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Rights not available to introductory tenants

This content applies to England

This page looks at rights that are not available to introductory tenants.

Introductory tenants have some rights in common with secure tenants. However, some rights available to secure tenants are denied to introductory tenants.

Right to assign

Assignment is the transfer of an interest in a property (eg a tenancy) to another person. The general rule is that introductory tenancies cannot be assigned except :

  • under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973[1]
  • under the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984[2]
  • under the Children Act 1989[3]
  • to a member of the tenant's family who would be entitled to succeed.

For further details see the section on Assignment.

Right to buy

Introductory tenants do not have the right to buy, but time spent as an introductory tenant will count towards the qualifying period for the right to buy discount. For more information see Buying local authority housing.

Right to sublet or take in a lodger

Introductory tenants do not have the right to sublet any part of their property or to take in lodgers but they can apply to the landlord for permission to do so. Sublettting the whole of the property is not allowed and is also a criminal offence, see the Social housing fraud for details.

Right to improve

Introductory tenants do not have the right to improve the property, but they can apply to the landlord for permission to do so. However, if an introductory tenant makes improvements and then moves out before her/his trial period has ended, s/he cannot apply for compensation under the statutory compensation for improvements scheme.

Right to exchange

Introductory tenants have no statutory right to a mutual exchange. However, landlords may agree to grant new tenancies to those wishing to exchange.

[1] s.24 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

[2] s.17(1) Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984.

[3] Sch.1 Children Act 1989.

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