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What Is the Difference Between Notice to Terminate Tenancy & Eviction?

Lainie Petersen

What Happens After a Writ of Possession?

When a landlord decides that it is time for a tenant to move out, they are almost always legally obligated to inform the tenant in writing of their decision. If a tenant has a lease, the property owner can issue a notice to terminate tenancy or termination of tenancy letter. As long as the tenant cooperates, there is no need for further action.

However, the tenant may refuse to leave despite providing the landlord with reasonable grounds to kick them out. In that case, that property owner must follow take legal steps to have the tenant evicted from the rental home.

Therefore, it is important to understand lease termination versus eviction, and what each implies for both the tenant and property owner.

​ Read More ​: Foreclosure & Eviction

Termination of Tenancy Meaning

When a landlord or tenant decides to terminate (or not renew) a lease or rental agreement, state law often requires one party to give written notice of his decision to the other party. This is sometimes known as a “notice to terminate” or “ notice to quit .” A property owner can create the letter using any state-specific notice to quit template available online.

Basics of Evictions

An eviction is a legal proceeding in which a landlord asks a court to order the tenant to leave the property. Giving a tenant a notice to terminate is often a first step in the eviction process, but it isn't the same as an eviction, which comes afterwards if a tenant defies a notice to quit.

If your lease expires or you fail to pay rent, you can be evicted easily. Also, if you commit non-trivial violations against your lease agreement, the odds of getting evicted will rise significantly.

Types of Notices

The types of termination notices required to begin the eviction process differ between states. In many states, landlords can use several different types of “quit notices” depending on the circumstances.

  • A “quit-or-pay” notice notifies a tenant that the rent is past due and of the landlord's intention to evict if it isn't paid.
  • A “cure-or-pay” notice orders the tenant to correct a problem (such as loud noises) before facing eviction.
  • An “unconditional quit” notice orders the tenant off the property, with no second chances to pay a bill or change behavior.

Some states only allow landlords to issue unconditional quit notices in cases where a tenant is using the home for criminal activity or repeatedly doesn't pay rent or follow property rules. Once a landlord files for eviction, they will have to serve the tenant with a summons to appear in court. This is an official notice from the court that an eviction hearing is to take place.

Time Frame Before Eviction

In some states, a tenant may have ​ five or 10 days ​ to pay the rent or get rid of a barking dog. If the situation is very serious, such as a tenant dealing drugs out of an apartment or discharging a weapon, the landlord may order the tenant to leave the premises immediately .

Methods of Service

Landlords can serve quit notices to tenants by tacking or taping them to the tenant's front door or actually handing the notice to the tenant. Some states require the landlord to mail the notice to terminate notice to the tenant via regular or certified mail.

State laws are more particular about the service of an eviction notice. In many places, only a sheriff's deputy or special process server can serve a tenant with eviction court papers.

Warning Before Evicting

Many an eviction case gets thrown out of court because a landlord failed to send the proper quit notices to his tenant. Landlords should talk to a lawyer about proper methods of service and get boilerplate termination notices for use in their landlord business.

​ Read More ​: How to Remove an Eviction Record

  • FindLaw: Terminating a Lease or Rental Agreement: FAQs
  • Nolo: State Rules on Notice Required to Change or Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy
  • Cornell.Edu: notice to quit
  • Cornell.Edu: Eviction
  • Nolo: How Evictions Work: Rules for Landlords and Property Managers
  • Nolo: State Laws on Unconditional Quit Terminations
  • LegalZoom: Serving Your Tenant a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.

