(Last updated on 18 July 2019)
If you live in University-owned accommodation you will not need to pay council tax.
If you live in private accommodation, then you are exempt from paying council tax if you fall under one of the following categories:
If you and everyone else living at the property are full-time students
If you are a full-time student (which all Tier 4 Student visa holders are)
AND you are living in the UK with your spouse and children
AND your spouse and children are NOT from a country in the European Economic Area
AND your spouse and children have been admitted to the UK as your dependants
AND no other NON-STUDENT lives in the property
If you are exempt from paying council tax, your landlord or the Council may ask to see your Certificate of Student Registration. Bangor University's Academic Registry aim to provide Gwynedd Council with a list of students who are exempt from paying council tax and the students' addresses. The Council should not send a council tax bill to students on the list provided by the Academic Registry. Therefore it is important to notify the Student Admin Office if you change address.
Although the University aims to inform the Council about students' addresses, in some instances you may still receive a bill. If you receive a council tax bill in error, please contact the Student Admin Office on email@example.com to ensure that your address details are correct. You will then need to provide the Council with a Certificate of Student Registration, which can also be obtained from the Student Admin team. The contact details of the local Council will normally be written on your bill.
PhD students: after the initial 4-year registration period, it will be up to the Academic Registry whether or not to issue you with a Certificate of Student Registration that confirms that you are a full-time student. This will usually depend on your individual circumstances. The local councils consider those who study for a minimum of 21 hours per week to be 'full-time students', so the letter from the University has to confirm that.
For more information see the UKCISA Information Sheet:
IMPORTANT: It is a criminal offence if you do not pay the required Council Tax. Please visit the International Student Support Office if you are experiencing persistent problems with your Council Tax bill which you have not been able to resolve yourself. Even if you believe that you are exempt from paying Council Tax, if you receive a bill you must provide evidence to prove that you are exempt. Otherwise, the Council may take you to court or pass on your details to a debt collection agency.
IMPORTANT: If you stay in the UK after your course has finished, you can be liable to pay council tax from the day that your course finishes. You may wish to email the Council with a copy of your Tier 4 visa which shows that you have 'no recourse to public funds', and ask them to consider waiving Council Tax for the last 4 months of your visa. The decision will however be up to the Council.