Navigating the assignment of a commercial lease

Special circumstances can require a tenant or a landlord to assign a commercial lease. Find out the most common situations for a commercial lease assignment and whether it's right for your situation.

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assignment of commercial lease

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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Updated on: January 9, 2024 · 3 min read

  • Tenant's assignment of a commercial lease
  • Getting the landlord's consent
  • Contents of a tenant's assignment agreement
  • Landlord's assignment of a commercial lease

If you're running a business, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to break a commercial lease. As a tenant, one option is to assign the lease, which means removing yourself completely from the lease and transferring it to a third party.

Woman typing on laptop on wooden desk in airy office with powder blue bike resting against full length windows

There are also instances when a landlord may need to assign a commercial lease, such as when a property is sold. In doing so, you sell the building with any leases intact, which requires assigning your right to collect rent to the new owner.

Tenant's assignment of a commercial lease

There are many reasons a tenant may want to get out of a commercial lease, including not being able to afford the rent and needing less or more space. Because it's unlikely a landlord will simply let you walk away from your commitment, you should check what your lease says about early termination. Most commercial leases require the tenant to pay rent for the rest of the term and possibly additional fees for breaking the lease.

Assignment of the lease is another alternative to breaking it. In doing so, you give the new tenant, known as the assignee, the right to occupy the premises in your place for the remainder of your lease term.

Getting the landlord's consent

Almost all assignments of commercial leases by the tenant need the landlord's consent, so check your original lease for any such language. As with a residential lease, a landlord cannot unreasonably withhold consent for you to assign the lease. However, it's up to you as the assignor, or original tenant, to ensure that your assignee is reliable, responsible, and can pay the rent—or you may end up being held financially liable.

If the tenant assigns a commercial lease to a new tenant without the landlord's permission, the landlord can sue the original tenant for breaking the lease. The landlord can also collect damages against one or both tenants if he can show that the assignee isn't a good-paying tenant or doesn't have the type of business he wants in the building. He can also end the lease and evict the new tenant.

Contents of a tenant's assignment agreement

Assignment of a commercial lease is almost always accompanied by a written agreement to preserve both the tenant's and landlord's rights. Some states require written assignment agreements . Many commercial assignment agreements contain provisions for the:

  • Payment of fees to the landlord for having another business substitute for yours
  • Assignor's and assignee's names, addresses, and business names
  • Landlord's name, address, and business name
  • Amount of the new tenant's rent and the dates for payment
  • Date of the agreement
  • Date the assignment is effective
  • Date the lease ends
  • The landlord's, assignor's, and assignee's signatures

Assignment agreements usually don't contain a provision releasing the assignor from paying rent, meaning that you, as the assignor, are held responsible for payment. Even so, assignment can be a financially responsible option for a tenant who's going out of business or who needs new space immediately.

Landlord's assignment of a commercial lease

Sometimes a commercial landlord needs to sell his property. After the new owner, or assignee-buyer, buys the property subject to existing leases, the assignor-landlord assigns the leases to the new owner, who can then collect rent. The assignor-landlord notifies tenants by sending a notice of sale, a notice of assignment of lease, or a notification on letterhead listing the assignee-buyer's address for payment of rent.

Unless the lease states otherwise, you, as landlord, can sell your property to anyone, but make sure to get a hold harmless clause , also known as an indemnity clause, in your contract of sale. Such clauses protect you from liability to the tenant if the buyer doesn't perform her duties as a landlord. Otherwise, as the original landlord, you're still liable for your obligations to the tenant, such as keeping the premises habitable.

Under the right circumstances, assignment of a commercial lease can work for both landlords and tenants. If you need assistance with your assignment agreement, consider using an online service provider to prepare it for you.

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Lease Assignment Agreement

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Lease Assignment Agreement

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A Lease Assignment Agreement is a short document that allows for the transfer of interest in a residential or commercial lease from one tenant to another. In other words, a Lease Assignment Agreement is used when the original tenant wants to get out of a lease and has someone lined up to take their place.

Within a Lease Assignment Agreement, there is not that much information included, except the basics: names and identifying information of the parties, assignment start date, name of landlord, etc. The reason these documents are not more robust is because the original lease is incorporated by reference , all the time. What this means is that all of the terms in the original lease are deemed to be included in the Lease Assignment Agreement.

A Lease Assignment Agreement is different than a Sublease Agreement because the entirety of the lease interest is being transferred in an assignment. With a sublease, the original tenant is still liable for everything, and the sublease may be made for less than the entire property interest. A Lease Assignment transfers the whole interest and puts the new tenant in place of the old one.

The one major thing to be aware of with a Lease Assignment Agreement is that in most situations, the lease will require a landlord's explicit consent for an assignment. The parties should, therefore, be sure the landlord agrees to an assignment before filling out this document.

How to use this document

This Lease Assignment Agreement will help set forth all the required facts and obligations for a valid lease assignment . This essentially means one party (called the Assignor ) will be transferring their rights and obligations as a tenant (including paying rent and living in the space) to another party (called the Assignee ).

In this document, basic information is listed , such as old and new tenant names, the landlord's name, the address of the property, the dates of the lease, and the date of the assignment.

Information about whether or not the Assignor will still be liable in case the Assignee doesn't fulfill the required obligations is also included.

Applicable law

Lease Agreements in the United States are generally subject to the laws of the individual state and therefore, so are Lease Assignment Agreements.

The Environmental Protection Agency governs the disclosure of lead-based paint warnings in all rentals in the States. If a lead-based paint disclosure has not been included in the lease, it must be included in the assignment. Distinct from that, however, required disclosures and lease terms will be based on the laws of the state, and sometimes county, where the property is located.

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A guide to help you: Tenants and Subtenants Obligations under a Sublease Agreement

Other names for the document:

Assignment Agreement for Commercial Lease, Assignment of Commercial Lease, Assignment of Lease, Assignment of Residential Lease, Assignment Agreement for Lease

Country: United States

Housing and Real Estate - Other downloadable templates of legal documents

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assignment of commercial lease

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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 commercial lease

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assignment of commercial lease

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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assignment of commercial lease

Ok; first step is that you will need a leasing contract with the church. Ask them to prepare one for you so you would just need an attorney to review the agreement and that should cost less than if you had to be the party to pay a lawyer to draft it from scratch. You need to ensure that the purpose of the lease is clearly stated - that you plan to put a gym on the land so that there are no issues if the church leadership changes. Step 2 - you will need a lease agreement with the school that your leasing it do (hopefully one that is similar to the original one your received from the church). Again, please ensure that all the terms that you discuss and agree to are in the document; including length of time, price and how to resolve disputes if you have one. I hope this is helpful. If you would like me to assist you further, you can contact me on Contracts Counsel and we can discuss a fee for my services. Regards, Donya Ramsay (Gordon)

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Commercial Landlord’s Reasonable Consent to Sublease or Assign

(This may not be the same place you live)

  What is an Assignment of a Commercial Lease?

A commercial lease assignment occurs when a tenant transfers all of their interest in a leased property to another party prior to the expiration of the original lease. The original tenant can be released from liability in the event that the new tenant breaches the lease.

What Does it Mean to Assign a Commercial Lease?

What does it mean to sublet a commercial lease, what is a sublease of a commercial lease, can a commercial lease be assigned or subleased, what is an approval clause, what are reasonable commercial objections, do i need a lawyer if there are problems with my commercial sublease or assignment.

It is very common when businesses merge or relocate to a new location that they will be stuck with the lease of their original location. In other situations, a company may seek to assign or sublet their commercial lease when they outgrow their commercial location or they cannot make their lease payments in a timely manner.

It is common in all of these situations for the business to attempt to assign or sublet their commercial lease. The assignment of a commercial lease refers to when a party to the lease transfers all of their interests and obligations of that lease to a third party.

Usually, in commercial settings, the commercial tenant will assign their interests in the lease to another commercial tenant. In addition, a landlord may assign their interests in the lease to another landlord.

It is important to note, however, that many commercial leases will include restrictions on the ability to assign. Therefore, it is important for an individual to review their lease to determine if assigning the lease is a possibility.

The lease will outline all of the rights that the commercial tenant maintains over the property. Generally, the majority of consumer protection laws which apply to residential leases do not apply to commercial leases.

Depending on the state laws, however, restrictions on assignments of commercial leases may be valid if those restrictions are considered reasonable.

Commercial subleases arise when a company transfers a portion of their lease rights to a third party for a temporary time period. A company may either sublet a portion of their office space while they continue to work in that space or they can sublet the entire office location until the end of their lease or for a specific period of time.

For example, suppose a seasonal company, a Halloween store, signed a year-long fixed lease term, they may seek to sublet that property for the 8 months during which their store does not operate in order to generate income to pay the rent. It is important to note that, when subletting, the original tenant, called the sublessor, is still obligated to the landlord for the terms outlined in the lease.

This means that a sublessor maintains privity of estate and privity of contract with the landlord. The sublessee, or the individual or entity that utilizes the lease for a temporary period of time, is only liable to the original tenant for the terms of lease, not the landlord.

In other words, the original lease between the original commercial tenant and the landlord remains effective throughout the sublease period. In addition, the original tenant is responsible for the new tenant.

This means that the sublessee would approach the original tenant with any concerns related to the rental property and would pay rent directly to them. It has become increasingly popular for big box retail stores to sublease corners of their facilities to smaller retail stores.

This is also popular for startups which do not have enough capital to lease an entire unit and, instead, prefer to cut costs by sharing an office space with other businesses. For example, in a grocery store or a shopping center , there may be several other types of businesses subleasing from the main store, including:

  • Nail salons;
  • Ophthalmology services;
  • Cell phone repair shops;
  • Food vendors.