assignment of residential tenancy agreement

Assignment of a Residential Tenancy

assignment of residential tenancy agreement

Tom Entwistle

Assignment is when an existing and ongoing tenancy is transferred from one tenant to another. The person who transfers the tenancy is the 'assignor'� and the person who the tenancy is transferred to is the 'assignee'�.The outgoing tenant transfers his rights and obligations under the tenancy to the incoming tenant through a legal process which involves a Licence to Assign Note 1 below), permission given by the landlord, and a Deed of Assignment (see Note 2 below) to formalise the process. Under the Law of Property Act 1925 any assignment must be completed by deed.Most tenancy agreements, if they expressly permit assignment at all, (most are either silent on the matter or expressly forbid it) will only allow this with the consent of the landlord . Further, under Section 15(1) of the Housing Act 1988 it is an implied term in all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) that the tenant will not assign without the Landlord'�s Consent.So long as the AST agreement does not state that the landlords'� consent is required to assign, the landlord CAN withhold consent. Section 15(2) HA 1988 states that Section 19 of the Landlord & tenant Act 1927 (consents to assign not to be unreasonably withheld) does not apply to Assured Tenancies.It is quite rare for standard ASTs to be assigned as they are short term and a new tenancy agreement can be easily arranged and signed, though doing this gives any new tenant a full new term and a minimum of 6 months. I the case of joint tenancies , once one or more tenants leave the rental property this effectively brings the whole joint tenancy to an end. This is because, in law, a joint tenancy is seen as one tenant: they are all individuals, but as far as the law and the landlord is concerned they are one - " the tenant ".Signing up new joining tenants and the remaining tenants to a new agreement starts a new tenancy with a new minimum term of 6 months , which may not suit the landlord, especially with student lets, where periods need to align with therm times. This is where assignments come in. In the case of joint tenancies, and especially in the case of student lets during term times, where tenants may come and go, assignments can be a very useful device for landlords.The new tenant/s take over where the outgoing ones left off leaving the original tenancy untouched. However, great care is needed to ensure that the documentation is completed correctly, deposit arrangements are taken care of between the tenants, and any guarantors are kept fully informed of the changes to ensure their continuing liabilities are preserved.Even where the AST agreement expressly forbids assignment, with the landlord'�s consent assignment can be effected. With the landlord'�s consent therefore an AST can be assigned to anyone.On the other hand, where a tenant assigns without the landlord'�s consent (similar applies when a tenant sub-lets) the landlord could start possession proceedings against the true tenant and the assignee under Ground 12 HA 1988 schedule 2 for breach of contact.Further, once the true AST tenant leaves the rental property as his main residence, the tenancy reverts to a common-law tenancy, no longer under Housing Act protection, and subject to a notice to quit. The original tenant no longer has security of tenure and can be "evicted" along with the new "tenant" who is now an unathourised occupant .Notes: 1. License to Assign '� a document signed by the landlord giving the tenant (assignor) permission to assign.2. Deed of Assignment '� a legal agreement clearly marked as a Deed of Assignment, signed as a deed and independently witnessed.3. LandlordZONE� Combined Licence and Deed of Assignment� By Tom Entwistle, LandlordZONE� ID2010663If you have any questions about any of the issues here, post your question to the LandlordZONE� Forums '� these are the busiest Rental Property Forums in the UK '� you will have an answer in no time at all. �LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved - never rely totally on these general guidelines which apply primarily to England and Wales. They are not definitive statements of the law. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of your case and all documents to hand.

assignment of residential tenancy agreement

Tom Entwistle has invested in and developed commercial and residential properties since 1979.

More from the author

Legal case: agas and gagas - commercial tenancy guarantees.

Commercial tenants, with the landlord's consent, not to be unreasonably withheld, can assign their lease (transfer it) to a third party (a new tenant).

Does a missing landlord address invalidate a Section 8 notice?

This was a question answered during a recent appeal case covered here by Tom Entwistle In the Prempeh v Lakhany (Oct 2020) appeal the tenant claimed that a Section 8 notice was invalid because it did not contain the la

Tenant abandonment - what is it?

What is Abandonment? Abandonment is when a tenant leaves the property (usually without notifying the landlord or agent) before the tenancy has ended.

assignment of residential tenancy agreement

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Assignment of a tenancy

Requirements and formalities for assigning a tenancy, and liability for rent arrears of old and new tenants.

What is assignment

Rights to assign, prohibition and consent, how to assign a tenancy, arrears and assignment.

Assignment is a way that a tenant can transfer their tenancy to another person.

On assignment, the assignor's legal interest in a property is passed to the assignee who takes over that interest and becomes the tenant. All the terms of the original tenancy agreement apply to both the new tenant and the landlord, including the amount of rent payable.

Where a tenant grants someone a tenancy and remains a tenant of the original landlord this won’t be an assignment. Instead a subtenancy is created, and the original tenant becomes the landlord of the new tenant.

Whether assignment is possible will depend on:

the type of tenancy

what the tenancy agreement says

whether the landlord agrees

Under section 1(1) of the Law of Property Act 1925 all tenants, including those with a long lease, have a legal estate (an interest) in land. With this comes a general right to assign that estate to another person.

For many types of tenancy this general right is modified by statutory provisions that limit when and to whom the tenancy can be assigned. This will override the general right to assign.

Joint tenancies can be assigned but are still subject to the statutory rules for that type of tenancy. [ 1 ]

A tenancy agreement can also limit when and how a tenancy can be assigned. For example, by requiring the landlords consent.

Find out more about rights to assign for:

secure, flexible and introductory tenancies

assured and assured shorthold tenancies

regulated tenancies

Licences are not a legal interest in land and cannot be assigned.

If the tenancy agreement says nothing about assignment then, subject to any statutory limitations, the tenant is free to assign.

In most cases, the tenancy agreement will only allow assignment if the landlord gives their consent (a qualified prohibition).

If the tenancy agreement states that assignment is not allowed (an absolute prohibition), the tenant can still assign but they will be in breach of the tenancy. 

Qualified prohibition

If the tenancy agreement contains a qualified prohibition stating that the tenant may not assign without the landlord's consent, then the landlord cannot ‘unreasonably withhold’ consent. [ 2 ] This is an implied term of the agreement.

