Council tax students
If you are a student moving into the district you should contact the council tax office as soon as you are aware of what property you are moving into and advise us of the address, date of occupation, date of tenancy, and names of all occupiers.
Each occupier should provide their full time course of education details on the student disregard discount application. If the student is studying at either Chichester College or University of Chichester then nothing else needs to be provided. If the studying is taking place elsewhere then a student exemption certificate needs to be provided, this can normally be obtained from the registration office at the educational establishment.
How to register
- first, need to tell us that you have moved, and register for council tax at your new address, then;
- apply for a student reduction (all student details, including course details, need to be provided on one application per property)
Note: please select view change of address services to register, select council tax discount services to apply for a student reduction.
Who is liable for council tax?
In general the occupiers are liable for council tax unless the property is regarded as a "house of multiple occupation".
What is a "house of multiple occupation"?
This is a property which is occupied by a person or persons who do not constitute a "single household". This is generally where the occupier(s) only pay rent for part of the property i.e. their room, and have individual tenancies.
In this situation, the owner of the property is held liable for council tax, or if the property is leased by the owner to another individual, then they are liable as if they are the owner.
Any charge that becomes due is payable by the owner/leaseholder and non-payment would result in recovery action being taken against them and not the occupiers.
What if all the occupiers are students?
If all the occupiers are full-time students and they have completed a student discount application form, and provided a student certificate (not necessary for students at University of Chichester or Chichester College of Technology as they provide a list), then the property will be exempt for the period of their course(s). Residents are only considered students in accordance with the dates either shown on their student certificate, or the dates provided to the council by University of Chichester or Chichester College of Technology, and not the date that you graduate.
What if there is a non-student resident?
Council tax is made up of a 50% charge in respect of the property and 50% in respect of the occupiers (assuming at least 2 adults are resident - 25% per adult).
If all the occupiers except one are disregarded (discounted) as full-time students then there would be a charge of 75% (50% property and 25% for one adult). The person who is not disregarded would also be held liable for the council tax unless it is a house of multiple occupation when the owner would be liable for the charge. This is because the law states (with effect from 1 April 2004) that a student cannot be held jointly and severally liable for council tax with a non-student.
What happens if your tenancy expires after your course ends?
A charge becomes due when your course ends (this will be the date on the student certificate or on the list of UCC and CCT) until the end of the tenancy because you are then not recognised as a student under current legislation. However, if you are under 20 you may qualify to be disregarded as a school/college leaver and you will need to apply for this discount. If you are over 20 and not yet earning or on a low income you may qualify for housing and council tax benefit. If this is the case please contact the benefits section for more information.
What happens in the summer vacation?
If your course is a one year course then you are not regarded as a student from the date your course ends. If you start a new course later, there will be a charge for the gap. If you are on a 2/3/4 year course and you are returning after the summer period, you are still regarded as a full-time student for this time.
Other useful information
- It is also important to tell us of any change in occupiers because this may mean we have to issue a new bill or request further information.
- If you change your course you will need to provide a new certificate or letter from the college or university.
- If you withdraw from your course please tell us immediately so that our records can be amended.
- If you leave the property, you will need to advise us of the date and your forwarding address. If your tenancy has not ceased you may still be liable for a charge.
- It is your responsibility to claim the discount or exemption and to provide all the requested information to allow this to be awarded and the correct bill issued.
- If your tenancy states that council tax is included in your rent, you need to be aware that this does not mean you will not be held liable to pay by the council. The law states that it is the occupier that is responsible for payment unless you live in a house of multiple occupation.