- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 27 Jan 2017
Hybrid assured shorthand tenancy
In January 2017, in a decision that will be required reading for property landlords, the Court of Appeal has confirmed the validity of a form of assured shorthold tenancy that has been in common use for many years. At the same time, the Court defined the concept of ‘ownership’ in the context of council tax liabilities.
The case of Leeds City Council v Broadley concerned a property investor who rented out residential premises to tenants on the basis of standard form leases that are ubiquitous in the private rental sector. Each lease was for a term of six or 12 months and thereafter continued on a month-by-month basis. The obligation to pay council tax rested on the tenant.
Putting forward a novel argument, a local authority submitted that leases must either be for a fixed or a periodic term and that ‘hybrid’ leases are invalid. It was submitted that the lease concerned in the case had to be viewed either as for a fixed term, followed by a periodic tenancy, or as a monthly periodic tenancy that could not be terminated in its first six or 12 months.
On that basis, the council argued that the lease had not been granted for a period of six months or more and that relevant tenants could thus not be viewed as ‘owners’ within the meaning of Section 6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. That, it was submitted, meant that when a tenant ceased to occupy a property during the term of the lease, the liability to pay Council Tax reverted to the landlord.
In rejecting those arguments and dismissing the council’s appeal against an earlier decision to like effect, the Court found that the form of lease in question was valid. Such leases reflected an obvious commercial reality and provided a benefit to both landlord and tenant in offering a degree of initial certainty with a degree of flexibility thereafter.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Whole-life costs consider all costs associated with the life of a building, from inception to disposal. Find out more here.
Reports emerge of injuries caused by Apple employees colliding with the campus' glazed walls.
The winners of NIC's ideas competition on transforming the Cambridge to Oxford arc discuss their concept.
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.