Whether consent has been unreasonably withheld will depend on the facts of the case. [ 3 ]

The courts have previously held that:

the purpose of a term in a tenancy agreement prohibiting assignment without the landlord's consent is to protect landlords from having their premises occupied in an undesirable way or by an undesirable assignee. The landlord cannot refuse consent on grounds that have nothing to do with the relationship of landlord and tenant, but can refuse if the potential assignee is not, for example, financially sound [ 4 ]

it may be reasonable for a landlord to refuse consent because of the purpose for which the assignee intends to use the premises, even if that purpose is not forbidden by the original tenancy agreement [ 5 ]

although landlords need only usually consider their own interests, there may be cases where there is such a disproportion between the detriment to the landlord and the detriment to the assigning tenant that it would be unreasonable for the landlord to refuse consent. [ 6 ] An example of this might be where the property is very difficult to assign and the tenants would have great difficulty in finding another potential assignee, whereas the landlord's loss in accepting the proposed tenant is minimal

The court has held that consent was not considered to be unreasonably withheld where the tenant had arrears. [ 7 ]

For tenancies granted after 1 January 1996, a landlord has the right, in certain circumstances, to require that the tenant wishing to assign should act as the guarantor of the new assignee where it is reasonable to do so. [ 8 ]


The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for a landlord to refuse consent on the grounds of a protected characteristic (disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation, and religion or belief). [ 9 ]

A person who has the right to dispose of premises must not unlawfully discriminate against any person on the basis of any of the above protected characteristics by: [ 10 ]

the terms on which they offer to dispose of the premises

declining to dispose of the premises, or

the way in which they treat a person seeking to move in to the premises

The right to dispose of premises includes the right to assign. [ 11 ]

Getting the landlords consent

If a tenancy is assigned without consent where the agreement requires it, this provide a ground for possession against the new tenant.

It is not possible to argue that the landlord could not have reasonably refused consent after the assignment has taken place. [ 12 ]

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 introduced a procedure that can be followed to obtain consent. It applies where the tenancy agreement contains a qualified prohibition against assignment. The Act only applies to applications for consent made after 29 September 1988. It does not apply to secure tenancies.

The tenant must serve a written application for consent to assign on the landlord, and the landlord must reply in writing within a reasonable time (the Act does not define what is a reasonable time), giving consent unless it is reasonable not to do so.

If consent is refused, the landlord must give the tenant reasons for the refusal. [ 13 ] If the landlord does not reply or withholds consent unreasonably, the tenant will be able to take a civil action for damages against the landlord for breach of this duty. [ 14 ] The onus of proof that any refusal of consent was reasonable is on the landlord. [ 15 ]

Tenants could also seek a declaration that the landlord is acting unreasonably where they do not want to take the risk of assigning without consent. Alternatively, the tenant could combine a claim for damages for breach of statutory duty with one for an injunction requiring the landlord to comply with their duty.

Assignment without consent or where prohibited

Where the tenancy agreement has an absolute or qualified prohibition against assignment and the tenant assigns the tenancy without the landlord's consent, the assignment will still be effective as long as it is by deed. [ 16 ]

However, the landlord may be able to bring possession proceedings against the new tenant.

In order for an assignment to be legal, it must be made by deed. A deed is a written document that has been signed and labelled as a deed and witnessed. This is necessary in order for the assignment to bind the landlord and any other party affected by the assignment but not part of the agreement to assign.

A deed is required even where the original tenancy was agreed orally. [ 17 ]

In one case, even though the tenant had undertaken in divorce proceedings to transfer the tenancy into his wife's name, the fact that there was no deed meant that an assignment was found not to have occurred. Nothing was done to transfer the tenancy into the wife's name, although she continued to live in the flat on her own and pay the rent. When she asked the managing agents to put the rent book in her name, they recovered possession of the property. [ 18 ]

The deed must give the name(s) and address of the original tenant(s) and the new tenant(s) (the address might be the same, depending on the situation). It must also give the details of the landlord. An independent person must witness the signatures of the original tenant(s) and the new tenant(s), but the same person can witness all the signatures.

The new tenants should keep the deed of assignment in to prove the assignment took place. It’s also a good idea for the outgoing tenant to have a copy in case of any disputes.

Equitable assignment

An attempt to assign a tenancy without satisfying all the formalities of a deed may still be effective as equitable assignment if the agreement to assign is evidenced in writing. [ 19 ] The equitable assignment will bind the parties who signed the written agreement and make them liable to damages for breach of contract as well as to orders for specific performance.

The new tenant is not liable for rent arrears that accrued before they took over the tenancy. [ 20 ]

An assignee is not legally liable to meet the contractual terms of the original tenant's agreement with the landlord where the liability arose before the assignment.

The original tenant is the only person who can legally be sued for any arrears existing at the time of assignment.

In practice, some local authorities require the assignee to clear any existing arrears. An Ombudsman's decision held that an agreement to clear arrears could be deemed to constitute an illegal premium, and enforceability of the agreement would be by no means certain. [ 21 ]

Arrears after assignment

For tenancies arising on or after 1 January 1996, [ 22 ] normally only the assignee can be held liable for rent due after the assignment.

The exception is where either:

there is a prohibition against assignment and the landlord's consent should have been obtained and was not

the original tenant agreed to act as a guarantor of the new assignee

Where the tenancy was created prior to 1 January 1996 (or in one of the other cases mentioned above), the landlord can take action for arrears against either the assignee or the assignor.