Other reasons a business may desire to sublease or to seek out a sublease may include:

  • Lower rates: The rate for a commercial sublease, especially a short-term lease, may be lower than lease rates;
  • Flat rental payment structure: Commercial leases often have flat rental payment structures that have no unusual surprises;
  • Fewer obligations: In commercial subleases, the sublessees typically have limited obligations to repair and maintain common areas;
  • Better bargaining position: A sublease may put the sublessee in an advantageous position when it comes to negotiating a new lease with the landlord directly, for example, when the main lease ends;
  • Less complex lease: Commercial subleases are usually not as complex as commercial leases; or
  • Additional income: One of the most common reasons for subleasing is to gain an additional source of rental income in order to make or lessen lease payments.

There are several advantages for subletting or seeking out a sublease agreement for a company. There are, however, also disadvantages for subletting a lease.

For example, being responsible for any late or missed payments from the sublessor that may cause the original renter to default on their lease with the landlord. Additionally, as noted above, as the sublessor, the business is responsible for maintaining the location and completing repairs.

If, however, the lease provides that the landlord has a duty to make repairs , then as the sublessor, the original renter will act as the intermediary to ensure that the repairs are done in a timely manner, meaning that, as a sublessee, repairs may be delayed.

A sublease of a commercial lease occurs when a commercial tenant transfers all or part of their interest in the leased property to another party prior to the expiration of the lease. The original tenant will remain liable for any damages in the event the lease is breached.

The right of a commercial tenant to assign or sublease a commercial lease is determined by the terms provided in the lease. The terms of a lease may expressly prohibit a tenant from assigning or subletting.

The terms of a lease may also allow a tenant to assign or sublease only with the consent of the landlord or if certain conditions are met. Certain jurisdictions also prohibit landlords from unreasonably withholding consent.

If there is not a provision in the lease stating otherwise, commercial leases can generally be assigned or subleased. It is important to note that the tenant’s ability to assign or sublease a commercial lease can be negotiated at the time the lease is signed or renewed.

Numerous commercial leases will contain express provisions stating that the landlord is required to consent to the assignment or sublease of the property if it is reasonable, known as an approval clause. The purpose of these clauses is to protect tenants against liability for damages or risk of forfeiture if the landlord’s consent is improperly withheld.

In general, there must be reasonable commercial objections for a landlord to withhold consent.

Landlords are permitted to withhold consent for an assignment or sublease based on several factors, including:

  • The subtenant’s suitability for the particular locale;
  • The subtenant’s suitability for the particular building;
  • Legality of the proposed use;
  • Nature of the occupancy and whether the proposed use is materially different from the use specified in the original lease; and
  • The original tenant’s failure to pay rent.

Commercial real estate can be very complex. In many cases, commercial leases are drafted by attorneys. If you are a landlord or a commercial tenant who has any issues, questions, or concerns related to a commercial sublease or assignment, it may be helpful to consult with a real estate attorney .

Your lawyer will be able to advise you of your rights and obligations under the lease. In addition, your attorney can represent you in court if necessary.

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A Full Guide to Commercial Lease Assignment (Lease Transfer)

a full guide to commercial lease assignment or lease transfer stamped with a red CONFIRM mark image at offices.net

Dealing with a fixed-term lease agreement and looking to move offices or downsize? The topic of commercial lease transfer can be confusing to navigate, particularly when you are unsure of your rights and obligations under the lease.

If you’re renting a commercial property, you signed a contract at the beginning of your tenancy called a lease agreement , which contains all the details of your rights and obligations while occupying and conducting business operations at the commercial property. Your agent is required by law to give you a copy of the lease agreement if you don’t already have one.

The following article will serve as a full guide to commercial lease assignment, providing business owners with an overview of the legal considerations and elements required for an assignment of lease.

  • 1 What is a Commercial Lease Assignment?
  • 2 Current Market Conditions Boosting Lease Transfers and Flexible Arrangements
  • 3 What is the Difference Between Commercial Lease Assignment and Subleasing?
  • 4 Why Would You Want to Transfer a Lease?
  • 5 How to Go About Transferring Your Commercial Lease
  • 6.1 Goals and obligations of the original lessee and new tenant
  • 6.2 Starting date of lease assignment
  • 6.3 Pitfalls and consequences
  • 7.0.1 Further Insights

What is a Commercial Lease Assignment?

Also known as a lease transfer, a commercial lease assignment involves a tenant transferring all of their interests and rights in a lease to a new party. This new tenant will take on the responsibilities of the existing lease, including rent and any other obligations, leaving the original tenant free to exit the agreement.

Commercial lease assignment often occurs when tenants want to leave their commercial property prior to the end of a fixed-term agreement. This often happens when a business quickly needs to upsize or downsize their space, move to a new city, or go out of business.

State law dictates whether tenants require their landlord’s consent prior to transferring a lease or subletting a part of their space. However, most lease agreements will clearly outline full transfer provisions prior to being signed and, whilst it is possible for lease assignment to be forbidden, the vast majority of agreements allow for transfers.

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Current Market Conditions Boosting Lease Transfers and Flexible Arrangements

There has been a marked increase in the number of lease transfers and sublets of commercial properties in recent years, largely as a result of increased instances of remote work and downsizing seen across multiple industries. This reduced need for workspace has persisted, as many workers have continued to show a preference for remote and hybrid work arrangements if and when suitable.

Changing employee priorities have forced many businesses to reconsider their existing lease agreements, resulting in an increase in both commercial lease assignments and sublease agreements .

Landlords have adapted their offerings in the face of this changed market demand. Many are now offering flexible, month-to-month leases, allowing tenants to rest easy knowing that they won’t be stuck in a long-term lease agreement if their situation changes.

However, in the case of premium office spaces in highly sought-after locations or warehousing facilities close to major transport links, traditional leases are still very much the norm. In these cases, landlords may have realized that fully reconfiguring their offerings for flexible-usage is financially unrealistic. This may be due to a number of factors, including high-levels of existing demand for traditional leases, the saturation of the flexible workspace market, and the requirements of their typical target tenants.

So, if you’re leasing long-term commercial property and need out of the agreement, or at least to downsize, a lease transfer is a great solution that can leave all contracted parties satisfied. 

three business people finalizing a sublease agreement in a well-lit office space image at offices.net

What is the Difference Between Commercial Lease Assignment and Subleasing?

A commercial sublease, which is a type of lease transfer, occurs when a tenant who currently leases property agrees to let another tenant use the space concurrently. The agreement involves all three parties: the original tenant, the new tenant, and the property owner.

When you sublease your space, you become the sub-lessor (or sub-landlord), and your new tenant is now the sublessee (or subtenant). Your agreement with them will normally allow them to reside in your space – or a specified portion of it – for either the remaining term of your lease or some other pre-determined length of time. 

It’s important to keep in mind that, as the original lessee, you’re still liable and responsible for making monthly lease payments on a sublet agreement. Therefore, you must collect rent from your subtenant each month while continuing to make rental payments directly to your landlord.

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Why Would You Want to Transfer a Lease?

Lease transfers can be done to adjust the leased property size and monthly rent. A business owner may decide that they need to upsize or downsize their leased premises prior to the end of their original lease term.

Also, a lease transfer may be sought because the current tenant wants to vacate the rental property entirely, with no plans to lease elsewhere. This may be due to outside factors (e.g. a global pandemic) or the forced closure of a business.

A lease transfer, or a sublease arrangement, may also be desired so that two businesses with complementary strengths can share a workspace and mutually benefit from their operational proximity. No matter how complementary the proposed new tenant is to the existing tenant, this new business relationship will require the landlord’s permission (unless they have been given prior written consent providing them with sole discretion over subletting)

How to Go About Transferring Your Commercial Lease

The only necessary requirement for lease transfer is to identify a new lessee. In the vast majority of cases, your landlord cannot deny your request for a lease transfer unreasonably , yet it’s still in your best interest to find a new tenant with an established rental history and who can financially afford the rent on time. The only situation in which a commercial landlord can instantly deny a lease transfer request is if this provision was established in the initial lease agreement, however, this type of provision will often scare off prospective tenants.

If you’re looking to transfer your lease, most agents will request that the new tenant apply as if they were renting any other property as a primary lessee. Be sure that, in addition to their application , the prospective tenant provides documentation like company financials and past rental receipts to support your transfer request. This way, there’s no doubt of their ability to be a reliable tenant. 

If you wish to transfer your lease, you must have written consent from your landlord – mere verbal agreement will not suffice. Without your landlords’ express permission in writing, any attempted transfer of lease will be considered null and void. You will then need to fill out a lease assignment agreement, outlining the proposed assignee, current tenant, landlord, and existing lease term.

four colleagues planning a workplace strategy by writing on a clear glass window image at offices.net

Important Things to Keep in Mind

To avoid any unnecessary stress or surprises, it helps to understand your rights and responsibilities before beginning the commercial lease transfer process.

Goals and obligations of the original lessee and new tenant

When considering a lease transfer, it is crucial to first identify the goal you hope to achieve through this deal. Most commercial leases have restrictions on transferring the lease, so before beginning any negotiations, all rights and obligations of the involved parties must be closely analyzed. If everyone’s interests are clear from the start, then agreement upon terms should run much more smoothly.

Starting date of lease assignment

In most cases , tenants need to pay their rent a month before move-in date. Confirm that the party being assigned the lease understands when they are responsible for making their first rent payment, so there are no delayed payments. This is also important for sublease agreements, because existing tenants are often liable for any missed rental payments made by the sublessee.

Pitfalls and consequences

Depending on the terms of the lease transfer and the legal documentation, the original lessee may find themselves responsible for any actions or defaults of the new leaseholder. 

As commercial leases often last several years, this could result in a heavy financial burden and significant legal consequences. Careful negotiation at the outset will always lead to a more positive outcome, so it’s important to tick all appropriate procedural and legal boxes when pursuing a commercial lease assignment.

close up of a commercial lease assignment form image at offices.net

Wrapping up

Before you begin subletting or transferring/assigning a lease, be sure that you understand the objectives of both parties and identify the correct method of altering the lease. Both lessors and lessees should also review all clauses in the lease and negotiate based on everyone’s incentives and interests. If there is any confusion about preparing or reviewing documents related to this process, it’s important to consult with legal advisors for the sake of all parties concerned.

