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Council Tax and students

What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is a system of local taxation collected on domestic property (i.e. your home) by local authorities (councils). Some properties will be exempt, depending on the circumstances of the people who live there.

Are students entitled to an exemption or discount?

Most students are entitled to some form of exemption or discount, but this depends on your individual circumstances. The web pages provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau| are very comprehensive and should answer most of your questions. 

Please note that if you arrive in London before you are registered, or if you stay beyond the last term in which you are a registered student, you may be liable to pay Council Tax for that period.  

No students are eligible for Council Tax exemption after their course has ended.  Check your Certificate of Registration| for the exact end date of your course. Your course end date does not include the period when you are waiting for your results and is not the date of your graduation ceremony.  

Who can give me advice about Council Tax?

If you need legal advice about council tax, visit the Students' Union Advice and Support Service| in the East Building.

What to do if you receive a Council Tax bill

The process for paying Council Tax and applying for exemption or discount varies depending on your council. If you are unsure about the process, contact them directly.

New students: Please note that you are unable to request a document for Council Tax exemption purposes until after your designated registration date. Prior to registration you may be liable for council tax.   

Current students:

  • Camden residents:  Camden Council are running a pilot scheme with LSE to simplify the council tax exemption process so that you can apply online and do not need to submit a certificate of registration.
  • All other councils:  In order to be exempted from council tax you will need to provide your council with proof that you are a student. Print a certificate of registration from LSE for You and bring it with your LSE ID card to the Student Services Centre to have the certificate stamped and signed. You may also request a covering letter from the Student Services Centre to add to your certificate.  If you are a new student who was required to attend a pre-sessional course before Registration, you may also need to send the council a copy of your offer letter which indicates that an early arrival was a requirement for your degree. 

Alumni: If you need proof that you were a student in previous academic years, contact Registry to request proof of the dates that you were a student.  Please note that if you stay in London beyond the last day of the term in which you are a registered student, you are likely to be liable for council tax. 

The end date on your student ID card is for access to LSE services only and does not indicate the final date that you are a registered student.  If you need to confirm your last day of registration, contact Registry. 

Registry email address: registry@lse.ac.uk|

International students

Council Tax rules apply in the same way to all students regardless of nationality. However, if you are a full-time student, you live with your family and no other non-student is sharing your dwelling, you may not have to pay Council Tax, as long as your spouse and children have been admitted to the UK with 'limited leave' as your dependants.

This does not apply if your spouse and/ or children are nationals of a country in the European Economic Area.

No students are eligible for Council Tax exemption after their course has ended. International students are also unable to benefit from the 25% Council Tax reduction for single occupancy. This is because this is a “public fund”.  We advise you to contact your local council about your change of circumstances at the end of your programme.  Visit UKCISA's Public Funds| webpage for further information.

Please be advised that the Council Tax regulations are very complex, and this page can only serve as a general guide.  For more details, please read the UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) detailed guidance note: Council Tax |

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