Do Students Pay Water Bills Scotland?

Full-time students studying at a Scottish university or college are exempt from water and wastewater charges, according to Scottish Government policy. Student housing is often banded by the Scottish Assessors for council tax purposes, and hence is not a qualifying premise in the non-household market.

Non-metered water supply

If your home is connected to the public water supply and you don’t have a water meter, your water will be paid for through your council tax.

Depending on which council tax band your home is in, the extra amount being charged for water will be included on your annual council tax bill. Your local council collects this money and sends it to Scottish Water.

Exemption from water charges and a non-metered water supply

Water and sewerage charges are normally waived if a property is connected to the water supply and is exempt from municipal tax. For a variety of reasons, a property may be excluded from paying council tax.

A property may be free from council tax if it is vacant for a certain reason. For example, the owner may have passed away or gone into a care facility. There may be a time limit on how long the exemption will be valid.

A property may also be free from council tax due to the individuals who live there, such as students or someone with a severe mental illness. Only if everyone in the house is exempt from paying council tax is the property exempt from paying water and sewerage charges.

Are students excused from paying their water bills?

Water charges will be required for the majority of renters. Even if the account is only in one name, if you are a student who shares your residence with other individuals, the duty for paying the payment is shared. Unfortunately, students do not receive water bill savings.

It’s possible that the landlord has made arrangements to pay the water company’s bill. Check your tenancy agreement or contract to see if this is included.

If you’re suffering financial issues, your college or university’s students union welfare rights service is likely to be able to assist you. And this post will walk you through the various types of household bills you’ll have to pay.

Is there no charge for water in Scotland?

Unless it is impractical, all non-domestic clients in Scotland are charged on a metered basis. The rateable value of the property is used to calculate property and road drainage costs. Water and sewage charges for non-domestic clients are made up of six components: a fixed charge for water, a variable charge for sewerage, and a variable charge for water.

Is the water bill free for students in the United Kingdom?

One of the most important things to remember about water bills is that each region of the country is served by a single water supplier (you can find out which one covers your area here).

This means that, unlike with electricity bills, there are no options for switching providers and getting a better bargain.

However, there are two methods for paying for your water usage, and the one you choose will have an impact on the price.

Water meter

If your student residence has a water meter, you will only be charged for the amount of water you use. This implies that following our water-saving tips (below) could save you a lot of money.

Water meters resemble electricity and gas meters in appearance, and they can be found either inside the building near the water main (e.g. under the sink) or just outside the structure near outdoor pipes (or where you can see water mains on the ground).

The meter will track how much water you use, and your local supplier will most likely take a reading twice a year and bill you for it.

Water companies are frequently willing to install meters for free, so if you think it would be beneficial to you, talk to your landlord about it.

Standard tariff

If your water bills are unmetered (that is, on a conventional tariff), you will be charged a fixed amount based on the value of your home.

Domestic consumers in Northern Ireland do not now have to pay a bill for water and sewerage services, according to NI Water.

The average annual water cost in England and Wales is over 400, which works out to about 1.10 per day.

Full-time students are exempt from paying household water and wastewater rates in Scotland, as long as the property is occupied solely by full-time students.

Your average water bill will be roughly 370 if this isn’t the case for you. Unless you want to have a meter installed instead, you’ll pay a basic water price that’s automatically included in your council tax payment.

If you want a water meter placed, you’ll have to contact Scottish Water directly, who will bill you separately from your council tax.

It’s worth noting that Scottish Water charges a service and installation fee, so unless you expect to use substantially less water than the usual rate, this alternative is unlikely to save you money.

Shared accommodation

If you share a public facility in rental housing with other people, such as a bathroom, kitchen, or toilet, and you receive housing assistance, you may be excluded from paying council tax.


You may be excused from paying council tax if you are a student who lives alone or shares a room with other students.

If you’re a student who lives with someone who isn’t a student, you can qualify for a council tax cut.

Mental impairment

You may be exempt from paying council tax if you or someone you reside with is severely mentally ill. Contact your local council to obtain a paperwork for your doctor to sign in order to claim council tax exemption.

Short term empty and unfurnished homes

If your property is vacant for a period of time, your local council may give you a reduction if you can show:

The use of the property by a former owner or occupier may have an impact on the amount of discount you receive and for how long.

Long term empty and unfurnished homes

If your house has been vacant for more than 12 months, your council has the option of charging double the usual council tax amount. This is referred to as a surcharge.

  • Increase the council tax by 100% for properties that have been vacant for a year or more.

In Scotland, how do you pay your bills?

