Rents can vary in the private sector of course and you will need to check whether the rent quoted by a landlord or agent includes any bills or not (e.g. gas, electricity, water, broadband etc)
Our online data base called "Falmouth & Penryn Student Pad" lists available properties including the rents and whether they include any bills/utilities etc. There is also a feature called "Fact Finder" which calculates (and updates) average rent levels and means you can compare rents in different areas.
Most full-time students are exempt from council tax and some dwellings are also exempt.
Student Halls of Residence (Glasney Student Village, Penryn & Tuke House, Falmouth)
Dwellings occupied solely by full time students (see "Shared houses and flats" below)
Dwellings left empty by someone who stopped living there to become a student.
Full Time Students
A full time student is a student enrolled on a course lasting at least 1 academic year and expected to study for at least 21 hours each week.
Both Falmouth University and University of Exeter provide a list of its registered students at the start of the academic year to the local authority however sometimes further proof is required.
Falmouth University students can download and print a council tax certificate by logging into their student account at the link below. Once logged in they will need to select 'student' and then 'print council tax certificate';
Students of the University of Exeter will need to contact the Academic Support Unit who can provide a letter on request.
(A student's exemption lasts for the length of their course and, for example, also would include the "summer" period between your 1st and 2nd years and 2nd and 3rd years.)
Shared houses & flats ("Houses in Multiple Occupation")
The majority of private sector "student" accommodation falls into this category and as long as all the residents are full time students there will be no Council Tax liability.
Although both Universities (as stated above) provide information at the start of the year as a matter of course to the local authority, it is good practice to ensure that you also pass details to the local authority.
Non-students in shared houses/flats.
There can be times when you may find a non-student living in your house - for instance, if a housemate leaves their course, if a student lives with a partner or, in certain circumstances, when you have 1st years in the house whose tenancy starts before their course start date.
In such circumstances the dwelling will, of course, no longer be exempt and council tax will become liable and due - either from the landlord or the non-student(s) concerned.
Make sure that you ask your landlord about any non students in your house and that the local authority is aware of all the circumstances of the tenants.
The above is a very brief summary of one or two of the main issues surrounding council tax and students in private sector housing so you are well advised to seek further help and guidance should you have any queries or indeed face problems with council tax bills or correspondence.
Useful contacts and help:
Falmouth and Exeter Students Union (FXU) produce a very useful guide to council tax which can be viewed and downloaded from their website - www.fxu.org.uk (see under "advice" leaflets)
Cornwall Council's Council Tax Unit 0300 1234 171 or email@example.com