I Had a Student Visa But Had to Leave the UK Owing Council Tax



My landlord scammed me into submitting my name for council tax exemption, resulting in the council issuing legal letters against me to payback. But I was on a student visa at that time, and due to family emergency had to leave the country immediately without getting a chance to respond to the council properly.

I was in a student visa in London back in 2013, and had to leave the country for family emergency without getting the chance to respond to the council regarding some unpaid council tax payments. Even though I submitted council tax exemption letter since I was a student, council still was pushing for me to pay the tax despite providing proof of studentship. I left UK in 2013 and have not gone back ever since therefore the status of that council tax issue is unknown to me.

Now I am planning to apply for permanent residency in Australia and would require a police check certificate. I am afraid whether that issue with the tax will show up in the police clearance. Can you tell me if these issues show up?




Just a few questions to begin with, such as, has the Council contacted you in anyway since you left the UK? If the Council were “pushing” you to pay the Council Tax, was this when you were here in the UK?

You can post your answers in the comments section below.

Were you the only person living in the property? Were there other students living in the property, or was the property a HMO (house of multiple occupations)?

I ask as since you were a student, and submitted the student discount or concession for Council Tax, you as a student would pay no Council Tax. That is if you were the only person who lives at the property. If the other tenants, if there were other tenants, were not students, then there is only a discount on the Council Tax if a student resides there. That discount at present is 25%. Same as a single person discount.

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If you resided with other, non-students, you do not owe Council Tax, but the household as a whole, does owe Council Tax, the remaining 75%.

When you mention your landlord “scammed” you. Some unscrupulous landlords will have 1 student live in a property and claim a full student exemption. However, if you provided the proper documentation to the Council, showing you are a student, you would not be held responsible for any Council Tax; as students are exempt.

You may wish to speak to the local Council to inquire as to the status of the account, and if need be, advise and show them, you were a student at the time. Why is the Council holding you, and I am assuming only you, responsible? Why are you the contact point?

Regarding getting a police check in Australia and if you were to owe Council Tax in the UK. This is not an issue, as even if the Council were to take the account and you to court, and in absentia they received a CCJ or judgement, this is a civil matter, not criminal. Only if fraud were to be involved, would it be a criminal matter. DBS checks or police checks in the UK only deal with criminal matters. So no worries there.

If you have any additional information to share on the matter, let me know and I can look more into this.

I hope this helps.




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