The question of the liability of tenants after vacation from a property is a common occurrence. It does not however generally reach the Valuation Tribunal in the same way as the Broadley v Leeds case has.
Leeds City council argued that, for five properties within their area, the owner of the property was liable for the council tax charge from the date of vacation of the tenants.
The landlord of the property contended that the tenants had signed agreements of 6 months or more which then continued to roll-on as a contractual tenancy. As per the Local Government Finance Act 1992, they would become the ‘owner’ for council tax purposes and remain liable for the council tax until such time as the tenancy agreement ended. This would occur even if they were not resident.
The Valuation Tribunal found that the situation in question was not substantially different from earlier cases. They made the decision that the tenants remained liable after vacation (until the end of the tenancy) and therefore found in favour of the landlord’s appeal.
High Court decision
This case has subsequently been subject to a high court appeal.
Court of Appeal decision
This case was heard at the Court of Appeal on 16 November 2016
How the liability of tenants now stands
Use our quick flowchart (for a tenancy of 6 months or longer) by clicking below.
What if the property was still occupied ?
If the property was still occupied after you vacated – for example you were a joint tenant and the other tenants remained – then you would cease being jointly liable when the property ceased being your ‘sole or main residence’.
If the other tenants then moved out and the property was left empty then the situation would need to be looked at again.
Advice & Assistance from LGFA92
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This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax experts, based on our interpretation of legislation. Your local authority is free to dispute this view. A binding decision may require the intervention of a valuation tribunal.