My situation is the follwing. I am a student in the UK and my girlfriend is a working professional. I am eligible for a "residential assistant" position at one of the university's student halls where I contribute some of my time and help out with students who may have issues and in return, they provide free accommodation. They are also happy for my girlfriend (who is not a student) to move in with me.

The catch is that she cannot have her official address there because accommodations with only students don't have to pay council tax. So they don't let non-students be registered as residents. However, they have told me explicitly that they're happy to let her live there provided she has another registered address.

My questions are

1) Is it legal to have a registered address somewhere without living there e.g. a friend's place?

2) Does the UK let you use a PO box address as your registered address?

She is a Swiss national and while free rent is great to have, we don't want to do anything illegal either. Is there a solution to my problem? Thank you!

1 Answer 1


Your girlfriend has to have her "main residence" somewhere else, and be registered for council tax there. Then she is just "visiting" you.

A PO Box will not suffice; it must be a residential address. Otherwise she will be deemed to be living in the student hall, and she (or the university) will be liable for council tax.

The university will be very careful to avoid circumstances arising where they are liable for council tax. Councils are now checking exempt status very carefully to try and get more money.


Council tax is not payable in relation to prescribed list of ‘exempt’ buildings. The list includes halls of residence ... Importantly, council tax exemptions are judged on a daily basis.

... However, if the building does not qualify as a hall, it will only be exempt on the days where it is occupied by qualifying students. This can sometimes give rise to non-exempt periods during summer vacation periods.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .