Who is eligible for a council tax exemption or discount?

Council tax is a tax applied to a property, with the full amount depending on the value of the property. It’s often forgotten about while working out housing budgets, so it’s important to be aware of the cost before you start renting a property. To find out how much you need to pay, you’ll need to find out your home’s valuation band, how much your local council charges for that band and if you're eligible for a council tax discount or exemption. To find out more about the last step, keep reading.

Full time student council tax

Households where everyone living there is a full-time students are eligible for a council tax exemption don’t have to pay council tax.

In order to count as a full-time student, and therefore be eligible for a full time student council tax exemption, you must be enrolled in a course of study which lasts for at least one year and involves 21 or more hours of study per week. For those under 20 and studying for qualifications up to A-levels are also eligible for the full time student council tax exemption as long as the course lasts for at least three months and involves 12 hours or more hours of study per week.

If you are living in a household made up solely of full time students and receive a council tax bill, you must apply for an exemption to inform your local council that you shouldn’t be paying the tax.

Disability Council Tax Discount

Those with a severe mental impairment aren’t taken into consideration when determining council tax. This is also the case for live-in carers who look after someone who isn’t their partner, spouse or child under 18 years old.

Those living in a property than would be required if the occupant/occupants weren’t disabled can apply for the Disabled Band Reduction Scheme. At least one disabled person must use the property as their primary residence for the household to be eligible for the council tax discount.

Occupants must also be able to show that the property has an extra kitchen, bathroom or another room needed for the disable person, or that the property is larger than would otherwise be necessary in order to facilitate the use of a wheelchair.

Single Occupancy Council Tax

The total amount charged in your council tax bill will be calculated under the assumption that at least two adults are living in the property. If you live in the property alone, or if none of the other occupants are classed as adults, you are able to pay single occupancy council tax and receive a council tax discount. To find out who is and isn’t classed as an adult, head to gov.uk’s council tax page here.

If your living situation and another adult moves in to the property, meaning you would lose the single occupancy council tax discount, make sure you inform your local council as soon as possible as, if you don’t, you could be fined.

Now you know about council tax, you’re one step closer to being ready to rent your new place. Why not sign up to Roomlala and find your new home?