Training for Professionals News

  • Dec 01/2016

    Leeds v Broadley

    In a landmark Council Tax case, the Court of Appeal has upheld the use of a tenancy agreement in the same style as the TFP agreement. We changed our agreements in 2010 for a number of reasons, Council Tax being one of them. The point is that if the tenant is granted a periodic agreement (including a statutory periodic tenancy arising) and then leaves the property, the landlord immediately becomes liable for the Council Tax. In this case, the landlord issued a tenancy that included a fixed element and a periodic element (the wording was different but the structure is the same as TFP). Leeds City Council argued that a tenancy had to be either fixed term or periodic, it could not be both. To be valid an agreement must be "certain". For a fixed term agreement it ends at the end of the fixed term and this creates certainty. For a periodic agreement, certainty is created because notice can be given in accordance with the Protection from Eviction Act and common law provisions (generally one month, ending at the end of a period). Leeds argued that by trying to put them together it created uncertainty.

    The court decides that this was a perfectly valid form of agreement, as if there is certainty in the fixed term and there is certainty during the periodic element, there is no reason to feel it creates uncertainty by joining them together. It would amount to saying that one act on its own is lawful, a second act is also lawful, but when together it is not lawful.

    This is a great victory for landlords and confirms the sound logic of the TFP tenancy agreement. Landlords should give thanks to the RLA for taking part in this process and arguing for the landlord's position for the better good of the market.

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