If you are living in private rented accommodation, you are normally required to pay Council Tax to the local authority in the area where you live. However most full-time students will be eligible for an exemption from paying this tax. See the information here from Citizens Advice about students and Council Tax.
When you move into private rented accommodation, you will need to notify your local authority of all people who are living there. If you are all full-time students eligible for Council Tax exemption, you will need to demonstrate your eligibility for Council Tax exemption, using a Council Tax exemption certificate which you can download from the letters section of your student record. If you are unable to do this, you can request this document through the Student Information Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here is the University’s information on Council Tax. Exeter City Council also provides information here.
Living with people who aren’t eligible for Council Tax exemption
If you live with anyone who isn’t eligible for a Council Tax exemption, your household will be required to pay a Council Tax bill. If only one non-eligible person is in the property, you should be eligible for a 25% single occupant discount. This means those living in the property will have to pay 75% of the normal bill. Please note that this situation can occur in a number of different scenarios, including if you are living with other students and one of them leaves their course.
If two or more people living in a property are not eligible for a Council Tax exemption, then your household will be required to pay the full bill.
Council Tax and interrupting or leaving your studies
If you cease to be a full-time student eligible for a Council Tax exemption, your household will become eligible to pay at least 75% of the Council Tax rate for your property. This can be expensive and it is important to speak to any housemates to make them aware of this situation and to agree how you will proceed. Sometimes students in this position pay for the full bill for their property, sometimes housemates agree to share some of the liability; in other cases, students leaving their course may seek an alternative housemate and move into non-student accommodation.
If you interrupt your studies, your liability to pay Council Tax is less straightforward. In some instances, students taking an interruption from a full-time degree may still receive a Council Tax exemption if they will be returning to their studies in the next academic year. We would recommend clarifying your eligibility with the Student Information Desk (email@example.com) if you are not sure of your status for the purpose of Council Tax exemption.
If you are considering leaving or interrupting your studies, it is important to know that there may be other significant financial implications. Our pages contain further information on the financial impact of interrupting or withdrawing from study.