Introductory and demoted tenancies are two species of tenancies granted by local housing authorities to their tenants under the Housing Act 1996. They should be abolished in order to simplify the law and so make it easier to manage local authority housing stock.

Why is this idea important?

In 1996 Lord Woolf produced a massive report on the simplification of court rules. Those rules were changed and have been very successful. However, he also made one comment on the substantive law – he said housing law was too complex. Since then, housing law has been made even more complex by the addition of introductory and demoted tenancies. The idea of introductory and demoted tenancies is that they give local housing authorities more flexibility in housing management. In practice, it means there is an extra layer of law for lawyers to get paid to interpret and which housing officers have to apply (often wrongly). Abolishing introductory and demoted tenancies would simplify the law and make housing management easier. Local authorities would probably argue that this would make it more difficult to deal with problem tenants but there are other ways to address that, such as improved court services and better trained housing officers.

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