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  5. Apply for Council Tax: student exemption

Apply for Council Tax: student exemption

If you are a student, you may be exempt from paying Council Tax (Class N). If you live in university halls of residence, we will register your student exemption automatically. You will not receive a Council Tax bill, and you do not need to do anything.

WarningIf you do not live in halls of residence, you must apply to get a Council Tax exemption.


You need to be a full-time student to get a Council Tax exemption.

Confirm that you qualify

To be eligible, your studies must meet all of the following conditions:

  • Your course must last for at least one academic or calendar year.
  • You have to study an average of at least 21 hours per week.
  • You have to study at least 24 weeks per year.

Other ways to qualify

If you do not meet the conditions above, but are aged 18 to 20, we will also consider your studies as full-time, for Council Tax purposes, if your studies meet all of the following conditions:

  • You are working towards a qualification up to (but not above) A level standard, or equivalent.
  • You have to study for at least 12 hours per week.
  • Your course must last for at least three months.

If your studies are not full-time, you will not be entitled to a Council Tax exemption. However, you may be able to claim some help towards paying your Council Tax bill. If this applies to you, please check the Council Tax Support page to learn more.

Before you apply

To apply for a Council Tax exemption, you will need to: 

  • register at an accommodation address in Bath and North East Somerset. If you haven’t already done so, please tell us about your new address.
  • have your Council Tax account number (if we have issued you with a bill). This is a seven or nine digit number, and you can find it in the top left hand corner of your Council Tax bill. If you are unsure, please view this example bill.
  • have confirmation of your status as a full-time student. The process of doing this varies, depending on your course provider. Please see the notes below for more details.
  • confirm who lives in your household, and whether your housemates are also studying. Non-students will be responsible for any Council Tax which is payable. Please see the notes below for more details.

Confirm your student status

For some course providers, you can demonstrate your student status automatically when you register with your Bath and North East Somerset address at the start of the academic year. You will need to give consent for them to share your details with us, and your Council Tax exemption will apply from the start date of your course. We will only use your personal information for Council Tax purposes, and will not share it with any other party.

If you attend Bath University or Bath Spa University, when you enrol each academic year the university will share your information with us, so you only have to provide your student number to us for verification.

For all other colleges and universities, you must supply a copy of your student certificate when completing your application form. Certificates can be obtained from your place of study’s registration office or similar.

Confirm who lives in your household

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

If you are a full-time student and you live with someone who is not, in most cases they will have to pay some Council Tax. The charge will depend on the number of people who are living at the property.

  • If you share with one person who is not a full-time student, we can reduce their Council Tax bill by 25%.
  • If you share with two or more people who are not full-time students, there is no reduction, and the people who are not students will have to pay the full Council Tax charge.

Students who live with a partner or dependants from overseas

If you are a student, and your partner or dependants are not British citizens, and are not allowed to work or claim benefits, none of you will have to pay Council Tax. To apply for your exemptions, you will need to supply copies of all of the following:

  • your student certificate
  • your partner's passport photo page
  • everyone's UK visas

Full-time students who live with part-time students

If you are a full-time student and you share with one part-time student, then we will reduce the Council Tax bill by 25%, and the part-time student is liable to pay the Council Tax.

Apply for a student exemption

Your responsibilities

  • After you have applied for your exemption, you must still pay the instalments on any Council Tax bill you have received, until we issue a new bill.
  • If you disagree with the amount of Council Tax we ask you to pay after we have processed your student exemption, please call us on 01225 47 77 77 or email us at
  • You must inform us immediately if your circumstances change (for example, you stop studying, reduce your course hours, or the people you live with do either of these things).

Cancelling your student exemption

If your circumstances change, you may no longer be eligible for the student exemption. You must tell us immediately about any change. If you do not inform us, this might increase your bill.

Cancel your student exemption

If your circumstances change in other ways, you may be eligible for a different Council Tax discount or exemption. Find out about other discounts and benefits, and schemes which may interest you, by following the links in the panel: More on Council Tax, Other benefits and Community engagement.