MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Fannie contribute to Mae's council tax?

Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should Fannie contribute to Mae's council tax?

Best friends Fannie and Mae rent a flat together. Fannie's a student, so there’s no legal obligation for her to pay any council tax, but Mae, who works full-time for minimum wage, does have to pay 75% of the bill (as she's the only paying resident it's reduced: see the Council Tax guide). Yet if Mae lived with another non-student she'd split it, so only shoulder 50%, and if Fannie lived with another student the whole house would be council tax free. Mae thinks Fannie should help her out a bit...
Click reply to have your say.

Previous MMDs:

Would you ask for the tenner back?
Would you leave a small shop in the lurch?



  • I don't think Fannie should pay anything. Students don't have to pay council tax because they can't afford to! Wouldn't Mae get some form of council tax benefit if she is on the minimum wage?
    :p Proud to be a MoneySaver! :p
  • i had some friends in this situation. the non- student ended up paying it all. but she is able to work full time whereas the student can only fit work in around her college course. the thing is they must know this before they move in so cant really complain
  • I am in this position at the moment, as the student. Before we moved in together, this was discussed, and it was decided then that we split the council tax bill so my flatmate paid for 50%, and I paid for 25%. But this was because my flatmate was getting us free internet from his job. Our place is only a band B, so it works out about equal anyway.

    It's up to the people to negotiate between them. When considering rent, we included in the cost of bills into what we could afford. I'm fortunate to have a reasonably paid job that fits in with my uni schedule. I'd prefer to pay a bit of council tax to live with a friend than living with students I won't get along with as much, but each to their own.
  • I suspect an "in-kind" share would be my approach - like paying for another (smaller) bill...
  • I've seen ads for flatshares that say that they only want either students or professionals because of this same situation. Some say "students are welcome as long as they are willing to pay council tax". If Mae and Fanny get along as roomies, it's up to Mae to decide if it's worth the hassle and friction of a new roomie to get someone to spilt the council tax evenly. As a student Fannie wouldn't have a lot (if any!) income so Mae shouldn't expect her to contribute on a regular basis. However, if Fannie feels guilty that her best friend has to shoulder all the burden of the council tax, there's nothing stopping her from kicking in a few quid when she can! I don't think it should be a regular set payment though...
    :dance: *inhales deeply* "Ahhhhh! I love the smell of a good deal in the morning! (or just about any time, really...)" :dance:
  • Dorrie
    Dorrie Posts: 66
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Surely anyone with an ounce of common sense would have discussed this before moving in?
  • They should have discussed it before they moved in. Personnally I don't think Fannie should pay as she is exempt as a student and her housemate would have know this before they moved in together. I've got student friends who live with non-students and as they really wanted to live with these people they agreed to pay their share of the council tax, but this was discussed before they signed the rental contract.
    Mortgage-free wannabe #66 £105/4000
  • Demus
    Demus Posts: 24 Forumite
    Mae should have known what she would have to pay council tax before they signed contracts and as such, should have discussed it before signing contracts if she wanted to negotiate anything. As it stands, Mae is the one legally responsible for it and since student loans rarely even cover accommodation, Fannie is unlikely to have any money spare. Fannie should not have to pay simply due to Mae's imprudence.
  • The fact that the student isn't liable for Council Tax is (IMHO) irrelevant here - The fact is that the house has two residents, the house benefits because the council allows a 25% discount. Therefore, the non-student should pay 50% and the student 25% - This is fair!
    Andy Corbett

  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Money Saving Expert
    I'll give you my answer....

    I would say that if Mae were with another worker she would pay 50% of the bill
    If Fannie was with another student she'd pay 0%

    The actual amount to pay is 75%.

    Therefore I would suggest they split the difference... Thus

    Fannie pays 12.5% of the council tax total and Mae 62.5%

    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
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