Do You Have To Pay Council Tax After Graduation?

If you graduating soon and wondering if you need to pay council tax, you will find guidance in the content ahead. In this blog post, we will discuss the factors determining whether you need to pay council tax after graduation and the steps you can take to ensure you’re not paying more than necessary. 

Do You Have To Pay Council Tax After Graduation?

Yes, you have to pay council tax after graduation. In fact, you become liable for council tax payments as soon as you cease to be a full-time student, which can be as early as the end of your last exam. This means that you will have to start paying council tax (depending on your circumstances) even before you graduate.

This means that it is most likely that you will be liable for monthly payments of council tax bills once you are no longer a full-time student. Council tax applies to adult residents of a property as long as they are registered with the local councils as the responsible person for council tax payments. This is irrespective of whether the resident is a tenant or owner-occupier.

Council tax is a tax imposed by local authorities on residents in their area. The rate of tax depends on a variety of factors including the size of the property and the location, but it is typically between 10% and 15% of your income. 

If you live in a house or flat with other people who are not part of your family, you may be liable for council tax. This means that even if you are only staying at the property for a short period of time (such as for the duration of your studies), you could still be liable for the council tax due. 

When you move out of a property, the local authority may contact you and ask you to pay any outstanding council tax. If this happens, it is important to keep track of any payments made so that you can be sure that you have paid what you owe.

It is also worth noting that council tax may be applicable if you are living in student accommodation. Depending on where you live, you may be liable for a certain amount of council tax if you live on a property shared with other students. In some cases, this amount may be reduced or even waived if everyone living on the property is studying full-time. 

How Does Council Tax Apply To Students?

At a basic level, it may be stated that part-time students are liable for council tax while full-time students are exempt from council tax payments (this is based on the assumption that the comparison is regarding students who are older than 18 years of age).

You will be considered a full-time student under the following conditions:

  • the course that you have undertaken lasts at least 1 calendar year for at least 24 weeks and typically involves at least 21 hours of study; or
  • you work for at least 30 hours a week as an apprentice and earn below the national minimum wage

This means that if you are a full-time student living alone, you will not have to pay council tax at all. If you are a full-time student living with another full-time student (or more), the same rule of exemption will apply to both (or all) of you.

If you are a full-time student living with a non-full-time student, your exemption from council tax will earn them a 25% discount on their council tax bill. 

If you are taking time off during a course, you will remain exempt from council tax payments as long as you return to complete the course. On the other hand, if you take a break between undergraduate and post-graduate courses (which one is most likely to), you will not be exempt from council tax payments.

Can Students Get Help With Council Tax Payments?

Some students can get help with council tax payments (among other housing costs). If a student faces any of the following situations, they can qualify for support through local councils: 

  • lone-parent students and student couples who have children
  • full-time students whose partner is not a full-time student
  • anyone who claims Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, the Disability Premium or Disabled Student’s Allowance for deafness
  • individuals who are under 22 years of age and not in higher education 
  • individuals who are under 20 and someone claims Child Benefit for them
  • anyone who had to interrupt their course due to illness or caring responsibilities 
  • anyone who is covered by a sick note stating that they have not been able to work due to illness or disability for at least 28 weeks
  • part-time students


The above discussion clearly indicates that council tax is due on students after graduation in most cases. However, there are certain circumstances under which council tax reduction and other financial support can be claimed by those individuals who have completed their graduation.


When do I become liable to start paying Council Tax?

Council tax for students – Citizens Advice

Can students get help with rent and Council Tax?