My PC owns land with a stables. The unprotected lease was due for renewal for 1st June. In April's PC meeting, the Council resolved the terms and another unprotected lease was drawn up by a solicitor. In July's PC meeting, the Council was asked to pay a further fee to the solicitor in it's entirety (until now, the fees had been split 50:50 with the tenant). The Council asked why there was an additional fee and the Chair announced that on the 24th May, the tenant made demands to change the terms of the lease which they agreed to. These changes demanded installation of CCTV. The solicitor originally informed the Chair to tell the tenant they had no right to remain passed 31st May, but was instructed to draw up the lease in line with the demands - a stipulation for a "suitable" CCTV system.
The Chair believed the PC could get away with installing a cheap home security set up. To make matters worse, we're trying to get change of use planning permission to lease the stables, which means we can't find a new tenant (but the old one is allowed to continue on) and if the change of use fails, obviously the CCTV system is totally redundant. There may even be a stipulation in the planning rules that while the tenant is in place, no development of the site can happen, just maintenance of what's already there.
In the cold light of day, it's pretty obvious the deal is going to cost us at least what the rent brings in - money needed to pay for the loan used to purchase the land. Can the Council be liable in a breach of contract case if the lease was signed unlawfully? Technically, it's just as injured a party as the tenant. However, as I can't find anything online about a Council suing a Councillor, I guess this isn't possible and the buck unfairly stops at the Council.
Obviously not expecting proper legal advice here, just opinion and experience.