Whether you are liable for council tax will depend on which category of student you are:
You do not have to pay council tax, and exemption is automatic.
You don't have to pay council tax but exemption is not automatic.
You must tell your local council that you are studying full-time. Failure to do so may result in a court summons and having to pay court costs.
If you live in York, you should apply for a student council tax discount or exemption with City of York Council (see below). If you live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), it is your landlord's responsibility to deal with any discount or exemption application.
If you live with non-students you will usually still be personally exempt from paying council tax, and the non-students in the household will be the ones liable to pay. However, there are some exceptions:
You do not qualify for exemption and you must pay council tax.
If you are registered on a full-time programme and attending part-time as a reasonable adjustment, you are eligible for exemption from council tax. This is because you would normally be required to attend your course full-time.
You don't have to pay council tax. Your dependents will also qualify for exemption if they are prevented by the terms of your visa from either taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.
Exemption is not automatic. You must tell your local council that you are studying full-time (see below). Failure to do so may result in a court summons and having to pay court costs.
Further information about council tax and international students is provided by UKCISA.
If you are living in University accommodation, you will not have to pay council tax.
If you live in private sector accommodation, and your course is shorter than 24 weeks, you must pay council tax.
Please note the Entry to Pre-masters and Pre-masters programmes are considered to be one programme of more than 24 weeks. However, you are only exempt from council tax if you progress onto the Pre-masters programme.
You have to pay council tax if:
You do not have to pay council tax if you were studying full-time immediately before your writing up year and you will be working on your thesis full-time (at least 21 hours per week for at least 24 weeks of the academic year).
You will need to provide confirmation from your supervisor that you will be studying full-time. Download a form from e:Vision for your supervisor to complete.
You must pay council tax if you are taking time out from a part-time programme of study.
If you are taking time out from a full-time programme of study you will not have to pay council tax during leave of absence. This is because you would normally be required to attend your course full time.
Exemption is not automatic. If you are eligible you will need to apply for exemption (see below).
You no longer qualify for exemption and you must pay council tax, even if you are waiting to start another full-time programme. You will be liable to pay council tax from the date you confirm withdrawal.
You no longer qualify for exemption and you must pay council tax, even if you are waiting to start another full-time programme. You are liable to pay council tax from your course end date.
How to apply for council tax exemption
Students living in York can apply for a student council tax discount or exemption online. All full-time students in a house must register as exempt. If you have a joint tenancy, it is important that you register as a group rather than individually.
Your exemption will not be confirmed until after the start of term. Until your exemption has been finalised you may still receive a council tax bill showing the full amount of council tax for the property. If you receive a reminder bill or a court summons, contact City of York Council: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live outside York or are on leave of absence
If you live outside York or are on leave of absence, request an exemption certificate via e:Vision. You can ask for the certificate to be sent to you by email or you can collect a hard copy from the Student Hub. You will need to send/show the certificate to your local council tax office.
If you are a UK student liable to pay council tax and you are on a low income, you may be able to claim council tax support to help with payment of council tax.