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Council Tax

Council tax exemption certificates for new students are automatically issued within 24 hours of enrolment. A PDF copy of the certificate will be emailed to you.  You can also request a copy of your council tax exemption certificate at any time via SIMS online.

Council Tax is the system of local taxation used in England, Scotland and Wales to part fund the services provided by local authorities. It is a tax on domestic property.

The majority of full time undergraduate and postgraduate students are exempt from paying Council Tax. This includes students undertaking a placement year, on an Interruption of Study or undertaking a full-time course temporarily on a part-time basis.

You only need to pay council tax if you:

  • are a part-time student
  • are a full-time student repeating your final year and not in attendance (external students)
  • are on a pre-sessional course that is less than 24 weeks duration.

Erasmus+ students at Cardiff University for 24 weeks or less will need to manually request their council tax exemption letter (see the Erasmus+ student section of this page).

Council tax exemption certificate

A council tax exemption certificate will exempt you from paying council tax as a full time student. You will need to give this certificate to your landlord or the local Council that is requesting evidence of your eligibility for exemption.

This certificate relates to you as an individual and not the address shown on it, if you change your address you should not need a new certificate.

Council tax exemption certificates for new students will be automatically issued within 24 hours of your enrolment. A PDF copy will be emailed to you and you can also print a copy of your council tax exemption certificate at any time via SIMS online.

Students who are living in University Accommodation do not need a council tax certificate, but one has been provided in case you move into private accommodation.

Watch a short video on how to retrieve your council tax exemption:

Watch a short video on how to retrieve your council tax exemption

Special circumstances

Erasmus+ students

Erasmus+ students at Cardiff University for 24 weeks or less will need to manually request their council tax exemption letter.

If you are studying at Cardiff University for less than 24 weeks, you will need to send Cardiff City Council a letter from your home university confirming that you are on a full time programme of study.

You will also need a Council Tax letter from Cardiff University, confirming that your time studying here is part of a full time programme in your home country. You will need to manually request this letter from Cardiff University’s Student Records department. You can contact Student Operations via the Ask Cardiff helpdesk.

If you are an Erasmus+ student studying for more than 24 weeks, you will receive the council tax certificate via email within 24 hours of completing enrolment.

Students who live with people who are not full-time students

Since April 2004 full time students in this position no longer have a shared liability with those who are not full time students. If there is only one person who is not in full time education in the house they are liable for council tax but will get a 25% reduction on their bill.

If you live with a landlord or landlady

If you live with your landlord or landlady and share basic amenities like the bathroom and kitchen then it is your landlord or landlady's responsibility to pay the Council Tax.

Research students in their dissertation phase

Regulations have recently changed around this matter. Postgraduate students who are in the writing up period of their course now remain exempt from Council Tax and no longer need to pay it.

International students

If you are married to your partner and they are not a British citizen, neither of you will have to pay Council Tax. You would also have to be the sole occupiers of the property and your wife/husband is either not allowed to work or claim benefits due to conditions related to their leave to enter or remain here.

Withdrawal from your course

If you leave your course permanently then you will not be classed as a full time student for Council Tax purposes. You will then be liable to pay, though you may be able to claim full or part Council Tax Benefit to help you pay.

Getting help

The Advice and Money Team can provide you with advice and information regarding Council Tax and exemption. However, they will not be able to produce the Council Tax Exemption Certificate. If you require a Council Tax Exemption Certificate, you can contact Student Operations via the Ask Cardiff helpdesk.

Advice and Money Team

Advice and Money (Heath Park)

Advice and Money (Cardiff Business School)