However, if the landlord wishes to take action against the assignor, they must notify the assignor of the arrears on a prescribed form within six months of the arrears falling due. [ 23 ] The assignor will be able to sue the assignee if they have to pay the rent arrears, as there is an implied term in all deeds of assignment that indemnifies the assignor. [ 24 ]

Last updated: 12 March 2021

Burton v Camden LBC [2000] UKHL 8.

s.19(1)(a) Landlord and Tenant Act 1927.

Braun v Westminster Anglo-Continental Investment Co Ltd [1975] 240 EG 927.

Gibbs and Houlder Bros and Co. Ltd Lease, Houlder Bros and Co. v Gibbs [1925] Ch 575, CA.

Rossi v Hestdrive Ltd [1985] 1 EGLR 50.

International Drilling Fluids Ltd v Louisville Investments (Uxbridge) Ltd [1986] Ch 513.

Greenwood Reversions Ltd v World Environment Foundation Ltd and Mehra [2008] EWCA Civ 47.

s.16 Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995.

ss.2-8 and s.32(1) Equality Act 2010.

s.33(1) Equality Act 2010.

s.38 Equality Act 2010.

Hendry v Chartsearch Ltd, The Times, 16 September 1998 CA.

s.1(3) Landlord and Tenant Act 1988.

s.4 Landlord and Tenant Act 1988.

s.1(6)(c) Landlord and Tenant Act 1988.

See for example the assured tenancy case of Sanctuary Housing Association v Baker (1997) 30 HLR 809.

ss.52-53 Law of Property Act 1925.

Crago v Julian (1991) 24 HLR 306 CA.

s.2 Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.

s.17 Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995.

Ombudsman Investigation 90/B/1668, 5 December 1995, Wellingborough BC.

s.5 of the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995

s.77 and Parts 7, 8, and 9 of Sch.2 Law of Property Act 1925.

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Sublet & Assignment

Written permission from the landlord is required to sublet a rental unit or assign a tenancy agreement.

When the original tenant moves out of their rental unit and allows someone (the sub-tenant) to have exclusive occupancy of their rental unit and pay the rent for part of the term of the tenancy agreement, it is considered a sublet.

In this situation, a new tenancy agreement (a sublease agreement), must be signed by both the original tenant and the sub-tenant. The original tenant then becomes the sub-tenant’s landlord – both this relationship and the one with the original landlord involve enforceable rights and responsibilities. The sub-tenant only has the same rights and obligations outlined in the original tenancy agreement – the agreement with the sub-tenant cannot contradict the original tenancy agreement. There is no contractual relationship between the original landlord and the sub-tenant.

When the original tenant finds someone to take over the tenancy agreement – usually to get out of a fixed-term tenancy early or when transferring ownership of a manufactured home. In these cases, the new tenant assumes all of the rights and responsibilities under the original tenancy agreement – unless the landlord and new tenant agree to new terms or a sign a new agreement.

A tenant can only sublet or assign a tenancy if:

  • The tenant has the landlord’s written agreement or, in a manufactured home park tenancy, is considered to have obtained the landlord's consent; or
  • The tenant has an order from the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) allowing the sublease or assignment; and
  • The tenancy agreement doesn’t prohibit subletting or assignment of the rental unit (subsidized housing providers usually don’t allow subletting or assignment).
  • Policy Guideline – Assignment and Sublet (PDF)

Landlord’s Permission

A tenant must have their landlord’s written permission before subletting or assigning their tenancy. A landlord can’t unreasonably refuse a sublet or assignment of a fixed-term tenancy agreement if there are six months or more remaining in the term.

If the landlord reasonably believes that the person won’t be able to follow the terms of the tenancy agreement or manufactured home park rules, the landlord can refuse the request for an assignment or sublease. Tenants can  apply for dispute resolution  if they believe their landlord has been unreasonable in refusing to allow a sublet or assignment.

A landlord is entitled to ask for information to conduct credit or reference checks on a prospective tenant and may withhold consent if it appears the prospective tenant will not be able to comply with the terms of the tenancy agreement or park rules. A landlord must not charge a tenant anything for considering, investigating or consenting to an assignment.

If a tenant sublets or assigns their tenancy without the landlord’s written permission, the landlord may serve notice to end the tenancy – which means the tenancy would also end for the sub-tenant, unless they’re able to negotiate a new tenancy agreement with the landlord.

Manufactured Home Park Tenancies

In manufactured home parks or mobile home parks, a request to sublet or assign the tenancy usually happens when the manufactured home owner sells the home.

Before requesting the landlord’s permission to allow the sublease or assignment of a manufactured home park tenancy, the tenant must provide the proposed buyer or sub-tenant with written copies of the park’s rules and any relevant parts of the tenancy agreement.

A tenant must give their request in writing to the landlord. The landlord has 10 days to respond.

