Is my student daughter liable for Council Tax

Last weekend I took my daughter back to uni to start her Masters course (at the same uni she completed her degree at this summer).
She has moved into new accommodation (a non-uni let - which we had to start paying rent on from the end of June - even though she has been living with us in our hometown since the beginning of summer). She shares this new accommodation with 4 other students who are starting the final year of their degrees.
Upon arrival we found a Council Tax bill addressed to her and her alone, for the period of June to September for nearly £500 (though there was a discount of 25% then applied - called 'student disregard').
I have a couple of questions:
Firstly, why is she being told to pay council tax at all (I was led to understand that full-time students are exempt from this)?
Secondly, if she does have to pay council tax, why is she having to pay for the whole property.  Surely she should only be paying a fifth?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,275 Forumite
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    Was she a student between June and September?  She possibly was not, between graduation and starting her next course.  As the only non-student, she would be billed the council tax with single person discount.  So - if she had been living there, I believe this would all be the way council tax works.  The query to try would be that yes, she was paying the rent, but for the period in question only students were living there.
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  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,915 Ambassador
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    She would be liable for the time she wasn't a student. as the only non-student in the house, she is entitled to a 25% discount as the sole person liable in the house.

    The only way round it, and I have successfully argued this, is that she didn't take up residence until September. So even though she was on the tenancy agreement, if you can prove that she didn't reside in the property by being registered elsewhere, they may cancel the bill.
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  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    Last weekend I took my daughter back to uni to start her Masters course (at the same uni she completed her degree at this summer).
    She has moved into new accommodation (a non-uni let - which we had to start paying rent on from the end of June - even though she has been living with us in our hometown since the beginning of summer). She shares this new accommodation with 4 other students who are starting the final year of their degrees.
    Upon arrival we found a Council Tax bill addressed to her and her alone, for the period of June to September for nearly £500 (though there was a discount of 25% then applied - called 'student disregard').
    I have a couple of questions:
    Firstly, why is she being told to pay council tax at all (I was led to understand that full-time students are exempt from this)?
    Secondly, if she does have to pay council tax, why is she having to pay for the whole property.  Surely she should only be paying a fifth?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Residence is a key issue and a potential argument against liability in this case but it's going to be slightly complicated to do so as it will involve the length of the tenancy, who was living in the property across the summer and whether or not they were residents or merely occupiers. It gets deep in to legislation to argue it.

    At the moment they are treating the 5 parties as being ordinarily jointly liable but with her being the only non-student for the period, and so becoming solely liable. This, where there is a liability, would be the correct way to do it.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
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