Further Insights

Looking for more articles about the US office market and general office matters? You can find a number of recent posts below! Alternatively, if you’re a business or freelancer looking for flexible workspace in the US, we can help to connect you to a wide range of serviced offices and coworking spaces in highly sought-after locations such as New York City , Los Angeles , Houston , Atlanta , Miami , Chicago , and Dallas . You can also call us to have a discussion about your requirements on 972-913-2742 .

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Tags: 2022 , commercial lease assignment , commercial property , guides , landlords , lease transfer , Office Space , subleasing , tenants This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2022 at 8:46 am and is filed under 2022 , Business Advice , Leases , Office Talk .

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assignment of commercial lease

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What Is a Commercial Lease Assignment?

A commercial lease assignment happens when a tenant transfers all of the rights to a lease to someone else but remains liable for rent payments to the landlord. 4 min read updated on February 01, 2023

A commercial lease assignment happens when a tenant transfers all of his or her rights to a lease to someone else but remains liable for rent payments to the landlord.

A Tenant's Right to Assign or Sublet a Commercial Lease

Due to difficult financial times, businesses have been forced to downsize.

Often these businesses find themselves in commercial leases for more space than they need. In order to save money, these businesses will consider a commercial lease assignment or subletting the extra space. Both options have pros and cons, but the first step is examining the current lease in order to figure out whether there are any restrictions on assignment or subletting.

Commercial leases are contracts and, as such, are subject to their terms. Thus, the language of the lease will dictate whether or not the tenant is able to assign the lease to someone else or sublet the space.

If a lease doesn't contain any rules against assignment or transfer, then a tenant is allowed to assign or sublet. Unless your lease says otherwise, you do not have to get your landlord's consent to sublet or assign your lease.

Businesses might sublet or assign office or retail space to help with costs or to avoid a penalty if they need to end their commercial lease earlier than their contract stipulates. Sometimes, this may be their only option, regardless of their financial position.

Legal Considerations

When considering your options, you should be aware of the legal differences between assignment and subletting.

There are also several legal and practical aspects to consider when negotiating an assignment or sublease. This includes any legal consequences the tenant may face if the landlord ends the lease.

It is in your best interest to consult an experienced real estate attorney so that you can protect yourself and understand all of your options . Whether you sublet or assign your lease, you will need to find a new tenant. However, there are still differences between the two.

Before subletting or assigning your lease, you should review your lease agreement and talk about your options with your landlord.

It is also important to check your state's laws regarding subleases and assignment because some states require the landlord's consent in order to complete this transfer.

What Happens If I Breach the Lease by Subleasing or Assignment?

Breaching your lease can carry severe consequences, including the following:

  • Paying damages to your landlord
  • Termination of the lease agreement

What Is an Assignment of Lease?

A lease assignment happens when the tenant transfers all of his or her rights and interest in a lease to another party. Although the new tenant takes on these rights and interests, the assigning tenant is still liable to the landlord.

If the new tenant breaches the lease, the landlord can enforce the terms of the lease on both the new tenant and old tenant. The former, or assigning, tenant is still liable to the landlord according to the original commercial lease agreement.

A lease assignment can also be called:

  • A lease transfer
  • Assignment agreement
  • Assignment of lease
  • Lease assignment

Sometimes, a tenant has to leave before their lease is up. In this case, they might be allowed to assign, or transfer, their lease to a new tenant. The old tenant, or assignor, transfers his rights to a new tenant, the assignee.

You can assign both residential and commercial leases. In an assignment, the assignor transfers their lease to a new tenant using a lease assignment agreement. The new tenant then takes the place of the assignor, but the former tenant is still responsible for missed rent checks and damages.

What Does a Lease Assignment Agreement Contain?

A lease assignment agreement is a document that transfers a commercial or residential lease from one party to another. When a tenant needs to break a lease and has a new tenant lined up, they can use a lease assignment agreement.

A lease assignment agreement contains basic information:

  • Identifying information
  • Assignment start date
  • Landlord name

Lease assignment agreements are pretty simple because they reference the original lease. This means that all of the terms in the old lease are automatically included in the new agreement.

A lease assignment agreement transfers the entire lease, whereas sublease agreement does not. Assignments transfer the whole lease from one tenant to another.

The most important thing to know about lease assignment agreements is that they usually need the landlord's permission. If you're considering assigning your lease, you should make absolutely sure that your landlord agrees to the arrangement because you are transferring your lease to a new party.

If you need help with commercial lease assignment, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.

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Commercial Lease Assignment and Sublet Provisions

A balancing act for landlords and tenants, july 2020 by adam f. aldrich.

assignment of commercial lease

This article identifies common problems involved in commercial lease transfers through assignments and subleases. It offers both landlords and tenants tips for solving these problems when negotiating assignment and sublease provisions in leases.

The modern commercial lease is a complex, integrated document that attempts to balance the competing interests of the landlord and tenant. As a result, commercial leases are the subject of much negotiation and are never “one size fits all.” In fact, commercial leases are one of the least standardized documents in real estate practice.

When any commercial lease is to be transferred in part through a sublet or in its entirety through an assignment, the issues multiply. The transfer provisions, which once seemed moot, become operative to determine whether the lease can be transferred and, if so, under what conditions. If, during lease negotiations, the parties overlooked the lease transfer provisions or gave them cursory consideration, they may be unpleasantly surprised by the result. While landlords and tenants have divergent economic interests with respect to transferring the lease, their legitimate concerns can be appropriately addressed through thoughtfully crafted transfer provisions.

This article explores common problems, issues, and solutions encountered in commercial lease transfers through assignments and subleases. It is intended to be useful both to the lawyer who infrequently encounters lease transfer problems and the seasoned practitioner who deals with lease transfer issues every day.

Distinguishing Between an Assignment and Sublease

Assignments and subleases have fundamental differences that are frequently misunderstood. A lease is both a conveyance of an interest in property and a contract. 1 After executing the lease, the landlord and tenant are bound to one another by privity of contract and by privity of estate. As a result, they may each enforce the provisions of the written lease through privity of contract and the promises that arise from privity of estate. 2 Privity of contract allows enforcement of the lease provisions, while privity of estate allows enforcement of only those promises that run with the land. 3

Whether the landlord, tenant/assignor, and subtenant/assignee call their arrangement an assignment or a sublease, courts typically look at the substance of the transaction. In an assignment, a tenant transfers its entire interest in the lease. 4 After assigning its interest in the lease, the assignee has privity of estate with the landlord, but the assignee and the landlord are not in privity of contract unless the assignee assumes the tenant’s obligations under the lease. 5 Assignment of the lease ends the original tenant’s rights to possession, but absent an express release under the lease terms, its liability under the lease continues. 6 This means the original tenant remains secondarily liable for the assignee’s obligations under the lease. Thus, the tenant/assignor may find itself liable at a future date if the assignee fails to perform its obligations under the lease.

In a sublease, however, the tenant transfers less than the remaining term or less than the tenant’s entire interest in the lease, leaving the original tenant with a reversionary interest in the lease. 7 The relationship between the original landlord and the original tenant, including both privity of contract and privity of estate, remains intact, thereby creating the relationship of landlord and tenant between the original tenant (sublandlord) and the new tenant (subtenant). The original landlord and the subtenant have no privity of estate or privity of contract with one another, so the original tenant remains liable for the actions and omissions of the subtenant. 8 However, the subtenant’s rights will terminate with the original lease or when the landlord declares a forfeiture of the tenant’s lease term. 9

A third, less common type of transfer is a partial assignment of a lease. Such assignments are called assignments “pro tanto,” not subleases, because they grant possession of a portion of the leased premises to the new tenant for the balance of the lease term. 10 The landlord now has two tenants and, in effect, two leases. There is little guiding case law on this hybrid lease transfer, so it is not entirely clear whether the assignee has a contractual relationship with the landlord. 11 Due to the vagaries and uncertainties that can result when a transfer of possession encompasses less than all of the space, partial assignments should be avoided. To avoid assignments pro tanto, landlords should consider prohibiting assignments of less than the original tenant’s entire interest in the lease. If a landlord proceeds with a partial assignment, it should clearly document the arrangement, including the rights and remedies of the landlord, original tenant, and new tenant, and acknowledge the transaction as a partial assignment and not a sublease. 12

The accompanying table illustrates the many differences between an assignment, sublease, and partial assignment. 13

Restrictions on Assignments and Subleases

Colorado law favors the free transferability of rights. 14 As a result, landlords frequently attempt to limit the tenant’s right to transfer the lease by including lease provisions specifically restricting the tenant’s right to assign or sublet. Under Colorado law, outright prohibitions against assignments are permissible and are not considered invalid restraints on alienation. 15 Even if outright prohibitions on assignments or subletting are enforced, such provisions “are construed against the restriction.” 16 This means a court generally will construe such stipulations “against the party invoking them.” 17 A breach of the restriction against transfer does not terminate the lease, 18 but may give rise to a claim for default. 19 Generally, tenants in commercial leases negotiate exceptions to strict prohibitions against assignments or subletting because transfer provisions may be their only viable exit strategy if they find they can no longer afford the space or no longer need it.

Consent to Assignments and Subleases

Recognizing that absolute prohibitions are neither favored by the courts nor acceptable to most tenants, some landlords include modified prohibitions in their leases that limit the tenant’s rights to transfer the lease and, if a transfer is permitted, allow the landlord to enforce the lease against both the original tenant and the new tenant to the maximum extent possible. Such provisions may reserve to the landlord, either in its sole discretion or without unreasonably withholding its consent, the right to approve a proposed lease transfer. Although the reservation of the landlord’s right to approve a proposed assignment or sublease is for the landlord’s benefit, 20 the landlord is bound to the standards set out in the lease for consents to an assignment or sublease. 21 Accordingly, once the landlord has established the standards for its consent in the lease, it cannot object to a proposed assignment or sublease if the tenant has met the appropriate requirements.

