Council tax

Student council tax discount and exemption process

After you apply for a student council tax discount or exemption we check your details or review your student exemption certificate on receipt of your application.

If you are studying in York, we will check the details you have provided against list provided by the educational establishments in York.

We normally receive the lists from universities and colleges during October and November so we can't process your details until then. When the lists have been received and your details are checked we'll issue an exemption notice, as appropriate.

If you are studying outside of York, we will confirm your student status on the basis of your student exemption certificate.

If your circumstances change at any point after making your application, you should inform us. See Student council tax change of circumstances for examples of when this might be necessary.

We aim to respond within 10 working days. However at peak periods we handle a large volume of applications from the student population in York; we appreciate your patience at such times.

Prevention of recovery action

If all occupants at an address are full-time students, and all have applied for exemption, then you do not need to make payments against any initial bills issued.

As soon as you tell us that your household is exempt on the basis of student occupation, we will update your account so that you don't face recovery action due to non-payment of your council tax.

  • if you are making your application at the start of an academic year, you must tell us before October
  • if you are making your application part way through the academic year, you must tell us as soon as possible

We will then put a temporary hold on your council tax bill. This will stop reminders and summons letters being sent to you.

If the student status of all occupants is confirmed we'll award a full student exemption. If there's an issue with any occupants we'll contact you.

We can only place a hold on recovery action if all the occupants of a house are students and all have applied for exemption.

We will not be able to place a hold on recovery action if:

  • one or more occupants in your household have not applied for exemption
  • there is a dispute over whether there is any liability at the property

In such cases payments will be expected in respect of any bill issued, until any dispute is resolved.

If you receive a summons

A single bill is issued to the property for all liable parties. In the case of full-time students this should show an exemption for the duration of your studies.

However, you will only be exempt if all the occupants of a house are students and all have applied for a discount or exemption.

If the student status of any occupants remains unconfirmed, or the necessary applications are not made, then you may face recovery action for non-payment.

If you have received either a reminder or a summons contact the Council Tax Team to check the status of your discount application.

Also see

Council Tax appointments

To get council tax advice in person at West Offices, you need to make an appointment.

Make an appointment