to attend; or
  • A student certificate from the college
Under the age of 20 and studying for a qualifying course of education that is not higher education
  • A student certificate; or
  • A headed letter from the school or college confirming the studies
  • Proof of their date of birth – either on the letter/student certificate from the school/college or a copy of their birth certificate 
Taking a full-time course of education, at a college or university (inc student nurses)
  • A student certificate from the college/ university. This must confirm the student’s name, that the course is full time, the start and end date of the course and bear the official stamp of the university or college
Appointed as a foreign language assistant at a school or college in Great Britain and they are registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges
  • A student certificate
  • A copy of the passport or visa belonging to the foreign student
A full time student and resident elsewhere (and who wishes to claim an exemption on the previous property as it has been left empty).
  • A student certificate
  • Proof of ownership or tenancy
  • Details of their current address

Payments

If you wish to claim a reduction then you must continue to pay in line with your current bill. If the reduction is awarded you will then be issued with a further bill and new payment instructions. This will take account of any payments you have already made.

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Southwark Council
PO BOX 64529
London SE1P 5LX

0207 525 5000

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