Financially speaking, being a student isn’t easy. It’s true that students in the United Kingdom receive a maintenance loan in addition to a loan for their course fees. However, making this money last – particularly in the absence of part-time work – is no easy accomplishment. Every penny counts. So any tricks you can use to lower your outgoings are a massive bonus. Particularly if you’re eligible for Housing Benefit or Council Tax discounts, the money you’ll save over the course of your education could make your time at university a lot more comfortable.
Can You Claim Housing Benefits?
Unfortunately, a large percentage of UK students will not be able to claim Housing Benefit, chiefly because the government expect you to finance your accommodation through your student loan. However, there are some circumstances under which you may be eligible. For example, students who already receive income support or income-based jobseeker’s allowance will automatically be able to claim benefit. Likewise, students who have dependent children or are sole guardian/foster parent to a child will always be considered for housing benefit as well. Similarly, students who are forced to take a break from their studies due to illness (or caring for someone who is ill or disabled) may also be eligible. Though most students won’t meet these criteria, there are some who will rightly benefit from their circumstances.
Can I Claim Council Tax Discount?
If you choose to live in a house occupied entirely by students, then you won’t have to pay Council Tax. In order to be exempt from Council Tax, all you need to do is provide student certificates for each housemate, along with a copy of your tenancy agreement. However, the rules become slightly more complicated when you share your house with others who aren’t all students. As a general rule, the non-students will be liable for the Council Tax, though they may be able to receive a reduction based on your student status. A lot depends on the percentage of students to non-students, and the employment status of the non-students. So each case will be treated differently by your local council.
How to Save on Living Costs
Student life is often an austere experience that requires you to be very frugal with your money. As far as accommodation is concerned, whether you’re living in a student house or renting through a private landlord via dssmove.co.uk (or a similar agent), this brief guide should give you an idea of where you can save.