It is well established in Colorado law that “without a freely negotiated provision in the lease giving the landlord an absolute right to withhold consent, a landlord’s decision to withhold consent must be reasonable.” 22 Thus, if a lease contains a provision against subletting or assignment, but is silent on a landlord’s right to withhold consent, Colorado law forbids the landlord from withholding its consent unreasonably if the tenant tenders a suitable subtenant or assignee to the landlord. 23

Disputes often arise as to what is a ‘‘reasonable” withholding of the landlord’s consent. This debate has led to the enunciation of specific standards of reasonableness. If a lease provision “requires that consent to an assignment will not be unreasonably or arbitrarily withheld, a landlord is held to the standard of conduct of a reasonably prudent person.” 24 Therefore, a landlord must only consider “those factors that relate to a landlord’s interest in preserving the value of the property,” 25 which do not include “[a]rbitrary considerations of personal taste, convenience, or sensibility . . . .” 26 Whether a landlord has acted reasonably is a fact-specific inquiry. 27 Most courts have held that the tenant bears the burden of proving that the landlord acted unreasonably in withholding consent, 28 but some courts have required the landlord to prove it acted reasonably. 29 Courts have been divided on a tenant’s right to terminate a lease where the landlord has been found to have unreasonably withheld consent. 30

There are several reliable rules that courts follow in determining whether a landlord acted reasonably. First, a landlord cannot refuse consent for racial or other discriminatory reasons. 31

Second, a landlord may not deny consent to improve its general economic position or to receive increased rent. 32 However, a landlord may deny consent to protect its interest in the value, condition, and operation of the property or the performance of lease covenants. 33 For example, in Cafeteria Operators L.P. v. AMCAP/Denver Limited Partnership , the tenant leased the premises to run a cafeteria-style restaurant. 34 After several failed attempts to operate the restaurant, the tenant marketed the space to prospective subtenants, including non-cafeteria restaurant owners. 35 When a non-cafeteria restaurant owner expressed interest in subleasing the premises, the tenant sought the landlord’s approval to the proposed sublease, but the landlord refused. The Court found that the landlord reasonably withheld consent because the proposed sublessee would have changed the “character” of the shopping center by operating “the largest restaurant of its kind, raising concerns about lighting, maintenance, traffic, and parking.” 36 Moreover, the subtenant would sell alcohol and stay open late, and its proposed occupancy raised “concerns about security, safety of patrons, and parking requirements.” 37 Similarly, the Court in List v. Dahnke found that the landlord reasonably withheld consent where the landlord determined that a Thai-American restaurant operated by the assignee would not be successful at that location, but the Court did not identify the facts that led the landlord to such conclusion. 38

Third, a court may make a finding of unreasonableness if a landlord refuses consent to a proposed transfer without obtaining relevant information to make its decision. 39 Before making the decision, the landlord should obtain sufficient information on the transferee’s financial condition; the transferee’s experience in operating its business; how the premises are to be used; projected sales, gross income, and income per square foot; and, in the case of a sublease, the size of the subleased space. 40

Fourth, courts may consider how long it takes the landlord to make the decision on the requested assignment. If the landlord instantly refuses consent or waits too long to make a decision, the court could make a finding of unreasonableness. 41 Conversely, if the tenant fails to allow the landlord a reasonable amount of time to issue a decision, the withholding of consent can be found reasonable. 42 In Parr v. Triple L&J Corp. , the Court found that the landlord unreasonably withheld consent when it deferred making a decision on the proposed assignment, thereby delaying the sale of the tenant’s business until the prospective buyer withdrew his offer. 43 The tenant sought approval from the landlord for an assignment of the lease as part of the sale of its business. The landlord requested all personal and financial information on the proposed assignee and the assignee’s business plan, and the tenant provided prompt responses that demonstrated the assignee’s experience in restaurant management and “perfect credit score.” 44 Because the landlord unreasonably withheld consent, the landlord was held liable to the tenant under a breach of contract theory, as well as for lost profits on the sale of its business. 45

Similarly, the Court in Bert Bidwell Investors Corp. v. LaSalle and Schiffer, P.C. addressed whether the landlord unreasonably withheld consent to the tenant’s request to transfer the lease where the assignee was “ready, willing, and able to assume the lease as written, and to use the premises for the same business as that of the tenants.” 46 The landlord ultimately refused consent because it “didn’t like” the proposed assignee. 47 Based on the lease, which required the landlord’s consent to assign, the landlord argued that it “had the right to relet the premises as it saw fit and to be arbitrary in doing so.” 48 Relying on List , the Court found that the landlord acted unreasonably in refusing to accept the proposed new tenant. 49 Nevertheless, parties may create their own standards and definition of reasonableness, and if they do, courts will enforce and apply such standards. 50

As these cases illustrate, if a landlord wishes to withhold consent absent a sole and unconditional contractual right to do so, it must have fact-based reasons for doing so and cannot arbitrarily withhold or delay its consent. The landlord should communicate its decision in writing to the tenant and enumerate all fact-based reasons to preserve all arguments for reasonableness. 51 Before making the request to assign or sublet the premises, the tenant should gather information about the proposed assignee’s or subtenant’s financial status, business acumen, and proposed operations, and then submit this information to the landlord, along with an assignment or sublease document signed by the tenant and assignee or subtenant. While the landlord must still consent to the transaction, 52 such documentation places the tenant in a stronger position to rebut any superficial or arbitrary reasons the landlord may proffer for denying consent. And if litigation ensues, it will be critical for the tenant’s case to show that it supplied the landlord with as much information as possible concerning the assignee’s or subtenant’s financial status and operations, to avoid having the trier of fact determine that the landlord acted reasonably in denying consent due to a lack of information from the tenant.

Recapture, Termination, and Renewal Rights

Leases may grant the landlord the right to terminate the lease and to retake the tenant’s space if the tenant wishes to assign its lease or sublet its space, or if the tenant transfers the lease without the landlord’s consent. Replacing the tenant by recapturing the premises can benefit both the landlord and the tenant, but each party will want to weigh the pros and cons of such an agreement.

Terminating the lease allows the landlord to eliminate existing lease weaknesses and to enter into a new lease with a potentially better tenant on a clean slate. Moreover, recapturing the premises and directly leasing it to the proposed assignee can save the landlord substantial dollars in tenant improvements that can be passed on to the new tenant through reduced or free rent for a portion of the lease term. But the landlord must pay close attention to market conditions before terminating the lease. Terminating the lease in a strong market when space is at a premium and rents are high allows the landlord to enter into a new lease with a new tenant at a higher rate, but the landlord may take a loss on its investment in the premises in a down market when rates are depressed and there is an oversupply of space.

The tenant, on the other hand, risks losing its investment in its business and the leased premises. Before requesting a transfer, the tenant should closely scrutinize the lease to determine the potential outcome. Under some leases, the act of notifying the landlord of an intent to assign or sublet can trigger the recapture provision. 53 Similarly, if the lease is assigned without the landlord’s consent, it may trigger the recapture right if that right is expressly provided in the lease. 54 Landlords should closely review the recapture language before terminating the lease because restraints on alienation and lease forfeitures are disfavored. 55

When a tenant violates the transfer provisions by transferring the lease without the landlord’s consent, the landlord should send a notice of default to the tenant and demand that the default be cured by nullifying the transfer, 56 unless the lease provides that transferring the lease is an automatic termination. If the tenant is unable to nullify the transfer when it receives the notice, it could be liable for default damages incurred by the landlord. 57 If the tenant does not cure the default and the landlord will not approve (and has the right not to approve) the assignee or subtenant, the landlord may terminate the lease (or the tenant’s right to possession) if the lease so permits. 58 If the landlord fails to terminate the lease 59 or accepts rent after breach of the anti-assignment clause, 60 it may be deemed to have waived the right to terminate. Once the lease is terminated as a result of the default, the landlord must consider its duty to mitigate damages. 61

If the space is recaptured and the lease terminated, the tenant’s lease obligations will be terminated with respect to all recaptured space, including the payment of rent. 62 Moreover, the tenant will no longer have privity of contract or estate with the landlord, assignee, or subtenant because the lease will be terminated as to the tenant. 63 If the landlord recaptures the premises, the tenant is spared the rent expense while it finds a transferee. But if the landlord does not recapture, the tenant can make a transfer without fear that the landlord will then exercise its recapture rights.

Another important issue is whether an option to renew contained in a lease assigned or subleased to a third party remains exercisable following the transfer. If the assigned lease gives the original tenant a renewal option, the assignee can extend the term unless the renewal option is reserved from the assignment. 64 If a tenant/sublandlord grants its subtenant an option to renew based on the tenant’s option in the prime lease, the subtenant is dependent on the tenant/sublandlord for a lease extension because it does not have contractual privity with the landlord. 65 If the tenant/sublandlord refuses to exercise its renewal option so as to enable the subtenant to take advantage of the rights that were granted to it, the tenant may be liable to the subtenant. 66 To protect its option to renew, the subtenant should request or require a recognition agreement from the landlord when negotiating a sublease, whereby the landlord agrees to recognize the sublease if the prime lease terminates due to the tenant/sublandlord’s default. 67

The Impact of Bankruptcy Proceedings on Assignments and Subleases

Bankruptcy laws can have a significant impact on commercial leases when the tenant files for bankruptcy protection. Generally, a trustee is appointed to administer the bankruptcy estate, except in Chapter 11 cases where the debtor-in-possession is the tenant. 68 For debtors with executory contracts and/or unexpired leases, 11 USC § 365 contains a series of rules that govern those documents. Section 365 of the bankruptcy code provides the tenant/debtor with the statutory right to assume or reject executory contracts and unexpired leases to which it is a party, subject to objections by creditors and other parties-in-interest, and ultimately the court’s approval. 69 The debtor may, in turn, assign the lease if the assignee provides “adequate assurance of future performance.” 70 During the period between filing the bankruptcy petition and the date on which the lease is assumed or rejected, the tenant must continue to pay rent and perform the material terms of the lease. 71 It should be noted that written waivers of § 362’s automatic stay have been found to be unenforceable unless they are part of a previous bankruptcy proceeding. 72 Thus, landlords should not assume that a waiver in the lease is enforceable if the tenant files for bankruptcy.

