When does tenancy end after lapsed s21?

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    When does tenancy end after lapsed s21?

    Dear all,

    I’m currently in some dispute with a council tax office and was wondering whether anyone can confirm (or oppose) my opinion on when a tenancy ends:

    - TA had six month term followed by recurring monthly tenancy ending on the 14th of the month
    - TA has clause that tenant remains liable for council tax until end of tenancy
    - s21 was served for 14th Feb but tenant remained in situ
    - tenant apparently registered a new council housing property on 3rd May
    - tenant handed in keys on 29th May
    - check out done on 1st June (tenant did not attend and refused to sign)

    My thinking: the tenancy ended on 14th June as the recurring end date, so the tenant remains liable for paying council tax until then.

    I would also agree: the tenancy ended on 29th May and landlord becomes responsible for paying council tax from 30th May.

    The council tax office says I became liable as of 3rd May unless I can provide an eviction notice or a signed notice to quit from the tenant (impossible).

    Who’s right?

    #2
    Originally posted by ChrisDennison View Post
    - TA had six month term followed by recurring monthly tenancy ending on the 14th of the month
    You need to clarify what you mean by that. Is it (A) a six months fixed term, followed by a statutory periodic tenancy pursuent to section 5 of the Housing Act 1988, or is it (B) a tenancy with an initial six month terms that continues month by month contractually.

    Originally posted by ChrisDennison View Post
    - TA has clause that tenant remains liable for council tax until end of tenancy
    That's a matter of contract between you and the tenant, which the council has no interest in. If you're the liable party as a matter of law, then you would have to pay the council, and then try and get that back from the tenant.

    Originally posted by ChrisDennison View Post
    Who’s right?
    In the case of (A), you are liable to the council from the day the tenant ceases to have the property as their "sole or main residence". In the case of (B), you are only liable from the day the tenancy ended.
    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by KTC View Post

      You need to clarify what you mean by that. Is it (A) a six months fixed term, followed by a statutory periodic tenancy pursuent to section 5 of the Housing Act 1988, or is it (B) a tenancy with an initial six month terms that continues month by month contractually.
      Well, the TA states as Term the initial six months and then states that Tenancy “includes any extension or continuation of the contractual Tenancy or any statutory periodic Tenancy arising after the expiry of the original Term”. So it doesn’t really specify which one it is I think?

      Further below it also states: “The Tenant confirms that for the duration of the Tenancy the Property as detailed in the Tenancy Particulars are to be his main and principal home as defined within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Housing Act 1988”

      Comment


        #4
        Based on that wording alone your tenancy agreement needs some work (or, ideally replacing).
        It's not possible to "extend" a tenancy.
        And "a continuation of the contractual tenancy" and "any statutory periodic tenancy" are mutually exclusive - your agreement needs to say which it is, not try and cover off both possibilities.

        The council have taken the view that it's a statutory periodic tenancy and that you are therefore liable for the council tax from 3rd May.
        I don't think that the tenancy agreement you have will be sufficient to change their mind.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          jpkeates many thanks, I found that wording a little strange too I have to say (this was a template used by a large national franchise of estate agents who I no longer work with).

          From reading through the whole TA it doesn’t clearly state that after the initial term there is an automatic contractual continuation. So this to me sounds like it is indeed a statutory periodic tenancy.

          Why are the council tax implications different between a statutory and a contractual periodic tenancy? And are there benefits to a statutory over a contractual periodic tenancy? And is this something the letting agents could have known in their drafting or is this a recent thing? I’m asking because I might go after the letting agents for their poor drafting then

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ChrisDennison View Post
            [USER="57096"]Why are the council tax implications different between a statutory and a contractual periodic tenancy?
            Because of the way the law is written in regards to determining who is responsible for council tax. Not new, it's as old as council tax itself.
            I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

            I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ChrisDennison View Post
              jpkeatesWhy are the council tax implications different between a statutory and a contractual periodic tenancy? And are there benefits to a statutory over a contractual periodic tenancy? And is this something the letting agents could have known in their drafting or is this a recent thing? I’m asking because I might go after the letting agents for their poor drafting then
              If it's a contractual periodic tenancy, the tenant is liable for the council tax until the end of the tenancy (as long as the tenancy is for more than six months), if it's a statutory periodic tenancy, the tenant's liability to the council ends when they cease to live there.

              There's no point going after the agent, they haven't done anything wrong, other than have a poorly written agreement that you have chosen to use.

              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                KTC and jpkeates: many thanks for your explanations, I have read up on this matter and the differences between the two now, another one of these things that one would hope professional letting agents are aware of. I’ll definitely complain that due to their poor drafting I now have to suffer costs that otherwise I wouldn’t, and will take it to the ombudsman if they don’t compensate me. I’ve had it with these guys anyways, they’ve been nothing but trouble.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You won't win against the agent.

                  TA has clause that tenant remains liable for council tax until end of tenancy
                  You have a contract with a clause that says the tenant is to pay the council tax, which mean your legal remedy would be to take your ex-tenant to court if they don't pay the amount of the council tax that you end up paying the council.
                  I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                  I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hmm I guess. Worth a try nevertheless

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ChrisDennison View Post
                      [USER="57096"]this was a template used by a large national franchise of estate agents who I no longer work with)
                      Are you saying the agent found this tenant and provided the written agreement for the tenancy?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Absolutely. This was a fully managed service, the agency provided the agreement and introduced and managed the tenant. They even signed the agreement on my behalf because I was abroad back then...

                        Comment

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