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What is an introductory tenancy?

This content applies to England

An introduction to introductory tenancies.

Introductory tenancies were created by the Housing Act 1996.

An introductory tenancy is a probationary or trial tenancy granted to a new tenant that allows the local authority landlord (or housing action trust) to decide if they are a good tenant. They were intended to give local authorities more power to deal with antisocial behaviour. In practice, however, they have had a much wider application, for example as a way of dealing with rent arrears.

Local authorities and housing action trusts can elect to have an introductory tenancy scheme. They can revoke the scheme at any time.[1]

The introductory tenancy scheme has been held to be compatible with Article 6 (right to a fair trial) and Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.[2]

[1] s.124 Housing Act 1996.

[2] McLellan v Bracknell Forest DC, Reigate and Banstead BC v Benfield and Forrest [2001] EWCA Civ 1510.

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