From the debtor’s perspective, the right to reject the lease is “vital to the basic purpose of Chapter 11” because it can free the tenant from the obligation to pay all future rent under the lease. 73 If a lease is rejected with bankruptcy court approval, the debtor has no legal interest in the lease or the leased premises, and it must vacate the leased premises. If, however, the debtor fails to vacate the premises, the landlord can file a motion to lift the automatic stay so it can file or continue an eviction action in state court. If the debtor rejects the lease, the landlord may have a claim for “rejection damages” pursuant to 11 USC § 502(b)(6), subject to the mitigation-of-damages duty. 74

As a condition to assuming the lease, the debtor must cure all monetary defaults and provide adequate assurances of future performance under the lease. 75 A debtor who assumes the lease may be able to assign the lease free of restrictions on transfer set forth in the lease and over the landlord’s objection, 76 which may turn out to be a significant right for the debtor if it holds a below-market lease with sufficient time remaining on the lease term. However, a bankruptcy court has discretion to reject an assignment if it finds, for example, that the assignment would disrupt the tenant mix by changing the image of a shopping center or violating the use restriction in the lease. 77 A landlord may favorably view the debtor’s assumption because it assures continuation of the lease and the cure of existing defaults. But if the tenant is holding a below-market lease, the landlord may favor rejection to enable it to negotiate a new lease. A landlord may object to the debtor’s attempted lease assumption if the landlord disagrees with the debtor’s plan to cure the default or believes the debtor has not provided adequate assurance that the default will be cured or the debtor will perform in the future.

Section 365(b)(3)(C) of the bankruptcy code provides specific protections for “a lease of real property in a shopping center” by providing that no assignment can occur without assurances that use clauses and other provisions vital to the operation of the shopping center will continue to be performed, “including (but not limited to) provisions such as a radius, location, use, or exclusivity provision, and will not breach any such provision contained in any other lease, financing agreement, or master agreement relating to such shopping center.” The purpose of § 365(b)(3)(C) “is to preserve the landlord’s bargained-for protections with respect to premises use and other matters that are spelled out in the lease with the debtor-tenant.” 78 Moreover, § 365(b)(3)(D) requires adequate assurance “that assumption or assignment of such lease will not disrupt any tenant mix or balance in such shopping center.” Despite the bankruptcy code’s language protecting shopping centers, some bankruptcy courts have found lease provisions that limit the use of the shopping center premises to be per se restraints on alienation. 79 To avoid an adverse ruling if a shopping center tenant files for bankruptcy, a landlord should arm itself with as much evidence and expert testimony as possible to show a disruption in tenant mix or a real potential for violating other tenants’ rights if an assignment is allowed. 80

While a tenant’s bankruptcy filing places the lease in limbo, a landlord can be proactive by approaching the tenant to determine whether it intends to reject or assume the lease. Landlords and tenants should not treat the existing lease as a static document that presents the tenant with a “take it or leave it” proposition for assumption. If the tenant voices concerns about the current lease, the landlord can renegotiate the lease to entice the tenant to assume a modified lease (subject to court approval) that keeps the tenant in the premises and paying rent.

Negotiating Lease Transfer Provisions

Negotiating lease transfer provisions is an important process for both the landlord and the tenant because, at some time in the future, the landlord or the tenant may be forced to accept a previously unknown or undesirable counterparty to the lease. It is critical that attorneys impress upon their respective clients the short-term and long-term ramifications that could result from their negotiations of the lease transfer provisions. Landlords and tenants should consider the following issues when negotiating assignment and subletting provisions.

The Landlord’s Perspective

  • The landlord’s primary objective in negotiating assignment and subleasing provisions is control , including control over the mix of tenants and control over the use of the leased premises. Thus, the landlord will use the transfer provisions to protect its interests in the premises.
  • A landlord’s foremost concern is almost always the tenant’s ability to pay rent, in full, on a timely basis. A landlord should negotiate requirements that a prospective assignee or subtenant must meet, such as minimum net worth and minimum gross sales.
  • The landlord can protect itself by including a right to recapture the premises if a tenant seeks to assign its lease or to sublet its premises. However, landlords should carefully consider whether to include language that terminates the lease automatically upon receipt of an assignment request because it could constitute a restraint on alienation, which is disfavored, and the landlord may prefer the leasehold to continue. 81
  • The landlord should keep the original tenant on the hook. Landlords should oppose any transfer provision that relieves the original tenant of its obligations under the lease upon an assignment. Having a tenant with a vested interest in the assignee’s ability to perform the lease is helpful to ensure that a lease is transferred to a worthy transferee. Additionally, in the event the assignee does default, if the original tenant’s liability has been preserved, the landlord’s chances of recovery are improved.
  • The landlord should limit the use rights of a subsequent assignee or subtenant. A landlord should seek to protect its right to control the mix of tenants, particularly in retail settings, so as not to violate exclusive use provisions. 82 Moreover, exclusives and use restrictions held by other tenants at a shopping center must be considered in conjunction with a potential change in use that may occur upon assignment or subletting.
  • The landlord should seek to share in excess rent. 83 For example, where a tenant assigns its lease or subleases its premises, it may be paid more than the amount the tenant is obligated to pay the landlord under the lease. If the assignment or sublease had not been entered into, those same financial accommodations would theoretically have been available to the landlord if it had leased directly to the assignee or subtenant. Accordingly, a landlord should seek the right to share in this excess financial consideration along with the tenant, or if it has the leverage, to obtain 100% of such excess.

The Tenant’s Perspective

  • The tenant’s goal is maintaining flexibility. The tenant’s ability to maintain flexibility through the lease largely depends on its leverage to negotiate favorable lease terms. A new business seeking space in a desirable retail shopping center may have little or no leverage to negotiate the transfer provisions, but a large corporation leasing significant space may have considerable negotiating strength. Thus, it is imperative that the tenant’s leasing broker and attorney understand the market forces at play in any lease negotiation.
  • The tenant should seek flexibility to share the leased premises or certain portions of it (i.e., floor space, utilities, and parking) with its related entities and affiliates with which it has a business relationship, without having to seek the landlord’s consent in each instance. This issue is particularly important for large companies with divisions that operate under different business names.
  • The tenant should also seek flexibility to restructure its organization without the landlord and the lease acting as an impediment to such alteration, by negotiating into the lease specific language permitting such changes. The tenant’s ability to reorganize its business, either through a merger, consolidation, or sale, could be delayed or impeded by the landlord under the transfer provisions if these provisions are not properly negotiated at the letter of intent stage or before the lease is executed.
  • The tenant should maintain an exit strategy if the premises no longer satisfy its business needs because it has outgrown the space or needs less space. This is particularly important in the era of COVID-19. For example, start-up companies can quickly outgrow their leased premises, but if the landlord does not have more space available, the company must seek out new or additional space, frequently at a higher rate. Conversely, a change in economic forces can cause the tenant’s business to quickly retract. Thus, prospective tenants should be mindful to negotiate termination and rights of first refusal options for newly available space in the same building, with the end goal of ensuring that the size of their leased space does not impair their business objectives. 84
  • The tenant should insist that the landlord’s right to approve a lease transfer not be unreasonably withheld, if the landlord insists on reserving such right. The lease should detail the specific standards the tenant must meet to obtain approval, such as the transferee’s minimum net worth and minimum business experience.
  • Counsel for the tenant should attempt to include a provision for automatically releasing the tenant and any guarantor from further liability at the time of the lease transfer or after the transfer occurs if the assignee or sublessee can meet or exceed certain financial marks, such as net worth, sales, or revenue.
  • The tenant should negotiate (1) the right to revoke a transfer request during a defined period after the landlord issues a notice to terminate and recapture the premises, and (2) a reasonable period to vacate the premises before the tenant will be subject to eviction proceedings if the tenant does not revoke the transfer request. Where the landlord insists on a termination and recapture provision, this rescission right provides a tenant the flexibility to stop the recapture process according to the tenant’s particular circumstances and commercial exigencies.

The relationships established between the parties to a lease, sublease, or assignment can be complicated. While the ability to transfer the lease can be a valuable tool for the tenant, the landlord’s interest in protecting its investment by choosing its occupants is equally compelling. However, a balance can be struck that provides the tenant the flexibility it needs while preserving the landlord’s control and minimizing its risk. During lease negotiations, both parties should recognize that changing circumstances during the lease term could trigger the need to assign the lease or sublet the premises. If thoughtful attention is given to negotiating the transfer provisions, the parties can assure themselves that, if the need arises to transfer the lease, their respective interests will be reasonably protected.

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Adam F. Aldrich is the founder of Aldrich Legal, LLC, a Denver-based law firm focused on real estate and business transactions and litigation—(303) 325-5683. Coordinating Editor: Christopher D. Bryan .

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1 . Schneiker v. Gordon , 732 P.2d 603, 606 (Colo. 1987) (recognizing the “dual nature of a lease” as both a contract and a conveyance of an interest in land).

2 . Id. at 606–07.

3 . Shaffer v. George , 171 P. 881, 882 (Colo. 1917).

4 . Gordon Inv. Co. v. Jones , 227 P.2d 336, 340 (Colo. 1951).

5 . Shaffer , 171 P. at 882.

6 . Roget v. Grand Pontiac, Inc. , 5 P.3d 341, 345 (Colo.App. 1999) (“after the assignment, the assignee becomes primarily liable for the obligations under the contract, while the assignor remains secondarily liable”).

7 . Gordon Inv. Co. , 227 P.2d at 340.

8 . J.E. Martin, Inc. v. Interstate 8th St. , 585 P.2d 299, 301 (Colo.App. 1978) (“the delegation of duties under a lease and their assumption by a third person do not absolve the original lessee, absent the lessor’s knowledge and consent, simply by virtue of the conduct of the lessee and third party”). See also 1 Friedman and Randolph Jr., Friedman on Leases § 7:7.2 (Practising Law Institute 5th ed. 2013).