  • Request for Consent to Sublet a Manufactured Home Site (PDF, 1.9MB)
  • Request for Consent to Assign a Manufactured Home Site Tenancy Agreement (PDF)

How a request is served affects when the landlord is considered to have received it. For example, handing the request directly to the landlord on March 1st means the landlord has until March 11th to respond. Posting on the door or mailing it to the landlord means a longer wait.

If the landlord hasn’t responded to a request to sublet or assign a manufactured home park tenancy within 10 days after receiving it, the tenant may go ahead with the sublet or assignment unless the landlord and home owner otherwise agree.

  • Learn more about serving documents during tenancy

Tenant Death or Bankruptcy

The bankruptcy or death of a tenant affects the tenancy. When someone is named as the executor or administrator of an estate or a trustee of a bankruptcy, the law assigns the rights and responsibilities of the tenancy to that person – they may choose to either continue the tenancy or give notice to end it.

Where a tenancy has been assigned in this way, the landlord’s consent isn’t needed. However, it’s always good for the executor or administrator to inform the landlord of their involvement and keep the lines of communication open.

  • Ending a tenancy in special circumstances

The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: June 3, 2020.

Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch

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Your Lease Assignment Agreement


THIS ASSIGNMENT OF LEASE dated this ________ day of ________________, ________


(the "Assignor")



(the "Assignee")


  • This is an agreement (the "Assignment") to assign a residential lease in real property according to the terms specified below.
  • The Assignor wishes to assign and transfer to the Assignee that lease (the "Lease") dated December 2, 2023, and executed by the Assignor as tenant and by _________________________ as landlord (the "Landlord").

IN CONSIDERATION OF the Assignor agreeing to assign and the Assignee agreeing to assume the Lease for the Premises, and other valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, both parties agree to keep, perform and fulfill the promises, conditions and agreements below:

  • The Lease governs the rental of the following described premises (the "Premises") to the Assignor: ______________________________________________
  • Assigned Lease
  • The Assignor assigns and transfers to the Assignee all of the Assignor's right, title, and interest in and to the Lease and the Premises, subject to all the conditions and terms contained in the Lease.
  • Effective Date
  • This Assignment takes effect on December 3, 2023 (the "Effective Date"), and continues until the present term of the Lease expires on December 4, 2023.
  • Assignor's Interest
  • the Assignor is the lawful and sole owner of the interest assigned under this Assignment;
  • this interest is free from all encumbrances; and
  • the Assignor has performed all duties and obligations and made all payments required under the terms and conditions of the Lease.
  • Breach of Lease by Assignee
  • In the event of a breach by the Assignee, the Landlord will provide the Assignor with written notice of this breach and the Assignor will have full rights to commence all actions to recover possession of the Premises (in the name of the Landlord, if necessary) and retain all rights for the duration of the Lease provided the Assignor will pay all accrued rents and cure any other default.
  • Governing Law
  • It is the intention of the parties that this Assignment, and all suits and special proceedings under this Assignment, be construed in accordance with and governed, to the exclusion of the law of any other forum, by the laws of the State of California, without regard to the jurisdiction in which any action or special proceeding may be instituted.
  • Miscellaneous Provisions
  • This Assignment incorporates and is subject to the Lease, a copy of which is attached hereto, and which is hereby referred to and incorporated as if it were set out here at length. The Assignee agrees to assume all of the obligations and responsibilities of the Assignor under the Lease.
  • This Assignment will be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties, their successors, assigns, personal representatives, beneficiaries, executors, administrators, and heirs, as the case may be.
  • All rents and other charges accrued under the Lease prior to the Effective Date will be fully paid by the Assignor, and by the Assignee after the Effective Date. The Assignee will also be responsible for assuming and performing all other duties and obligations required under the terms and conditions of the Lease after the Effective Date.
  • There will be no further assignment of the Lease without the prior written consent of the Landlord.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Assignor and Assignee have duly affixed their signatures under hand and seal on this ________ day of ________________, ________.


The Landlord in the above Assignment of Lease executed on the ________ day of ________________, ________, consents to that Assignment. The Landlord also agrees to the Assignee assuming after December 3, 2023, the payment of rent and performance of all duties and obligations as provided in the Lease.

Last Updated October 16, 2023

Lease Assignment Information

Alternate names:.

A Lease Assignment is also called a/an:

  • Assignment Agreement
  • Lease Assignment Form
  • Lease Transfer

A Lease Assignment can also be called a Commercial Lease Assignment or a Residential Lease Assignment depending on the type of property it is being used for. LawDepot's Lease Assignment can be used for residential or commercial properties.

What is a Lease Assignment?

A Lease Assignment transfers the rights and obligations of an existing lease from one tenant to another.

Who are the parties in a Lease Assignment?

Generally, there are two parties involved in a Lease Assignment:

  • The Assignor: this is the tenant(s) listed on the property's current lease (the master lease) who, using the Lease Assignment Form, is transferring their rights and obligations from themselves to another tenant
  • The Assignee: this is the tenant who is taking over the original tenant's (the assignor's) rights and obligations

Typically, a landlord does not sign the Lease Assignment itself, but their information may be included in the document and they may need to sign a consent allowing the assignor to assign the lease.

