Council Tax

Council Tax is a property based tax paid to the local authority where the accommodation is, and all full time students are exempt from paying it. However you must make sure that your local authority knows you are exempt otherwise they will charge you and non-payment will lead to prosecution. If there is anyone living in the property who is liable for council tax it will be their responsibility to pay the council tax the local authority asks them to pay.

It is the individual's responsibility to ensure that the local authority knows you are a student and are exempt. If you receive a bill from your local authority you should contact them immediately to tell them you are a student. Usually you will need to provide your Student Status letter or Student ID.

Ignoring requests for payment can lead to court action and if this happens court costs will be added.

Definition of Full Time Education
For the purposes of Council Tax full time is defined as undertaking study, tuition or work experience for 21 hours a week, and attending the course for 24 weeks of the year. So many part-time University students will qualify for the exemption.

Getting the Student Exemption if you are a part-time University Student
If you are a part-time student and want to explore claiming the student exemption you should talk to your department to see if they would be prepared to write a letter confirming that your course of study meets the requirements:

That to fulfill the council tax definition you are required to complete at least 21 hours of study and tuition over 24 weeks per year to receive the exemption.

Council Tax and Temporary Withdrawal
Whilst on temporary withdrawal you will still be exempt from paying Council Tax.

The Council Tax exemption while on Temporary Withdrawal is governed by:
Statutory Instrument 1996 No.636 – Council Tax (Discount Disregards) Amendment Order 1996 paragraph 2(5).

International Students
International Students who live with dependents who have come to UK with Tier 4 dependent visa are also exempted from paying Council Tax. If you receive a council tax bill, please contact the Student Advice Centre immediately.

PhD Students
Students who are in writing up period are also exempted from paying Council Tax. If your local council requires you pay Council tax then please contact the Student Advice Centre immediately.

Useful Links:

If you want further advice on what to do please contact the SU Advice Centre