9 . V.O.B. Co. v. Hang It Up, Inc. , 691 P.2d 1157, 1159 (Colo.App. 1984).

10 . Friedman and Randolph Jr. , supra note 8 at § 7:4.2.

11 . Barbuti, “Assignments Pro Tanto And Why To Avoid Them,” 22 The Practical Real Estate Lawyer 24, 24–25 (Sept. 2006).

12 . Id. at 24.

13 . Id. at 23 (reprinted in part).

14 . Parrish Chiropractic Ctrs., P.C. v. Progressive Cas. Ins. Co. , 874 P.2d 1049, 1052 (Colo. 1994) (“Contract rights generally are assignable, except where assignment is prohibited by contract or by operation of law or where the contract involves a matter of personal trust or confidence”).

15 . Union Oil Co. of Cal. v. Lindauer , 280 P.2d 444, 447 (Colo. 1955). See also Malouff v. Midland Fed. Sav. and Loan Ass’n , 509 P.2d 1240, 1243 (Colo. 1973) (recognizing that “[t]he common law doctrine of restraints on alienation is a part of the law in Colorado”).

16 . Friedman and Randolph Jr., supra note 8 at § 7:3.3. See also Malouff , 509 P.2d at 1243 (holding “that the question of the invalidity of a restraint depends upon its reasonableness in view of the justifiable interests of the parties”).

17 . Beck v. Giordano , 356 P.2d 264, 265 (Colo. 1960).

18 . Lindauer , 280 P.2d at 447.

19 . Fink v. Montgomery Elevator Co. of Colo. , 421 P.2d 735, 738 (Colo. 1966).

20 . Routt Cty. Mining Co. v Stutheit , 72 P.2d 692, 693 (Colo. 1937).

21 . Parr v. Triple L & J Corp. , 107 P.3d 1104 (Colo.App. 2004).

22 . Cafeteria Operators L.P. v. AMCAP/Denver Ltd. P’ship , 972 P.2d 276, 278 (Colo.App. 1998).

23 . Id. See also Basnett v. Vista Vill. Mobile Home Park , 699 P.2d 1343, 1346 (Colo.App. 1984) (holding that a landlord may not unreasonably refuse consent under a silent consent clause because that result “incorporates the principles of fair-dealing and reasonableness and also preserves freedom of contract”), rev’d on other grounds , 731 P.2d 700 (Colo. 1987).

24 . List v. Dahnke , 638 P.2d 824, 825 (Colo.App. 1981).

25 . Cafeteria Operators L.P. , 972 P.2d at 279.

26 . List , 638 P.2d at 825.

28 . Ring v. Mpath Interactive, Inc. , 302 F.Supp.2d 301, 305 (S.D.N.Y. 2004); Toys “R” Us, Inc., No. 88 C 10349, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14878 at *111 (N.D.Ill. Sept. 29, 1995); Restatement (Second) of Prop.—Landlord and Tenant § 15.2 cmt. g (American Law Inst. 1976).

29 . E.g., Campbell v. Westdahl , 715 P.2d 288, 293 (Ariz.Ct.App. 1985).

30 . Friedman and Randolph Jr., supra note 8 at § 7:3.4 (citing cases).

31 . Cent. Bus. Coll. v. Rutherford , 107 P. 279, 280 (Colo. 1910); List , 638 P.2d at 825 (dictum).

32 . Kendall v. Ernest Pestana, Inc. , 709 P.2d 837, 845 (Cal. 1985).

33 . Id. at 845. See also Econ. Rentals, Inc. v. Garcia , 819 P.2d 1306, 1317 (N.M. 1991).

34 . Cafeteria Operators L.P. , 972 P.2d at 277.

36 . Id. at 279.

38 . List , 638 P.2d at 825.

39 . Toys “R” Us, Inc. , U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14878 at *124 (landlord’s refusal before it has relevant information that should be obtained in making the consent decision may be unreasonable).

40 . Shaffer, The Sublease and Assignment Deskbook at 80–81 (American Bar Ass’n 2d ed. 2016).

41 . Compare Parr , 107 P.3d at 1107 (affirming trial court’s ruling that the landlord unreasonably withheld consent where the landlord delayed consent, which caused the proposed assignees to withdraw their offer to purchase the business) with Toys “R” Us, Inc. , 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14878 at *124 (landlord’s refusal before it has relevant information that should be obtained in making the consent decision may be unreasonable).

42 . Fahrenwald v. LaBonte , 653 P.2d 806, 811 (Idaho Ct.App. 1982).

43 . Parr , 107 P.3d at 1106.

45 . Id. at 1107.

46 . Bert Bidwell Inv. Corp. v. LaSalle and Schiffer , P.C., 797 P.2d 811 (Colo.App. 1990).

47 . Id. at 811.

48 . Id. at 812.

50 . Toys “R” Us, Inc. , 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14878 at *115 (citations omitted) (“where a lease contains provisions giving further meaning to a reasonableness clause, the standard of reasonableness varies”); Shaffer, supra note 40 at 80–81.

51 . Golden Eye, LTC v. Fame Co. , No. 0603166/2007, 2008 N.Y. Misc 8571 at *16 (N.Y. Gen Term Jan. 16, 2008) (“the Court may not determine reasonableness if withholding consent is based on grounds that were not included in the letter refusing consent”).

52 . Shaffer, supra note 40 at 74–75.

53 . Carma Developers (Cal.), Inc. v. Marathon Dev. Cal., Inc. , 826 P.2d 710 (Cal. 1992).

54 . Lindauer , 280 P.2d at 447.

55 . Murphy v. Traynor , 135 P.2d 230, 231 (Colo. 1943).

56 . Shoemaker v. Shaug , 490 P.2d 439, 441 (Wash.Ct.App. 1971) (finding that the tenant was not in default of the anti-assignment provision because it could reassign the lease back to itself).

57 . La Casa Nino, Inc. v. Plaza Esteban , 762 P.2d 669, 672 (Colo. 1988) (citing Schneiker v. Gordon , 732 P.2d 603 (Colo. 1987)).

58 . Gordon Inv. Co. , 227 P.2d at 260–61 (tenant’s subletting was held a breach that permitted landlord to terminate the lease).

59 . Shakey’s Inc. v. Caple , 855 F.Supp. 1035, 1043–44 (E.D.Ark. 1994) (holding that the landlord was estopped from terminating a lease on account of an unapproved sublease because the landlord did not act promptly).

60 . Merkowitz v. Mahoney , 121 Colo. 38, 42 (Colo. 1949) (“It is the general rule that any act done by a landlord, with knowledge of an existing right of forfeiture, which recognizes the existence of the lease is a waiver of the right to enforce the forfeiture”); Werner v. Baker , 693 P.2d 385, 387 (Colo.App. 1984) (“the lessor’s acceptance of rent accruing after the breach of an anti-assignment clause, with knowledge of the breach, constitutes a waiver of the right to terminate the lease for breach of that clause”). Cf. Nouri v. Wester & Co. , 833 P.2d 848, 851 (Colo.App. 1992) (holding that waiver of conditions against assignment by accepting rent did not carry over to other provisions in the lease).

61 . La Casa Nino, Inc. , 762 P.2d at 672.

62 . Carma Developers (Cal.), Inc. , 826 P.2d 710.

63 . Schneiker , 732 P.2d at 611.

64 . Friedman and Randolph Jr., supra note 8 at §§ 7:5.1 and 7:7.1.

65 . Tiger Crane Martial Arts Inc. v. Franchise Stores Realty Corp. , 235 A.D.2d 994, 995 (N.Y.App.Div. 1997) (“It is well settled that where, as here, a sublease is expressly made subject to the terms of a master lease, the subtenant has no legal right to compel the tenant to exercise an option for renewal of the entire demised premises in order to permit the subtenant to exercise an option for renewal of its subleased premises, absent proof of an agreement on the part of the tenant to exercise its option to renew for the benefit of the subtenant or evidence of special circumstances entitling the subtenant to such relief”).

66 . Burgess Pic-Pac, Inc. v. Fleming Cos. , 190 W. Va. 169, 175 (W.Va. 1993) (discussing liability of sublandlord to subtenant for failure to exercise renewal option after request from subtenant).

67 . Senn, Commercial Real Estate Leases: Preparation, Negotiation, and Forms , § 13.14 (Wolters Kluwer 6th ed. 2019).

68 . 11 USC § 1107.

69 . 11 USC § 365(a).

70 . 11 USC § 365(f)(2)(B).

71 . 11 USC § 365(d)(3).

72 . In re DB Capital Holdings, LLC , 454 B.R. 804, 816 (Bankr. D.Colo. 2011) (“waivers, unless they were part of a previous bankruptcy proceeding . . . should not be enforced”).

73 . NLRB v. Bildisco & Bildisco , 465 U.S. 513, 528 (1984); 11 USC § 502(b)(6).

74 . In re Shane Co. , 464 B.R. 32, 38–41 (Bankr. D.Colo. 2012) (discussing damages claim under 11 USC § 502(b)(6)).

75 . 11 USC § 365(b)(1).

76 . 11 USC § 365(f); In re Bricker Systems, Inc. , 44 B.R. 952 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 1984) (recognizing that § 365(f) invalidates restrictions on assignment of contracts or leases by a debtor or trustee and allows assignment of assumed contracts at a later date).

77 . In re Federated Dep’t Stores, Inc. , 135 B.R. 941 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 1991); In re Martin Paint Stores , 199 B.R. 258 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1996), aff’d , S. Blvd., Inc. v. Martin Paint Stores , 207 B.R. 57 (S.D.N.Y. 1997).

78 . In re Trak Auto Corp. , 367 F.3d 237, 244 (4th Cir. 2004) (internal citation omitted).

79 . In re Bradlee Stores, Inc. , No. 00-16033, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14755 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 20, 2001) (holding that restriction on assignment violated the anti-assignment provisions of § 365(f)); In re Rickel Home Ctrs., Inc. , 240 B.R. 826, 832 (D.Del. 1998) (striking restrictive use provision).

