Council tax is one of those things that shouldn’t bother students…we are exempt as students occupants, yet when it comes to one person missing out on doing their MA and living as a ‘professional’ in the household…well then its gets a little screwy.
As was the case with my house.
One of my housemates missed out on doing an MA due to pulled funding which meant that she was technically not a student – at least for a year – and so she is going to work full-time for a year and self-fund next year, but that meant that the household was put in a jeopardy.
As a classified ‘student’ house of 5 we didn’t have to pay a penny of council tax but if one of us is not a student then we do – sort of – the person paying the tax gets a discount as the rest of us are still students, but when we looked at what she had to pay the council made it sound like we have to pay £20 a month alongside the ‘professional housemate’ who pays £100 on her own. Now this freaked us all out as some of us only have student finance enough to cover the rent, others didn’t even realise that they had to pay bills, let alone council tax and all of us were a little pissed at the prospect at having to fork out money for a tax which technically we are exempt from!
As you can imagine there were a lot of group discussions.
Luckily for our group the girl who is not a ‘professional’ is very lovely and told us straight that she was not going to make us pay a tax that she got us into, so she has taken the council tax upon herself instead, which we found out we could do anyway and immediately we calmed down – but only after 4 hours of phone calls, emails, tears and hugs!
I thought I would share this:
2.And to warn you of the dangers – well not ‘dangers’ but financial frustrations – with living with a non-student or missing out on your MA!
I was classed as the ‘hippie’ of the group because I stayed calm and kept thinking it’s only £20, ‘I can save that money over summer’, bla bla, bla, whilst other housemates were shouting: ‘if we have to pay council tax as students I’m moving out…I’m commuting…I’m buying a £3000 car and commuting…’ – luckily a hug and several phone calls to the council and landlord sorted that catastrophe out.
My advice for anyone struggling with house-related issues or house-mate related issues is: stay calm, keeping thinking that there is always a vacant home or worst still a Travelodge to consider, if absoluteneeds be! If you panic that is when it all goes to pot! Stay calm and work it through calmly, write out your options, contact all those you need too to put your mind at rest and simply talk about it – don’t start shouting about moving out and running away as then you don’t learn what to do in the situation and often you just make it worse!
Keep Calm and Don’t Pay Council Tax – YOU’RE STUDENTS!
Keep Calm and Drink Tea! (Or Hot Chocolate…or Orange Juice…or Water…whatever keeps you hydrated!)