If you live with adults who are not students, there will be a bill for the dwelling. You cannot be held jointly liable to pay the bill, for example, if you are a joint tenant with the non-student(s). However you may still be liable for a bill if you are the only liable person, or if all the jointly liable people are students.
If you are living with someone who has immigration permission as a Student (including a Tier 4 (General) student) because they are a sabbatical officer, are on the doctorate extension scheme, or are a postgraduate doctor or dentist, then they may not be considered to be a 'student' for Council Tax purposes, even though they are sponsored under the Student route (see Who is a "student"). You will need to seek advice from your institution's advice service or Students' Union to find out what their status is in relation to Council Tax, and whether they will be considered to be 'disregarded' for the purpose of the Council Tax bill.
If the only non-student adult in your dwelling is your spouse (husband or wife), civil partner or an adult dependant, the dwelling may still be exempt. The dwelling should still be exempt if your spouse, civil partner or dependant is not a British citizen, and has been given immigration permission to be in the UK with a ‘no recourse to public funds’ condition or a prohibition on employment endorsed in their passport or on their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This covers almost all spouses, civil partners and dependants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland who come to join an international student in the UK.
Some local authorities have refused to recognise that a dependant who has permission to work in the UK but has a ‘no recourse to public funds’ condition is exempt from Council Tax. This generally happens because while the law says that the concession is for a dependant who is prevented from taking paid employment or from claiming public funds, the local authority may interpret the word "or" to mean "and". In May 2012, Mr Justice Sales in the High Court dismissed such an interpretation by the London Borough of Harrow on this basis, in a case specifically about the council tax liability of the dependant of a student. The judgment confirmed that local authorities should be applying the latter "disjunctive" meaning of "or", and that it is sufficient for a spouse to meet one of the requirements, not both. If you wish to appeal against your local authority's interpretation of "or", it is advisable that you seek advice from an adviser at your institution, your Students’ Union, your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or a local solicitor. and refer them to this judgement (Harrow London Borough Council v Ayiku  EWHC 1200). An earlier judgment by Lord Denning in the case of Crosfield Electronics v Baginsky and Others  1 W.L.R. 1135 was not specifically related to council tax or to students, but did have the same interpretation of the word "or".
The dwelling will not be exempt if your non-student spouse, civil partner or adult dependant living with you in the dwelling are:
- A British citizen
- Settled in the UK (with 'indefinite leave to enter' or 'indefinite leave to remain')