80 . In re Trak Auto Group , 367 F.3d at 242 (enforcing use provision concerning the sale of automobile parts and accessories in shopping center lease); In re J. Peterman Co. , 232 B.R. 366 (Bankr. E.D.Ky. 1999) (rejecting assignment of shopping center lease where proposed assignment would violate radius restriction in lease and assignee did not sell similar merchandise as the original tenant). But see In re Toys “R” Us, Inc. , 587 B.R. 304, 307 (Bankr. E.D.Va. 2018) (overruling landlord’s objection to the debtor’s assignment on the grounds that it would violate the exclusivity provision of another lease in the shopping center and would disrupt the shopping center’s tenant mix and balance).

81 . Friedman and Randolph Jr., supra note 8 at § 7:1.1.

82 . In re Ames Dept. Stores, Inc. , 127 B.R. 744, 752–54 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1991) (discussing rights of landlord to protect the tenant mix at the shopping center in the context of the lease and a subsequent bankruptcy filing of the tenant).

83 . Carma Developers (Cal.), Inc. , 826 P.2d 710 (upholding the landlord’s contractual right to capture excess rent).

84 . For an interesting discussion on the assignability of rights of first refusal, see Mitchell, “Can a Right of First Refusal Be Assigned?” 985 U. Chi. L. Rev. (2001).

As these cases illustrate, if a landlord wishes to withhold consent absent a sole and unconditional contractual right to do so, it must have fact-based reasons for doing so and cannot arbitrarily withhold or delay consent.

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Assignment and Consent Standards in Commercial Leases

Mar 6, 2020

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Assignment provisions in commercial leases are heavily negotiated and very important to both landlords and tenants. This article presents a brief overview of the assignment provision in commercial leases, both office and retail.

Assignment provisions in commercial leases are heavily negotiated and very important to both landlords and tenants. When a tenant’s interest in a lease is assigned, the tenant is transferring its entire leasehold interest and 100% of the leased premises to a third party for the entire remaining term of the lease. For the tenant, the assignment provision represents a potential exit strategy, dependent of course on the local market, and increased flexibility for future needs. For the landlord, the assignment offers greater security for its revenue stream and hopefully the avoidance of a tenant bankruptcy or default while keeping its building occupied. The tenant’s desire for flexibility and the landlord’s need for control is where the negotiations are focused. This article presents a brief overview of the assignment provision in commercial leases, both office and retail, with particular attention on the laws of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The landlord’s standard for providing consent to a request to an assignment will be reviewed, and we will conclude by offering suggested language.

What If The Lease Does Not Contain An Assignment Provision?

The law traditionally favors the free alienation of property. Therefore, under the laws of almost every state, if the lease is silent on whether the landlord’s consent to an assignment is required, then the commercial tenant has the right to assign its interest. This is true in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Given this baseline, almost every lease form will have a detailed provision setting forth the assignment process. Note also, however, that in most states it is also enforceable for a commercial lease to have an outright prohibition against assignments. Such a provision would likely be a non-starting deal point for most sophisticated tenants.

What Does Reasonable Mean?

If a lease simply provides that the tenant requires landlord’s consent to an assignment, but does not include the standard for giving or withholding that consent, then in many states the implied standard is that the landlord’s consent may not be unreasonably withheld. Historically this was the minority view, with the historical rule allowing the landlord to withhold consent for any reason. The implied duty of reasonableness is now more the norm as more states adopt this position when presented with the issue. There is express case law establishing this rule in Maryland, and most courts in Virginia and Washington, DC will imply such a covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Most states, though, do allow a landlord the sole right to grant or withhold its consent if the lease clearly expressly provides, and in Maryland the lease must specifically state that the landlord’s consent may be granted or withheld in the sole and absolute subjective discretion of the landlord. Again though, a sophisticated tenant with any leverage should never agree to such a provision.

Most negotiated leases will instead contain a provision requiring that landlord’s consent to an assignment is required, but such consent will not be unreasonably withheld. The tenant will likely also try to include landlord’s obligation to not unreasonably delay or condition its consent. A short clause without further defining what constitutes “reasonableness” generally favors the tenant, and landlords typically prefer including specific standards as to the criteria it can consider when reasonably deciding whether or not to consent to an assignment. Without such specificity, defining “reasonable” is difficult as the landlord and tenant clearly will have differing viewpoints and it may be left as a factual question to be decided in litigation. The typical definition (set forth in the Restatement (Second) of Property) would be that of a reasonably prudent person in the landlord’s position exercising reasonable commercial responsibility.

Absent a detailed provision listing the criteria a landlord can consider when reasonably reviewing a request to assign, a landlord is typically found to be considered reasonable if it considers certain general broad factors. First, the landlord reviews the assignee’s proposed use. In a retail setting, the landlord will be concerned whether the proposed use fits with the existing center and/or violates any existing exclusives or insurance requirements. In an office setting, the landlord might review the expected traffic and wear and tear on the building. Second, the landlord will consider the creditworthiness of the assignee. The landlord (and the assignor) will want to be confident that the assignee is capable of performing tenant’s obligations under the lease and a large creditworthy tenant increases the value of the asset. The assignor might argue that a strict financial test (such as a minimum net worth, for example) is unfair since the assignor is likely not being released upon the assignment and the landlord can still pursue the assignor in the event of a default. Third, the landlord will review the experience and history of the assignor. As mentioned above, landlords instead prefer a detailed list setting forth the many factors that they can include as part of reasonably reviewing a request for a lease assignment.

Without further establishing the criteria, the landlord puts itself at risk of a challenge by the tenant that a denial of a consent is unreasonable.

In defining “reasonable,” courts typically do not allow a landlord to deny or condition consent to an assignment based purely on economic reasons where the landlord results in substantially increasing what it was entitled to under the lease. In Washington, DC, there is well established case law holding that it is unreasonable for a landlord to withhold consent solely to extract an economic concession or improve its economic position. For example, a court would not consider it reasonable for a landlord to condition its consent on the assignee paying a greatly increased rent. Instead, as discussed below, landlords should look to protect their interests in a market of increasing rents by providing for either the sharing of excess rentals or a right to recapture.

What Are Typical Provisions In an Assignment Clause?

As discussed above, tenants generally prefer a short assignment provision simply requiring the landlord to not unreasonably withhold, condition or delay its consent to an assignment. But most leases are drafted by landlords, and over the years the assignment provisions have evolved to contain many typical provisions in addition to further defining “reasonableness,” including the following below.

  • Sharing of Excess Rents. Since many states do not permit a landlord to condition its consent on improving its economic position (e. g. , by increasing the rent), most leases instead contain a provision where the landlord is entitled to all or a portion of the profits. The profits may mean increased rent, or it may even be construed more broadly to consider the value of the location in a sale of the tenant’s business. The landlord’s argument is that it doesn’t want the tenants competing in the real estate market. The tenant should push back here, and certainly try to lower the percentage shared, carve out any consideration received in the sale of tenant’s business, and only share profits after all of the tenant’s reasonable costs incurred in connection with the assignment were first deducted.
  • Corporate Transfers. Since a purchase of the entity constituting tenant is likely not deemed an assignment under the law, most leases make clear that any such corporate sale, including the sale of either a controlling interest in the stock or substantially all of the assets of the tenant, is deemed an assignment for purposes of the lease. The tenant should carve out permitted transfers for typical mergers and acquisitions under certain conditions, and also carve out routine transfers of stock (or other ownership interests) between existing partners or for estate planning purposes. The landlord will likely accept a permitted transfer concept provided they receive adequate notice and the successor entity succeeds to all of the assets of the original tenant with an acceptable net worth.
  • Assignment Review Fee. Most landlords include in their form lease the requirement that the tenant reimburse them for legal and administrative expenses incurred in reviewing the request for consent and preparing the assignment. The tenant clearly wants to keep these fees reasonable and in keeping with the local market.
  • Recapture Rights. Landlords like to include the express right to recapture the premises in the event the tenant comes to it to request a consent for an assignment. A recapture clause allows the landlord to terminate the lease if market rents have increased or if it needs the space for another use. Sophisticated tenants should push back here as much as leverage allows, try to limit the time periods, and if nothing else try for the right to nullify the recapture by rescinding its request for the consent.
  • Tenant’s Remedy. To protect themselves from claims for damages from the tenant if the landlord withholds its consent to a requested assignment, landlords often include a provision where the tenant waives its rights to monetary damages in such a situation and can only seek injunctive relief. The tenant should try to delete this provision, or at least, if leverage permits, provide for the right to seek damages if the landlord is subsequently found to have acted in bad faith.

Assignment provisions are heavily negotiated and both the commercial landlord and tenant need to be advised to the applicable local law and know the market for a comparable transaction. ( Note: The author represents office and retail landlords and tenants throughout Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.) Sample reasonableness provisions for both office and retail uses are copied below for reference.

Retail Lease

Landlord and Tenant agree, by way of example and without limitation, that it shall be reasonable for Landlord to withhold its consent if any of the following situations exist or may exist: (i) In Landlord’s reasonable business judgment, the proposed assignee lacks sufficient business experience to operate a business of the type permitted under this Lease and to a quality required under this Lease; (ii) The present net worth of the proposed assignee is lower than that of Tenant’s as of either the date of the proposed assignment or the date of this Lease; (iii) The proposed assignment would require alterations to the Premises affecting the Building’s systems or structure; (iv) The proposed assignment would require modification to the terms of this Lease, or would breach any covenant of Landlord in any other lease, insurance policy, financing agreement or other agreement relating to the Shopping Center, including, without limitation, covenants respecting radius, location, use and/or exclusivity; (v) The proposed assignment would conflict with the primary use of any existing tenant in the Shopping Center or any recorded instrument to which the Shopping Center is bound; and/or (vi) The proposed assignment or subletting would result in a reduction in the Rent collected by Landlord during any portion of the term of this Lease.

