Do Placement Students Pay Council Tax?

If you are a placement student in the UK who is wondering whether or not they have to pay council tax, you will find detailed guidance in the following blog post. We will not only discuss whether placement students are liable for council tax payments but also review different real-life situations that can affect them and any potential benefits that they may be able to gain from local council authorities, due to their placement student status.

Do Placement Students Pay Council Tax?

No, placement students don’t have to pay council tax. Being classed as full-time students, placement students are exempt from council tax even if there are no formal classroom sessions to attend during periods of placement.

However, the council authorities need to be informed of your status especially if you were liable for council tax payments, before entering a placement course. For this, you would need to get in touch with your local council office, inform them of your status as a placement student, provide them with evidence that supports your claim and formally apply for a council tax exemption.

If you are a placement student seeking council tax exemption, you should know that your application should be supported with evidence of you being a placement student. This can either be a confirmation letter stating your admission to the course or a statement from the university that mentions your student placement status.

In case you are wondering if you need to pay council tax during the holiday, you should know that this is not the case. Once you are registered as a placement student, the council tax exemption applies to you during the entire period of your course; including vacations.

Do Placement Students Pay Council Tax If They Live With Non-Students?

No, placement students will not be liable for council tax if they live with non-students but the property that they live in will no longer be exempt from council tax payments. This means that the non-student(s) living with the placement student will be liable to pay council tax. 

For instance, if you are a placement student who lives with a partner who is not a full-time student, they will be responsible for council tax payments. Your partner can be employed, unemployed or claiming benefits but if you share a house with a partner, they have joint responsibility for council tax; whether or not their name is on the tenancy agreement. If your partner is on a low income, they may qualify for a council tax reduction but they will still remain the responsible party in this case.

In another situation, if a group of placement students share accommodation and one of them drops out of the course (even if it is temporary), the household will no longer be exempt from council tax bills. Dropping out of a course makes the student lose their full-time student status and removes the council tax relief they were eligible for. They will now be considered the sole adult in the house and will be able to avail of the 25% discount single-person discount on their council tax bill as long as they remain out of the course.

Do Placement Students Pay Council Tax If They Are On A Student Visa?

No, placement students don’t pay council tax if they are on a student visa. If you are an international student on a student placement program in the UK, you will be able to avail exemption from council tax payments in the same way as UK citizens.

However, if you share your residence with a host family, their liability for council tax payments remains unaffected by your placement student status.

If you are an international student undertaking a placement course in the UK and live with a partner, they should either be a UK citizen or have a work visa if they are not a placement student as well. Being a non-student makes your partner the sole adult in your household who will be held responsible for council tax bills.

How Do You Apply For A Council Tax Exemption If You Are A Placement Student?

To apply for a council tax exemption bases on your placement student status, you should contact your local council office and ask them if they have any specific requirements for the documentation that you need to provide. If a written application (via email or post) along with your university admission letter suffices as supportive evidence, you can provide them with these and proceed with your application.

If the council requires a formal certificate from your university, you may have to get in touch with the student affairs department of your university and ask them to provide you with a council tax exemption certificate based on your placement student status.

In some cases, councils will require universities to share the certificate with them directly while in other cases, the applicant would need to provide the document along with their application for council tax exemption.

Once you have provided the required documents to your local council office, you should wait for their confirmation of your exemption status.


The above discussion brings us to the conclusion that placement students are exempt from council tax payments due to their status as full-time students. However, if they share their accommodation with non-students, the council tax exemption cannot be applied to them as well and will remain only with the placement student. This means that other household members cannot benefit from the council tax exemption of a placement student.


Students & Council Tax

Council tax and students | University of Reading