Why do I need a Lease Assignment?

A Lease Assignment is typically used when a tenant wishes to vacate a property before their lease expires . There are many reasons why tenants would need to use a Lease Assignment, for example:

  • If a tenant was renting residential property, they may wish to transfer their lease because they need to relocate for work or personal reasons, reduce living costs, increase their living space, or purchase a home.
  • If a tenant was renting commercial property, they may want to assign their lease because of company relocation, expansion, downsizing, or seasonal closure.

What is included in a Lease Assignment?

Typically, a Lease Assignment will contain information regarding:

  • The type of lease (residential or commercial)
  • The property's location
  • Details about the assignor, assignee, and landlord
  • The original lease term (start and end dates)
  • The start date of the lease transfer
  • Details about the assignor's continuing liability (i.e. whether the assignor will continue to be liable to the landlord after the lease is assigned to the assignee)
  • Lead paint disclosure for residential rentals, if required

A Lease Assignment should also include a copy of the master lease (the original lease for the property, signed by the landlord and assignor) or a copy should be provided to the assignee for the assignee's records.

Is a landlord's consent required for a Lease Assignment?

You should have the consent of your landlord when you assign a lease.

The master lease may state whether a tenant is permitted to assign their lease and if consent is needed. However, if it does not, it is a good idea to speak with your landlord and create a Landlord's Consent to Lease Assignment before transfering the lease to a new tenant.

Who is liable in an assigned lease?

Your Rental Agreement may contain a clause about assignment and continuing liability. If it does not, the landlord usually decides whether the assignor will be responsible for damages or other breaches of the lease caused by the assignee (or the assignee's guests, clients, or customers).

The Lease Assignment should note whether the assignor is liable for the assignee's conduct (for instance, paying for property damages, missed rent payments, fines from not complying to noise ordinances, etc.). If the assignor has been released from liability, the landlord can only seek compensation for property damage or other lease breaches from the assignee.

In contrast, if the assignor remains liable under the original lease, then the landlord can seek recourse from both the assignee and assignor.

If the assignee is liable but the landlord tries to collect payment from the assignor, the Assignment Agreement will help protect the assignor by stipulating that the assignor can seek recourse from the assignee.

What is the difference between assigning and subletting a lease?

Both assignment and subletting involve finding a new tenant, but there are some key differences.

An assignment is when the tenant transfers their lease interest to a new tenant using a Lease Assignment. The assignee takes the assignor's place in the landlord-tenant relationship, although the assignor may remain liable for damages, missed rent payments, and other lease violations.

A sublease is when the tenant temporarily hands over the rights and obligations of a lease to a third party by using a Sublease Agreement. Although the landlord typically isn't a party to the agreement, they can still hold the tenant responsible for the terms of the original lease.

Before deciding to assign or sublet your rental property, it's important to review your Lease Agreement (the master lease) for any rules and discuss your options with your landlord.

Related Documents:

  • Landlord's Consent to Lease Assignment : this consent is used when tenants need to obtain written approval from their landlord before they assign their lease to a new tenant
  • Commercial Sublease Agreement : this agreement is used by commercial property tenants and allows them to rent out all or a portion of their rented property to another tenant
  • Residential Sublease Agreement : this agreement allows a residential tenant to rent all or a portion of a leased property to another tenant
  • Landlord's Consent to Sublease : this consent is used when tenants need to obtain written approval from their landlord before creating a Sublease Agreement

Frequently Asked Questions:

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Navigating the assignment of a residential lease

A landlord can assign his leases to a new buyer of his building. Likewise, a tenant may be able to assign his lease if he needs to relocate. Find out how to assign your lease and what you can do to protect yourself when doing so.

updated November 21, 2023 · 3min read

Assignment of lease by the tenant

Assignment of lease vs. sublease, assignment of lease by the landlord.

As a tenant, you may want to get out of your residential lease without paying the remaining rent. Likewise, if you're a landlord and sell your rental property, the buyer must now collect rent from the tenants, who may have no idea you sold the property. In both situations, assignment of a lease with a release for the tenant and assignment of leases with notice by the landlord accomplish these goals.

A pair of glasses, a blue ballpoint pen, and a calculator resting on a residential lease agreement

If you're the tenant and want to leave before the end of your lease term, you may be able to assign your lease to a third party if the landlord doesn't let you out of the lease. The third party then becomes the new tenant, who is bound by the terms of the original lease and pays rent to the landlord.

Most often, the lease won't permit assignment without the landlord's approval, but leases often state that the landlord cannot unreasonably withhold consent. As long as you produce a tenant who's shown a history of payment under prior leases and has been a model tenant, a landlord should consent to assignment.

The assignment of lease form should include places for the tenant-assignor, the new tenant-assignee, and the landlord to sign. If the master lease allows assignment, then the tenant doesn't need the landlord's permission; the tenant can sign an assignment of lease agreement without the landlord's signature.

