I'm being charged council tax

what can I do?

Paying Council Tax and applying for exemptions or discounts varies between councils. Contact yours directly for advice

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

Do I have to pay?

Full-time students are typically entitled to some form of exemption or discount, but this depends on your individual circumstances. 

If you arrive in London before you are enrolled, or if you stay beyond your official programme end date, you may need to pay tax for that period.  The end date of your course is not the date of your graduation ceremony.  Check your Certificate of Enrolment for your programme end date.  You are not eligible for exemption during the period when you are waiting for your results.

PhD students should note that their exemption from Council Tax ends on their official thesis submission date. The time spent awaiting your viva and completing any corrections does not count unless you have major corrections that require you to be enrolled again in full time studies.

You will also need to pay if you interrupt or withdraw your studies, or if you are an registered student returning to LSE to re-sit exams. 

What's the difference between a registered student and an enrolled student?

A registered student may be a student who is still linked to the School but is not attending teaching undertakin their research.  For example you are on an interruption of studies or you have completed all of your assessments and you are awaiting your results.

An enrolled student is expected to be  enagaged with their studies, attending teaching, writing their dissertation or undertaking their research.  Only enrolled students on a full-time degree are eligible for an exemption from Council Tax. 

Who can give me advice about Council Tax?

Contact your Council directly with any questions in the first instance.

The Students' Union Advice and Support Service may also be able to offer initial advice.  International students should refer to the info below.

What should I do if I receive a Council Tax bill?

The process for paying Council Tax and applying for exemption or discount varies depending on your council. Contact them directly with questions. However, they're all likely to need proof of your student status from us. When and how you request this varies by your status.

New students

You are unable to request a document for Council Tax exemption purposes until after your designated campus enrolment date. Prior to enrolment you may be liable for council tax.   

Current students

You will need to provide proof of your student status to your council. There is a self-service system for generating the Certificate of Enrolment, but you are only able to request a Certificate of Enrolment after you have registered on your designated enrolment date. If you are a continuing student, Certificates of Enrolment normally become available in September. 

You can request a Certificate of Enrolment by clicking on this link and filling out the form.


If you need proof that you were a student in previous academic years, submit an enquiry to request proof of the dates that you were a student.  Please note that if you stay in London beyond your official programme end date in which you are an enrolled 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 an enrolled student.  

International students

Council Tax regulations,  as they relate to international students, are very complex.  For more details, please read the UKCISA guidance on Council Tax

You are only exempt from Council Tax up to your official programme end date as stated on your CAS. Having a valid Student visa after this date does not exempt you from Council Tax as these are separate regulations and you must ensure you start paying Council Tax as soon as you are liable. Failure to pay Council Tax can lead to a Court Case, which could affect future visas.

Nearby local authorities

The links below will take you to the Student Council Tax pages for local authorities near to LSE

If you do not know which local authority your property is in, search on the Council Tax valuation list by entering your postcode.

If your authority is not listed above perform an internet search for 'student council tax exemption' and include the name of the council.

What if I live in halls?

Students in LSE-owned halls are automatically exempt from paying Council Tax. If you live in intercollegiate or privately owned halls (e.g. Unite, Urbanest) you may need to provide a a Council Tax Letter to your hall management team. Please check with your hall reception.

Where to get advice

The Citizens Advice Bureau offers comprehensive information on the discounts and exemptions available.

You can get a range of housing advice from the LSESU Advice Centre.