Liability of tenants after vacation – High Court decision

By | August 3, 2016

A relatively recent Valuation Tribunal decision on the liability of tenants for Council Tax after vacation has just been ruled upon by the High Court. This was following an appeal by Leeds City Council.

Valliability of tenantsuation Tribunal decision

The Valuation Tribunal decision had found that a tenancy of 6 months or more would, if there was a contractual clause to extend it past the initial period, make the tenant remain liable for any Council Tax due on the property. This would apply from the date of their vacation until the actual end of tenancy.

The above situation is different from what would happen if the tenancy had simply defaulted to a statutory periodic tenancy. In this case the tenant would cease to be liable from when they vacated the property and the landlord would become liable for the Council Tax, irrespective of whether the tenancy has ended or not.

High Court decision

Leeds City Council appealed against the original decision of the Valuation Tribunal. The High Court, upon review of the original decision, held that the Valuation Tribunal were correct in their interpretation of the legislation.

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.

Broadley liability chart

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

Good quality help with your Council Tax dispute can be hard to come across – there’s a lack of independent, expert, places where you can get the help you need however LGFA92 are here to change that. See how we can help today

Contact us today. Email us at [email protected], Call our Council Tax helpline on 0191 6451118.

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.