If the landlord allows an assignment of the lease, you, as the tenant, also want him to sign a release stating that you're not responsible for the new tenant's failure to pay or for any damage she causes. Without such a release, you may still be liable for both.

When you, as the tenant, assign the lease, you sign an agreement that either reads “Assignment of Lease," “Lease Assumption Agreement," or “Assignment and Assumption Agreement." An assumption of the lease means that the new tenant assumes your obligations, such as paying rent and keeping the apartment in good condition.

An assignment of a lease transfers the tenant's entire rights in the property to a third party. With a sublease, on the other hand, the tenant transfers only a portion of the remaining lease. For example, if the original tenant has six months remaining on his lease and he gives the entire six months to a third party, the tenant is permanently assigning his rights to live on the property to the third party. If, however, the tenant allows that third party to stay at the premises for only three months, and the tenant intends to return after three months, he is subleasing the premises.

A landlord can assign the right to collect rent to someone who has purchased the property. An assignment of lease from the seller to the buyer allows the new landlord to collect rent from any and all current tenants in the building. The language in the landlord's assignment of lease agreement can include assignment of security deposits, if the parties agree to it. An assignment of leases by the landlord to the buyer affords protection to the buyer so he can collect rent.

An assignment of leases by the landlord to the buyer is meaningless if tenants aren't aware the landlord sold the property, which is why it's important for the assignor-landlord to give tenants proper notice. A notice of assignment of lease, which is a form signed by both the assignor-landlord and the assignee, or new landlord, is one way to give notice. Another way is to send a letter on the landlord's letterhead. Either way, the notice must include the new landlord's address and how rent is to be paid.

Both landlords and tenants who become assignors should sign a formal assignment of lease agreement, which an online service provider can prepare for you. If you're the tenant who has assigned your lease, try to get a release or you'll still be liable to the landlord. If you're the landlord, make sure you can count on the new tenant to pay the rent before you release the primary tenant from his obligations under the lease.

Ronna L. DeLoe, Esq.

by   Ronna L. DeLoe, Esq.

Ronna L. DeLoe is a freelance writer and a published author who has written hundreds of legal articles. She does...


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Subletting and Assignment

On this page you will find information on what subletting and assignment involve in a tenancy and what the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords are in this area. It is important this is understood at outset of a tenancy.

  • Types of Tenancies and Agreements

Page contents

What is subletting, what is assignment.

Subletting occurs when a tenant permits another party to lease the rental property that the tenant has leased from the landlord. The tenant then assumes the position of landlord (known as the head tenant) in relation to his or her subtenant. Subletting usually occurs because the tenant has signed a  fixed-term lease  and wants, for whatever reason, to get out of the lease before it expires. Subletting can only take place with the consent of the landlord.

Where a landlord refuses the tenant the option of subletting, the tenant can serve a  notice of termination  to end the tenancy if they so wish.

Subletting is not available in Approved Housing Body tenancies.

What is assignment?  

Assignment is where a tenant transfers his or her entire interest in a tenancy to a third party. The original tenant then ceases to have any interest or involvement in the tenancy and the assignee becomes the tenant who now deals directly with the Landlord.  

If a tenant assigns a Part 4 tenancy to a person other than a sub-tenant, the protection provided by a Part 4 tenancy ceases.  The new assignee will require 6 months of continuous occupation in the dwelling before qualifying for Part 4 tenancy rights. 

If a tenant assigns a dwelling to an existing sub-tenant, the Part 4 tenancy will continue to exist in favour of the new assignee for the remaining period of the original Part 4 tenancy and the assignee becomes the tenant of the Landlord.  

Assignment can only take place with the consent of the landlord.  Where a landlord refuses an assignment of a fixed term tenancy, a tenant can serve a notice of termination on the landlord.  

Tenants of Approved Housing Bodies are not permitted to assign or sublet the tenancy. 

Assignment of Lease

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What is an Assignment of Lease?

The assignment of lease is a title document that transfers all rights possessed by a lessee or tenant to a property to another party. The assignee takes the assignor’s place in the landlord-tenant relationship.

You can view an example of a lease assignment here .

How Lease Assignment Works

In cases where a tenant wants to or needs to get out of their lease before it expires, lease assignment provides a legal option to assign or transfer rights of the lease to someone else. For instance, if in a commercial lease a business leases a place for 12 months but the business moves or shuts down after 10 months, the person can transfer the lease to someone else through an assignment of the lease. In this case, they will not have to pay rent for the last two months as the new assigned tenant will be responsible for that.

However, before the original tenant can be released of any responsibilities associated with the lease, other requirements need to be satisfied. The landlord needs to consent to the lease transfer through a “License to Assign” document. It is crucial to complete this document before moving on to the assignment of lease as the landlord may refuse to approve the assignment.

Difference Between Assignment of Lease and Subletting

A transfer of the remaining interest in a lease, also known as assignment, is possible when implied rights to assign exist. Some leases do not allow assignment or sharing of possessions or property under a lease. An assignment ensures the complete transfer of the rights to the property from one tenant to another.

