Will I be liable for Council Tax after 29 May 2020?
In most cases yes, you will become liable for council tax from 30 May 2020. Postgraduate taught (PGT) students with an official end date of 30 September 2020, will be liable for Council Tax on 1 October 2020.

If you live in university halls of residence, the property will be exempt so you will not be charged if you continue to live there, for the remaining weeks of your tenancy agreement.

If you live in private halls of residence or rent elsewhere in the private sector, you will be liable for Council Tax from 30 May 2020, even if you have requested extensions to complete assessments.

Important to know: You can request this information to be included on a Confirmation of Study letter, but we are not aware of a legal basis to compel the Council to exempt you for a longer period.  This would be at their discretion and could also be counterproductive if you need to claim out of work welfare benefits (please read on for further detail).

If you are eligible to claim welfare benefits, and have a low income or are unable to work due to coronavirus, you are advised to make a claim for Council Tax Reduction through your local authority. Most Councils have an online form which allows you to do this. You can claim in advance, using the date you are no longer a student.

Important to know: You may need to provide evidence of your course end date by uploading a Confirmation of Study letter.  This means that amending the letter to include information about the extended assessment period may confuse the assessor and delay your application.

I'm an international student and can’t return home because of coronavirus.  My student status expires on 29 May 2020; will I have to pay Council Tax in my rented property?
Yes, you are likely to be liable for Council Tax, if you are renting or living with someone in the private sector (non-university halls). 

Unfortunately, if your visa states that you have “no recourse to public funds” you will not be able to claim welfare benefits to help with this cost.  If you find yourself in this position and are unable to pay the bill, please contact Advice team for advice on your personal situation and we will do our best to support you.

What if I can’t get a Council Tax reduction?
If Council Tax reduction is not enough to help or you have no recourse to public funds, you may be able to claim support from the Council Tax Hardship Scheme in your area, if you are vulnerable and at risk of destitution. This is a support route which may be helpful for international students who have been unable to return home.

If you still have concerns and would like to speak with an adviser, feel free to contact us on the Adviceline or by submitting an online enquiry form and we will do our best to support you.