Council Tax is a tax to the local government. Residents of properties are responsible to pay this tax, not the owner of each property. It includes payment for water, sewer and trash removal.
Exemptions – Full time students and foreign spouses are fully exempt from paying the Council Tax from the point of registration through the duration of the program. For a full explanation of those exempt from paying Council Tax see their website. It may also be helpful to read this guide.
You will probably still receive a statement in the mail stating you owe council tax. Call City Council and explain why you qualify for the exemption. They will mail you a form to fill out. If you move while you are a student, you may have to fill in this form again for the new property. Sometimes it is helpful to take the form, family members, passports/visas, and confirmation that you are a student at the University (you can use your Visa letter or request a letter from Registry on campus; located in the University Office at Student Reception) directly to the Council Tax offices.
If you arrive before you are officially in your degree program (the date stated on your acceptance letter from the University) you may have to pay council tax until that date.
If you need assistance with your council tax bill an excellent resource is an International Student Adviser through Student Advice and Support Offices located at the Hub on campus. This is a free service provided by the university.