Unless the landlord will confirm to the council that the tenancy was terminated or you can prove to the satisfaction of the council that the landlord is simply withholding this information but that it was the case that the tenancy had been cancelled, then the council will assume that you still had the lease and will chase you for the rates.
He doesn’t have to demand rent from you if he doesn’t think he’s going to get it.
I didn’t say that a fraudulent agreement is a legal and common practice. What I said is that if a tenant doesn’t pay rent, the landlord will not necessarily forclose on the lease but will simply leave the tenant to do whatever the tenant wants and leave the tenancy in place quite simply because the tenant is then liable for the rates.
The only time the landlord will foreclose on the lease in those circumstances is if he has another tenant would take it over and pay the rent as well as the rates.
If the original tenancy was for a fixed period of years, and that period of years had finished, then subject to you giving notice, would have no liability beyond the original period and if the landlord has produced a bogus tenancy agreement which covers more than the original period, that is fraud and is a matter for the police. If you refer the matter to the police, the local authority are likely to take a different view on this.
For the service of legal proceedings, the last known address is the correct address.
You would now be faced with applying to court to set aside to order on the basis that you didn’t receive the paperwork and that you have a defence to the claim by the local authority. From what you have said, I think it unlikely that if this order does get set aside and proceed to a full trial hearing, you would be successful.
As you are not happy I will opt out