Council Tax

Council tax is a British property based tax which is paid to the local council and goes towards paying for local services such as the fire and police services.

Do I have to pay Council Tax?

You do not have to pay council tax if you are:

  • An undergraduate student registered on a full-time course
  • An undergraduate student registered on a full-time course and on a placement year
  • An undergraduate student registered on a full-time course but temporarily studying on a part time basis
  • A postgraduate student enrolled on a full time course as an internal student
  • A student on an Interruption of Study (This will depend on your circumstances)
  • On an Interruption of Study registered as an external student in your final year
  • On a one year postgraduate course
  • A postgraduate in the writing-up stage of your study

You do have to pay council tax if you are:

  • A part time student
  • An external student for the final year of an undergraduate course.

How do I prove that I do not have to pay Council Tax?

You should receive a council tax exemption certificate via your SIMS account. You will need to download this certificate and send it either to your landlord or agent or directly to Cardiff County Council. It is your responsibility to send your certificate to the Council but some landlords and agents will do it for you. If the agency does not offer this service you can email the certificate to

If you live in student residence you will not have to pay Council Tax and will not need or receive an exemption certificate.

The certificate does not relate to a particular address and is valid for the whole academic year, as long as you attend your course.

What if there is no exemption certificate available on SIMS?

If there is no certificate available to download on SIMS and you are on a qualifying course, you will need to contact Student Records 

Useful Contacts

Cardiff University General Enquiries (ASK Cardiff)
 +44 (0) 2920 874000

Cardiff University Registry
 +44 (0)29 2087 6211

If all of the above fail, students can visit the University Registry, 2nd Floor McKenzie House, Monday-Friday 9:00-16:30.

What if I 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 to pay council tax, but will get a 25% reduction on their bill.

What if I live with my landlord?

If you are a full time student living with your landlord and share basic amenities like the bathroom and kitchen then it is your landlord's responsibility to pay the Council Tax. You are a lodger and it would be good practise to have discussions about all bills and council tax before you move in.

What happens if I withdraw from my 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 ot part Council Tax Benefit to help you pay.

What happens if I interrupt my study and plan to return?

If you have a leave of absence or interruption you should continue to have the exemption - please come to the Student Advice department and speak to an adviser.

Research students in writing up period - exemptions.

Postgraduate students who are in the writing up period of their course remain exempt from Council Tax.

I am an Erasmus / short stay student - am I exempt?

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 letter from Cardiff University, confirming that your time studying here is part of a full time programme in your home country. The Erasmus office can help you with this letter. Make sure you use your Cardiff address on any correspondence with the Council.

If you are an Erasmus student studying for more than 24 weeks you will receive the normal letter with the exemption certificate from the University Registry, in the middle of October 2013. This will be sent to your term time address.

Contact details for Cardiff Council

If you have any further enquiries regarding Council tax, take a look at the website provided below. You can view information on:

  • How to pay Council Tax
  • How much your Council Tax is
  • Whether you are entitled to further reductions and discounts
  • Making changes to your account
  • Support available if you are having trouble paying


Telephone: 02920 872087, pressing option 1 for Council Tax