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Landlords: Council tax and tenancy agreements

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Some landlords could unnecessarily be paying for council tax where a tenant moves out of a property before the end of a tenancy agreement.

An Appeal Court ruling passed earlier this year said that landlords are not responsible for paying council tax on a vacated property in situations as above.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) intervened in the case of Leeds City Council v Broadley where the Council had demanded council tax from landlord Mr Broadley for several properties relating to periods when they were empty but where the tenancies hadn’t been ended formally by either party.

In a press release, the RLA said it intervened in order to protect the interests of landlords as, if the appeal had not succeeded, the decision would have major legal implications in terms of tenancies, deposit protection, and the Housing Act itself.

According to LandlordToday, however, certain local councils are still not recognising this Appeal Court ruling months after it was passed, meaning some UK landlords may still be paying for council tax on their properties that have been vacated by tenants before the end of the contract.

They recommend that landlords make themselves aware of the Appeal Court case as well as reviewing processes for requesting and receiving written confirmation of any communications; laying out in writing to their tenant the vacation procedure; and revisiting the laws surrounding specific tenancy agreements. In this way, it is hoped that landlords will no longer be penalised with council tax on vacant properties. 

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