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Will giving up being a student and taking unemployed status make us liable for council tax in our student house?


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Hi all,

 

I'm facing a quandary. I'm currently registered as a postgraduate student, but I was recently bereaved and have decided to suspend my studies for a year. I'm self-funding so I would like to just give up my student status and claim jobseeker's allowance, and look for a job for this year to tide me over. However, if I do that I'm worried that as the only non-student in a house with three students, I would become liable (and not exempt) for the council tax bill for the whole property (this is certainly what would happen if I were employed and living with students).

 

I'd like to assume that I would be exempt because I would be unemployed, but I have nightmare visions of my quarter of the council tax being exempt, but being liable for the remaining three quarters. (To give an idea about the property, each of the four of us pay £350 rent per month). I imagine that this amount of council tax would exceed my jobseeker's allowance and so I'd end up worse off than now if I started claiming.

 

Can anyone help me on this?

 

Many thanks

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Hi. The answer is yes, you - and only you - would be liable for the full balance of council tax at that property. If you are the only non-student in a house of students then you would get a 25% single occupancy discount because the other students are disregarded. You don't become exempt because you're unemployed; you would need to submit a housing and council tax benefit claim in order to get any further reduction. HB and CTB are means-tested so the amount you would be awarded depends on what money you have coming in and going out, and any savings - in light of this there is no guarantee that your unemployed status would give you full CTB. It will take a couple of weeks for your claim to be assessed and you are liable for the full amount (in your case the full balance minus 25%) of CT in the meantime. Anything you end up overpaying can be refunded.

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