Scottish AST legality in England? CT query.

Scottish AST legality in England? CT query.

8:26 AM, 20th January 2014, About 10 years ago 3

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Hi all,

I was asked for some advice by a friend, but this one was a little beyond my experience, so I was hoping you guys could help me out.

My friend was sharing a house with one other tenant for around two years. He has admitted he didn’t pay any council tax during that period and recently the council have caught up with him and are demanding he pay the outstanding tax. The other tenant wasn’t paying either but no longer resides in the UK.

Normally I wouldn’t condone such behaviour, however, from everything I have been told about the landlord I really don’t think he is blameless in fact a lot of his behaviour was decidedly dodgy.

I asked my friend to show me the tenancy agreement for the property and having read in am not sure of its legality. It is a Scottish tenancy agreement, despite the fact that the property is in the Midlands, as is the landlords own home. Scottish AST legality in England

My main questions are – is a Scottish AST a legal tenancy agreement in England, and if it is not, is the tenant then liable for the Council Tax on the property? I have read about a couple of court cases recently which have said that if an AST rolls onto a statutory periodic tenancy then the tenant is deemed to have no material interest in the property and is therefore not liable for council tax, would the same apply in this case if the agreement is not valid?

All advice gratefully received!


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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

8:32 AM, 20th January 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Hannah

I don't think your friend has got a leg to stand on in terms of her Council Tax liabilities.

The default tenancy in England and Wales in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Legally, there is actually no requirement for a written tenancy agreement. Therefore, even if the Scottish Shorthold Assured Tenancy is ruled to be invalid the default basis of tenancy will be an AST and she will remain liable.

I have made an assumption that the landlord did not live in the property at the same time as it was occupied by your friend. If he/she did this would change things.

Romain Garcin

16:37 PM, 20th January 2014, About 10 years ago

The title of the agreement is not relevant here. Obviously the tenancy wasn't a Scottish SAT but an English AST and the terms were still binding.

Council tax liability is not decided based on that agreement, in any case, as being the resident at the property, your friend was liable for the council tax. (assuming landlord wasn't living there).
You haven't understood the part of statutory periodic tenancy and concil tax liability, btw.

Hannah Brazier

16:24 PM, 21st January 2014, About 10 years ago

Thanks for the replies Mark and Romain, really appreciate you taking the time to help me. Oh and thanks also for your diplomacy when mentioning things I have misinterpreted. I have signed up for Tessa's landlord law course, so hopefully I should be able to interpret things correctly in the future!

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