The assignor is no longer responsible for rent or utilities and other costs that they might have had under the lease. Here, the assignee becomes the tenant and takes over all responsibilities such as rent. However, unless the assignee is released of all liabilities by the landlord, they remain responsible if the new tenant defaults.

A sublease is a new lease agreement between the tenant (or the sublessor) and a third-party (or the sublessee) for a portion of the lease. The original lease agreement between the landlord and the sublessor (or original tenant) still remains in place. The original tenant still remains responsible for all duties set under the lease.

Here are some key differences between subletting and assigning a lease:

  • Under a sublease, the original lease agreement still remains in place.
  • The original tenant retains all responsibilities under a sublease agreement.
  • A sublease can be for less than all of the property, such as for a room, general area, portion of the leased premises, etc.
  • Subleasing can be for a portion of the lease term. For instance, a tenant can sublease the property for a month and then retain it after the third-party completes their month-long sublet.
  • Since the sublease agreement is between the tenant and the third-party, rent is often negotiable, based on the term of the sublease and other circumstances.
  • The third-party in a sublease agreement does not have a direct relationship with the landlord.
  • The subtenant will need to seek consent of both the tenant and the landlord to make any repairs or changes to the property during their sublease.

Here is more on an assignment of lease here .

assignment of residential tenancy agreement

Michelle T.

assignment of residential tenancy agreement

Nicholas M.

Parties involved in lease assignment.

There are three parties involved in a lease assignment – the landlord or owner of the property, the assignor and the assignee. The original lease agreement is between the landlord and the tenant, or the assignor. The lease agreement outlines the duties and responsibilities of both parties when it comes to renting the property. Now, when the tenant decides to assign the lease to a third-party, the third-party is known as the assignee. The assignee takes on the responsibilities laid under the original lease agreement between the assignor and the landlord. The landlord must consent to the assignment of the lease prior to the assignment.

For example, Jake is renting a commercial property for his business from Paul for two years beginning January 2013 up until January 2015. In January 2014, Jake suffers a financial crisis and has to close down his business to move to a different city. Jake doesn’t want to continue paying rent on the property as he will not be using it for a year left of the lease. Jake’s friend, John would soon be turning his digital business into a brick-and-mortar store. John has been looking for a space to kick start his venture. Jake can assign his space for the rest of the lease term to John through an assignment of lease. Jake will need to seek the approval of his landlord and then begin the assignment process. Here, Jake will be the assignor who transfers all his lease related duties and responsibilities to John, who will be the assignee.

You can read more on lease agreements here .

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Assignment of Lease From Seller to Buyer

In case of a residential property, a landlord can assign his leases to the new buyer of the building. The landlord will assign the right to collect rent to the buyer. This will allow the buyer to collect any and all rent from existing tenants in that property. This assignment can also include the assignment of security deposits, if the parties agree to it. This type of assignment provides protection to the buyer so they can collect rent on the property.

The assignment of a lease from the seller to a buyer also requires that all tenants are made aware of the sale of the property. The buyer-seller should give proper notice to the tenants along with a notice of assignment of lease signed by both the buyer and the seller. Tenants should also be informed about the contact information of the new landlord and the payment methods to be used to pay rent to the new landlord.

You can read more on buyer-seller lease assignments here .

Get Help with an Assignment of Lease

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I am a commercial contracts attorney with twenty years of experience. I have represented major corporate clients including Amazon, Marvel, and Viacom as well as independent entertainment professionals and technology startups.

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Ralph graduated from University of Florida with his JD as well as an LLM in Comparative Law. He has a Master's in Law from Warsaw University , Poland (summa cum laude) and holds a diploma in English and European Law from Cambridge Board of Continuous Education. Ralph concentrates on business entity formation, both for profit and non profit and was trained in legal drafting. In his practice he primarily assists small to medium sized startups and writes tailor made contracts as he runs one of Florida disability non profits at the same time. T l Licensed. in Florida Massachusetts and Washington DC this attorney speaks Polish.

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For over 15 years, I accumulated both hands-on technical and business experience as an IT engineer and entrepreneur, enabling me to understand your challenges probably better than anyone else on the legal market! My California-based full-online practice focuses on: - Intellectual Property (Copyright / Trademarks) - Privacy / Data Protection - Commercial matters (e.g. service contracts) - Corporate (e.g. incorporation, restructuring)

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Melanie Cunningham specializes in helping entrepreneurs remain creative and expansive by establishing the foundation of their business and protecting and maximizing their intellectual property. It’s her belief that entrepreneurs and micro and small business owners play a critical role in our communities, which propelled Melanie to return to private practice after more than a decade working for global financial institutions. Melanie’s practice is dedicated to delivering excellent legal support and protection to this vital, but an often underserved, community. Melanie credits her business training and the skills developed as a senior compliance officer with enabling her to help small business owners have a legally compliant business, while proactively advising clients during the growth process. She’s helped diverse entrepreneurs do business in a way that focuses more on collaboration than competition. Melanie has counseled small business owners in determining what is protection worthy (helping them obtain trademarks and copyrights) and making contact on their behalf in the case of infringement.

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