Council Tax deduction if Lodger is a Student

Council Tax deduction if Lodger is a Student

10:25 AM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago 7

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I am a live-in Landlord, and qualify for the Council Tax single occupant discount. I have just rented out my spareroom to a student, hence can I claim council tax as allowable expenses if my lodger is a student? Council Tax deduction if Lodger is a Student


Jane G

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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

10:27 AM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Hi Jane

I would suggest you write to your local Council Tax office.

Mike W

12:11 PM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Hi Jane,

I am not an expert and moreover live in Scotland which has a different legal system. Nonetheless I think the same principles apply. I think the student is disregarded for council tax but you need to apply to the council for exemption. The council will want evidence he/she is a student. So you will pay the council tax with single person exemption in either case - there is no change. As there is no change to your costs there is no expense to be claimed. The issue of expenses also depends on whether you are using the rent a room scheme or treating the income as letting income and providing the accounts.


12:31 PM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Hello Jane. I'm not an expert either, but am concerned you will lose your single-person discount because there are now two people in your property. OK, the student is exempt from paying, but council tax will still be applied on the number of people in the property, not the number of non-exempt people. I once had a similar situation where I let a shared house to four people, three of whom were postgraduate students and one a working person. The Council assessed full council tax on the property, and the students expected the working person to pay the full amount on his own because they argued that they should be exempt. Needless to say, the working person decided to move on because he was expected to pay four times more council tax than he would in a "normal" house, and he was replaced by a student, so there was no council tax payable on the whole property.

If you have to pay more council tax because of the student, and you are treating the income as letting income rather than claiming the Rent-a-Room allowance, then I think you can claim the extra council tax only as an expense. However your existing council tax payment cannot be counted as an expense, because you are already paying it and it has nothing to do with the presence of the lodger.

Romain Garcin

13:05 PM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

I think that for the single occupant discount to apply there must be only one occupant counted for council tax purposes.
So if your lodger is a full-time student you should still qualify and be solely responsible for the council tax.

Mandy Thomson

13:23 PM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "26/11/2014 - 12:31":

Hi Tony

I researched this thoroughly when I wrote my advice site about taking in a lodger, and everywhere I checked said full time students are exempt, and any non student living them therefore still qualifies for single occupier discount - indeed, my first two tenants were a full time worker and his student girlfriend - the working tenant got his single occupier discount.

I therefore had a look again just now - it's still the same. I then had a look at the TYPE of student. It seems that SOME local authorities will not count a postgraduate as a student during the writing up phase of their course - could this have been the case with your housemates?


14:04 PM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "26/11/2014 - 13:23":

More likely the rules were being mis-applied, or I was told an incorrect story by my tenant: in the scenario I outlined, the single working tenant would still have been liable for 75% council tax, so that would have been nearly as great a source of resentment as paying 100%.

If Jane still gets her 25% exemption, that's good news, but it surely can't be charged as an expense because there's no cost attributable to the presence of the lodger.

Mandy Thomson

14:18 PM, 26th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "26/11/2014 - 14:04":

That's right, she wouldn't be able to claim her own council tax as an expense assuming she opted out of Rent a Room.

If she stays with Rent a Room, she can't claim expenses but doesn't need to fill in a tax return PROVIDED she isn't making more than £4250 pa from lodger room rental income, and if she is, she can still apply the Rent a Room exemption to the first £4250, and is only taxed on the remainder.

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