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What is council tax

What is Council Tax?

Council tax is charged by local authorities on homes in their area to pay for local public services. The council tax bill depends on the value of your property and which valuation band it is in. Properties are banded from A-H with A being the lowest. The bill also depends on the number of adults (people aged 18 or over) living there. In this advice guide we refer to the property or home as ‘the dwelling’. Council Tax is charged on the basis that there are a minimum of two adults living in the dwelling. When counting the number of adult residents, full-time students studying on higher education courses of at least 24 weeks in an academic year are ignored and can claim council tax exemption. Other people who are also disregarded include:

  • Anyone under 18
  • Anyone 18 or over for whom child benefit is payable
  • Partners of students who are not British citizens and who cannot work or claim benefits
  • Carers who live with disabled students who are not their spouse, parent or child
  • Diplomats

For a full list of exemptions see:

Note: As council tax is charged on a dwelling and not on a person, if you are liable to pay, the dates will be aligned with the start and end dates of your tenancy. This means that if you sign a tenancy agreement but move into accommodation later than the start date of the tenancy, you will be liable to pay council tax from the start date of the tenancy, not when you moved in. Conversely, your liability would end on the last day of the tenancy, not when you move out, if this is before the last date of the tenancy. 

Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

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