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Student exemption from council tax

Full-time students are usually exempt from council Tax. Find out how to claim your exemption.

If you live on campus in a hall of residence, you won't be billed for Council Tax.

If you live off campus, you need to register for Council Tax and prove you are a student to get exemption, but this is quick and easy to do.

Students living off campus

If you live off campus, whether in a rented or privately owned property, you need to register for Council Tax to claim exemption. If you have not received a Council Tax bill, then you are not registered.

To register: email ctax@guildford.gov.uk with the following details:

  1. Your name
  2. The names of the other occupiers
  3. Term-time address
  4. Date your tenancy started and when you moved in
  5. Where you are studying

Proof of student status: University of Surrey students

If you study at the University of Surrey and live in the following postcode areas: GU1, GU2, GU3, GU4, GU5, GU7, GU8, GU12, GU16, GU10, GU23, GU24, KT23, KT24, we can confirm your student status with the University and process your exemption immediately.

We can only access this information from the University if you did not tick the 'opt out' box when you registered at the University self-service online. If you opted out in error, then it is quick to change this by logging back on and unticking the box.

If we cannot confirm your student status, you will be liable for the full Council Tax charge.

Proof of student status: students studying elsewhere

Please obtain a 'Council Tax student certificate' from your college or university, then scan it and email it to: ctax@guildford.gov.uk  or post to: Guildford Borough Council, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, GU2 4BB,  remembering to include your term-time address.

Next steps

  • Once you have registered and proved you are a student, you will be sent confirmation of this.
  • If you live in a house occupied only by students you will be sent a bill with your name on it, confirming you are exempt from Council Tax.
  • If you share with a non-student, they will be liable for the Council Tax, but we will remove your name from the bill for the periods covered by your college or university.

If you have received a bill to pay

We can only exempt you for the official dates as advised by your college or university. If you moved in before you became a student, or stayed on at the house after your course stopped, you will be liable to pay for those periods.

Your exemption finishes when you stop attending lectures, it does not continue until you graduate.

To avoid any unnecessary charges, please let us know as soon as you move out by calling 0330 123 0081.

If you were a student before your current exemption started, we may be able to extend your exemption to cover the interim period. Please call for more details 0330 123 0081.

Further information

The following points are exceptions or additions to the above. For more details, please call 0330 123 0081.

  • If you own a house and have left it unoccupied while you are a student, then you may be exempt for that house as well.
  • If you own the house you live in and are a full-time student, but other people live with you who aren't students, you may still be liable to pay the council tax.
  • Different rules apply to students under 20 years of age on a qualifying course of education.
  • You cannot claim housing benefit whilst you are a student, unless you are disabled, a single parent, or live with a partner who isn't a student.
  • If you are a foreign student and your partner lives with you, they may also be exempt from Council Tax providing their visa prevents them from working or claiming benefit.

Electoral registration and voting

Students can register to vote at both their term time address and their home address as long as they are not within the same borough. If you decide to register at both addresses you are only entitled to vote once in any national election. Find out more on our Non-registration for university students page.