The judgement on the Leeds City Council V Broadley EWHC 2016 case was released last week. This High Court decision relates to the “person” deemed liable for council tax, when the property is physically unoccupied but a periodic tenancy still remains in force. The court decision clarifies the position about which party, either landlord or tenant, holds the 'material interest' and is therefore liable for council tax.
The Judge agreed with the reasoning behind the landlords defence and held that the 'wording' of the agreement still allowed for the council to pursue the tenants for council tax even though they were no longer resident. The importance of the fixed term then continuing as a monthly periodic was the key to the landlord succeeding. Unlike a statutory periodic tenancy, a 'continuation' periodic tenancy after the initial fixed removes the risk of a landlord being liable for council tax when a tenant leaves physically earlier than the legal ending of the tenancy itself. For those who subscribe to the TFP tenancy agreement pack, you will be pleased to know that our agreements have been constructed in such a way since 2013, therefore protecting your landlords from liability in situations as described.