You will be responsible for paying gas, electricity, and telephone bills unless they are included in your rent. These bills are normally mailed out every quarter (every three months), but you can usually set up a monthly payment plan. Paying with credit card or direct debit may be less expensive.

If you live in a shared flat or house, you’ll have to split the costs with your roommates. This might be problematic. The Pastures New property website, on the other hand, has some nice suggestions on how to do this in a kind manner. Keep in mind that even if only one person’s name appears on the gas and/or electricity bills, you are all responsible for paying them jointly and individually. If the bill isn’t paid, the supplier has the right to pursue any of you for payment.

You might want to switch suppliers to save money on your payments. Save on your bills and uSwitch are two websites that allow you to compare costs from multiple firms and switch suppliers online. More information on switching suppliers can be found on the Consumer Focus website.

In a student residence, what bills do you have to pay?

Some student landlords include some costs in their monthly rent; but, if they don’t, here are some of the bills you’ll have to pay (and one you won’t) when you move into your student home…

Gas and electricity

When renting near your college or university, one of the most significant expenses you’ll face is electricity and gas bills in a house with other students.

If you don’t have access to a gas supply, you’ll only need to activate your electrical service.

However, if your student residence has both gas and electricity, you might consider a dual tariff with one supplier to simplify payments.

The first thing you should do when you move into a student apartment is take a gas and/or electricity meter reading and log it with your current energy provider.

If you don’t act quickly, you can end yourself paying a percentage of the prior tenants’ cost.

Your landlord will be able to tell you who their energy providers are, but it does not imply you have to use them.

After you’ve submitted your initial meter readings, check online to see if a lower-cost tariff is available from another provider, and consider switching if it is.

Water and sewerage

The water supply for your student property will be managed by the local water corporation.

When it comes to water and sewerage, you won’t be able to transfer suppliers, therefore you’ll be invoiced at the water company’s usual rates.

Meanwhile, if you have a water meter, you’ll be charged for the exact amount of water you consume rather than an estimate.

Water and sewerage bills are frequently delivered quarterly, therefore setting up a monthly direct debit is the best option.

Rather of having a hefty expense to pay four times a year, this will help you stay on top of things and budget more effectively.


Some landlords include broadband in their monthly rent, but if they don’t, you’ll almost probably have to set it up on your own.

Home broadband may have been considered a luxury rather than a need decades ago, but with online schooling and homework to complete, it’s now a must-have.

Broadband services are extremely competitive, so browse around for the best rate.

TV licence

While there is no reduction for students on TV licenses, you can request for a partial refund for the months you are not living in your student property during the summer.

You’ll need a license even if you’re merely watching a subscription service like Netflix or Amazon Prime on a television.

You won’t need a license if you’re simply watching subscription TV on your phone or tablet and don’t have a television.

The quantity of TV licenses you’ll need in your student apartment is determined by your leasing agreement.

One license will cover all the TVs in your student house if you’re renting it on a joint tenancy agreement with your other housemates, and you’re all responsible for the monthly rent.

If you’re renting on a room-by-room basis, each housemate will require their own license to watch television in their rooms.

However, if no housemates have televisions in their rooms, a single license for a television in a shared space would be necessary.

TV subscriptions

Subscription TV packages like Netflix or Amazon Prime have gained in popularity in recent years, despite not being a necessary student home expenditure.

Streaming services, which often cost less than 10 per month if watched on a tablet, mobile device, or computer, can be a cost-effective alternative to owning a television and paying a TV license.

Many businesses also offer streaming bundles that include broadband, allowing you to save money by bundling the two.

Contents insurance

Yes, it may appear tedious, but contents insurance can rescue the day in the event of a disaster.

The worst-case scenario is if your most valuable possessions are stolen, damaged, or destroyed.

It’s well worth obtaining a contents insurance coverage that covers all housemates’ stuff for simply a few pounds each month.

one bill you won’t need to pay

You must, however, inform your local government that you are a student and hence exempt from paying council tax; otherwise, they will presume you are not and bill you.

Is it possible to get a student discount on your bills?

However, if you negotiate with your landlord and mutually agree on any bill savings, you can still earn a student discount on your utility costs (including rent).

Is there a student discount?

Are you planning a visit to Bill’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? When you order between Sunday and Thursday at a Bill’s restaurant, you’ll get a 20% student discount all year (excluding Bank holidays).

In Scotland, who pays for water?

Concerning Your Charges 2021-22 Water and waste water collection services, as well as Council Tax, are billed to the great majority of houses in Scotland by their local government. These charges are known as unmeasured charges and are based on the house’s Council Tax banding.