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Council Tax Information for Students

Kings College, Aberdeen We hope you have a happy, safe and enjoyable time while studying in Aberdeen.
Remember - exemption from Council Tax IS NOT applied automatically when you are a student. You must apply for Council Tax Discount/ Council Tax Exemption. Get in touch with us as soon as you can using the contacts section below.

Who is classed as a student?

There are 3 definitions of full-time students used for Council Tax purposes:

  • Full time students in further or higher education

A full-time course is defined as one that lasts for at least one academic year. The Student is required to attend for at least 24 weeks a year and undertake, on average, at least 21 hours of study and tuition in each of those weeks. This includes Students undertaking work experience, but only if the periods of study exceed the periods of work experience when aggregated over the whole course. If work experience exceeds study then it will not be treated as a full-time course of education.

N.B. Student nurses studying academic courses at university or college will be treated as full-time students for Council Tax purposes.

  • Students under 20 in non-advanced education

For Council Tax purposes, these students are said to be undertaking "qualifying courses of education". The main conditions are that the student is under 20 years of age, is studying on a course up to but not above Higher level, Ordinary National Certificate (ONC) or Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and is normally required to study for at least 12 hours per week. Also the course should be for at least three months duration.

  • Foreign Language Assistants

Foreign Language Assistants are treated as full time students during any period that they are appointed to a school of other educational establishment in the UK if they have been registered as a foreign language assistant with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges.

If you do not fall into one of these categories, you may be entitled to Council Tax Reduction based on your income. Read more information on Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit.

Council Tax Reliefs

Your Council Tax bill will be reduced if you qualify for Council Tax Exemptions or Discount:

Council Tax Exemption

You may apply for an exemption if:

  • You live alone and are a full-time student
  • All the adult residents are full-time students
  • The residents are any mixture of the following:
  • Full time students
  • Non-British students and their spouses (The Spouse must have 'No recourse to public funds' stated on their passport.)
  • Persons under 18
  • School leavers under 20
  • Severely mentally impaired persons
  • The property is unoccupied and you are the sole liable person and a full-time student
  • All of the liable persons of an unoccupied property are full-time students.

Council Tax Discount

Council Tax legislation makes the assumption that there are 2 adults living in each property.

Certain adults such as full-time students, student nurses, apprentices, mentally impaired persons and certain care workers are not counted in the number of adults in the household for discount purposes.

If, after disregarding these people, one adult remains for Council Tax purposes, a 25% Single Discount may apply.

Proving you are a Student

Aberdeen City Council will consider you to be a Student for Council Tax purposes when we are satisfied with the documentation that you present to us.

Matriculation cards, student loan acceptance letters or acceptance letters from the University or College are not acceptable.

Full Time Students

We will consider your claim where we are presented with a completed student property exemption form or household discount form. In some cases we may require a statutory student certificate, available from the student records office/registry at your College or University, If this is the case the office shall contact you to let you know.

All documentation should be forwarded to Aberdeen City Council where it is recorded for audit purposes.

You will cease to be a student for Council Tax purposes when you have completed your course of study, if you have abandoned it or are no longer permitted by the educational institution to attend it.


How to apply for Household Discount

How to apply for Council Tax Student Exemption


Students Under 20 in non-advanced education

We will consider your claim when we are presented with a letter on headed paper from the Educational Establishment with which you are studying. Please note that you must be studying at a recognised UK establishment.

To apply for Council Tax Discount or Council Tax Exemption on this basis, please send in a certificate/letter from your Educational establishment confirming you are a student and your course start and end dates to the address shown at the bottom of the page.

Foreign Language Assistants

Foreign Language Assistants are treated as full time students during any period that they are appointed to a school or other educational establishment in the UK if they have been registered as a foreign language assistant with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges.

To apply for Council Tax Discount or Council Tax Exemption you must send confirmation that you are registered, as a foreign language assistant, with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges and that you are appointed to an educational establishment to the address shown at the bottom of the page.

Non-British Spouse

If you are the spouse of a non-British full-time student you may also be eligible for exemption from the payment of Council Tax.

To apply for this exemption you will need to provide your passport (the passport of the spouse) along with the Student Property Exemption Form to verify that you have 'No Recourse to Public Funds'. You can bring your passport to the address at the bottom of the page.

Points to remember

  • From 1/2/2001 full-time students are excluded from joint and several liability where they share accommodation with non-students
  • You should advise the council of any change of address as soon as possible
  • Do not ignore a Council Tax bill - confirm your student status with the Council
  • Council Tax Student Discounts and Exemptions can be backdated
  • If you are unhappy with any aspect of your Council Tax you should in the first instance write to Aberdeen City Council at the address below
  • You will already be exempt if you live in a recognised hall of residence
  • Part-time students are NOT entitled to claim Council Tax Exemption. They can, however, apply for Council Tax Benefit
  • You will need to notify Aberdeen City Council of any change to the property i.e.. people or students moving in/out of the property as failure to notify may affect your discount/exemption which could lead to a bill.

If all the residents of a property fall into disregard categories, they may be eligible for . For further information on discounts and the disregard categories, please email us at counciltax@aberdeencity.gov.uk or phone us on 03000 200 292 (lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am-6pm).

To apply for the above discounts, please apply online or download the appropriate form (if applicable), complete and sign it and return it along with the necessary evidence to:

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to  Contact Us

Back to Discounts and Exemptions.