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Do landlords pay council tax for students?

Landlords should make sure they’re aware of the rules surrounding who pays council tax for rented student accommodation before they draw up a tenancy agreement.

Whether or not council tax needs to be paid on a property that is being let to students, and who is responsible for paying the bill if there is one, depends on several factors.

In this article, we will explore the council tax exemption rules and whether the responsibility to pay the bill falls with the tenant or student landlord.

Are students exempt from council tax?

In most cases, full-time students are exempt from paying council tax while part-time students are still required to pay it.

If a student house is only occupied by full-time students, then the property is exempt from council tax.

If there is a mixture of students and non-students living in a property, then the students are still exempt and the bill goes to the non-student/s.

The following people are exempt from paying council tax:

  • Full-time students
  • People aged under 25 who are enrolled on a government training scheme
  • People aged under 20 who are studying a course up to A-levels
  • Student nurses
  • Those employed in an apprenticeship and earning less than £195 per week

To be classified as a full-time student you must be on a course that is at least a year long and requires at least 21 hours of study each week.

If you are a part-time student rather than a full-time one, then it is likely that you will need to pay council tax. However, you may be able to get a discount; check the government website to see if you are eligible for one.

The exemption is only applicable while all tenants qualify. As soon as a student’s studies end, they will be liable for council tax.

Who should pay council tax?

Whether the responsibility to pay the council tax bill falls with the student or landlord depends on whether the property is an HMO (house of multiple occupancies).

Any students who are liable to pay council tax and have a sole tenancy, or a joint tenancy, will need to arrange to pay the bill themselves.

However, it is the landlord who should arrange to pay any amounts owed for council tax if the property in question is an HMO and students each have an individual tenancy agreement.

Usually, if this is the case, the landlord factors the cost of the council tax into the rental price.

Landlord responsibilities for council tax

As well as being responsible for paying the council tax bill for student HMOs, landlords must also pay council tax for the property during any period where the property is empty with no one living in it.

For further help or advice for student landlords, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team of specialist student letting agents at Student Haus by calling us on 0161 694 6427.