Office Lease

Without limitation as to other reasonable grounds for withholding consent, the parties hereby agree that it shall be reasonable under this Lease and under any applicable law for Landlord to withhold consent to any proposed Transfer where one or more of the following apply: (i) The Transferee is of a character or reputation or engaged in a business which is not consistent with the quality of the Building; (ii) The Transferee intends to use the Premises for purposes which are not permitted under this Lease; (iii) The Transferee is a governmental agency; (iv) The Transfer occurs prior to the first anniversary of the Lease Commencement Date; (v) The Transferee has a net worth of less than $10,000,000.00; (vi) The proposed Transfer would cause a violation or trigger a termination right of another lease for space in the Building; or (vii) Either the proposed Transferee, or any person or entity which directly or indirectly, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, the proposed Transferee, (i) occupies space in the Building at the time of the request for consent, or (ii) is negotiating with Landlord to lease space in the Building at such time, or (iii) has negotiated with Landlord during the six (6)-month period immediately preceding the Transfer Notice.

Reprinted with permission from the March edition of the Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy© 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited, contact 877-257-3382 or [email protected] .

  • John G. Kelly

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How Do I Assign a Commercial Lease in the UK?

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By Clare Farmer

Updated on 27 June 2023 Reading time: 5 minutes

This article meets our strict editorial principles. Our lawyers, experienced writers and legally trained editorial team put every effort into ensuring the information published on our website is accurate. We encourage you to seek independent legal advice. Learn more .

Deed of Assignment

What happens after the lease is assigned, other ways to end your lease agreement, key takeaways, frequently asked questions.

As a commercial tenant, you may not be able to honour your commercial lease for the entire lease term. The lease term refers to the time period in which you occupy the property. This property may be your business’ HQ, warehouse or distribution centre. There are various reasons as to why you may want to terminate your lease early and assign the lease. This article will explain the three critical instructions for assigning a UK commercial lease.

Assignment is a property transfer by the ‘assignor’ (the holder of the property) to the ‘assignee’ (the person receiving the property). As the commercial tenant, you are also the ‘assignor’ and, as such, may effectively assign your lease to another business owner. At this point, they become the new commercial tenant. This means that the new tenant is liable for the lease obligations in the commercial lease, such as rent payments and repair obligations. 

The effect of an assignment is that you are now no longer a party to the lease. However, you will still be liable for the lease obligations if your landlord requires you to guarantee the new tenant’s lease obligations. This will be where an Authorised Guarantee Agreement (AGA) is put in place. 

Whilst some commercial leases may not allow lease assignment, those which do will generally have conditions attached for the assignment to be valid. The assignment provision may detail whether there are conditions you must satisfy.

If you want to assign your commercial lease, you must know how to do so. Below, we detail three essential instructions to assign a UK commercial lease. 

1.  Find an Assignee

If you wish to assign your commercial lease, the first step will be to find a suitable business owner. They will be the assignee. A potential assignee will want first to inspect the lease terms in your commercial lease agreement before they agree to take on the lease. One term they will specifically look for is the permitted use of the commercial premises. This is because they will need to ensure that their business activities can occur on the commercial premises. 

They may also want to carry out checks on, for example:

  • the local authority;
  • utility companies; and
  • environmental issues.

It is not just your prospective assignee who will carry out checks when you assign the lease. You also will want to carry out checks on your prospective assignee, as will your commercial landlord. It is best to pre-empt the checks your landlord will carry out to ensure you select an assignee who can meet them satisfactorily. For example, you will need to check your assignee’s:

  • financial status; and
  • previous lease references.

2. Landlord Consent

Once you are satisfied you have found a suitable assignee for your lease assignment, you will likely need to get your commercial landlord’s consent before you assign your commercial lease. You should do this as soon as possible. UK law states that your landlord must respond to your request without unreasonable delay and should not unreasonably refuse to give consent for the lease assignment. It is advisable to get a solicitor to assist you with this.

Other Consent Considerations

Before you assign the lease to a specific business owner, you will also have to get your landlord’s consent that you may indeed assign the lease to this person. A landlord may include conditions in the commercial lease agreement as to who the assignee can be to ensure that the prospective tenant:

  • can pay the rent;
  • will look after the landlord’s commercial property; and
  • will behave well on the commercial premises to avoid disturbing other businesses and tainting the landlord’s name.

Your landlord has the right to ask you to provide documents and information about the assignee. Your landlord may require information about your assignee’s position, such as their financial status, which you should have previously checked.

Once your landlord agrees to assign the lease, they will give you a document which is a licence to assign. They may also require you to sign an Authorised Guarantee Agreement. Your solicitor will typically review both documents before the documents are finalised and thereafter become binding.

If your commercial lease details no conditions surrounding the assignment of a lease, such as the need to get your landlord’s consent, you will not need a licence to assign the lease.

3. Assign the Lease

Once you have found a business owner to be the assignee for your commercial lease and your landlord consents to them being the new commercial tenant, you can start the lease transfer process and assign the lease. 

As the tenant, you are responsible for assigning the lease. The process might vary depending on the lease term. If the lease is for seven years or more, you should use a Land Registry form which is a TR1. This method involves a simple transfer of the lease and is suitable where your lease is a registered lease. Where your commercial lease is less than seven years, you can assign it with a deed of assignment. This method is suitable where the commercial lease is unregistered. 

Once the landlord consents to the proposed new tenant, the landlord and the new tenant will enter into a deed of assignment. This is the formal document that transfers your lease to the new tenant. It ends your duties concerning the lease, which the new tenant then takes over and agrees to be bound by. Since this is a legal document that all parties will need legal advice on, you and the new tenant must decide who will pay for the landlord’s legal fees.

Provided you did not enter into an authorised guarantee agreement with your now ex-landlord, you are released from any responsibility concerning the commercial premises you leased. The new tenant takes those responsibilities on. If you had to enter into an authorised guarantee agreement to secure the landlord’s agreement to the new tenant, that new tenant is still responsible for abiding by the terms of the original commercial lease. However, you are still potentially liable for the new tenant’s breach of that lease.

Before you ask your landlord if you can assign your lease to someone else, note that there are other ways to end your lease agreement early. These include:

  • taking advantage of a ‘break clause’ (also known as an early termination clause ) in your lease agreement;
  • asking your landlord to agree to let you terminate your lease early; and
  • asking your landlord if you can find a subtenant for the property you rent.

Front page of publication

This cheat sheet outlines what you should be aware of in your lease agreement.

Assigning a lease allows a tenant to terminate a commercial lease before it comes to an end. It allows you to end your lease obligations and pass these on to another business owner. If you wish to assign your lease, there are three key instructions on how to assign your commercial lease. The first is to find a suitable assignee (a new tenant) for your commercial premises. The new tenant will need, for example, to carry on a business similar to yours. The second is to gain consent to assign your lease from your commercial landlord, which may require you to obtain a licence to assign. Your landlord must also agree to the new commercial tenant you propose as the assignee. It is likely your landlord will carry out financial checks to confirm the proposed commercial tenant’s financial health. Finally, you can assign the lease with a land registry form or deed of assignment.

If you need help understanding the key instructions to assign a commercial lease in the UK, contact our experienced leasing lawyers as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page .

Lease assignment is when a commercial tenant transfers their lease to a third party. The third party will then take on the lease obligations and be the new tenant in a commercial lease.

The first key instruction when you want to assign a commercial lease is to find a suitable assignee; this is a  third party that becomes the new tenant and is bound by the commercial lease.

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Commercial lease assignments: A guide for businesses

James Halpin

Business owners often consider commercial lease assignments to enhance flexibility, mitigate financial burdens, or adapt to evolving operational requirements. 

The work landscape, particularly in cities like London, is also evolving with the widespread adoption of remote and hybrid models, with many tenants seeking to streamline their footprints and reduce overhead costs.

Whether your business is looking for a more suitable space or navigating market fluctuations, this article will give you an overview of the lease assignment process and the essential legal aspects to consider.

What is the assignment of a lease?

The assignment of a lease refers to the legal process through which a tenant transfers their lease obligations and rights to another party, known as the assignee. This strategic move allows businesses to exit their premises before the lease term ends, with the assignee assuming responsibility for complying with the lease terms and obligations.

Businesses may consider lease assignment for various reasons, such as relocation, financial constraints, or changes in business needs. For instance, a company experiencing rapid growth may seek more extensive premises, making lease assignment an attractive option to exit the current arrangement.

What role does a solicitor play?

Understanding the legal complexities is vital when considering the assignment of a commercial lease. In this process, solicitors offer expert advice and can negotiate with the landlord to secure favourable terms within the assignment agreement, safeguarding the client's interests. 

Their pivotal role extends to drafting and finalising essential legal documents associated with lease assignments, such as:

  • Licence to assign: A solicitor can assist in drafting this document, ensuring that it covers all necessary conditions and terms for the assignment, meets legal requirements, and protects the interests of both parties.  
  • Rent deposit deed: Solicitors can draft the rent deposit deed, specifying the details of the deposit arrangement, its purpose, and the conditions under which the landlord can use the deposit, providing legal clarity for both parties.  
  • Authorised guarantee agreement (AGA): Solicitors are instrumental in creating an AGA, outlining the legal commitment by the outgoing tenant to guarantee the new tenant's performance. They ensure that the agreement is comprehensive and legally sound, protecting the interests of the landlord and the outgoing tenant.

Avoiding the legal pitfalls of lease assignments

While every commercial lease assignment is unique, several legal aspects require careful consideration.

1. Leasehold covenants: Ensuring compliance 

Understanding leasehold covenants is essential in the lease assignment process as it involves recognising and complying with the agreed-upon obligations and restrictions outlined in the lease agreement. These covenants dictate how the property can be used, any alterations or improvements allowed, and other conditions the current and potential tenants must adhere to. 

For example, if a leasehold covenant stipulates that the premises can only be used for office purposes, you cannot assign the lease to a manufacturing company.

Failure to understand and meet these covenants could lead to complications, including the landlord's refusal to consent to the assignment or potential legal issues. Comprehending these covenants is essential for a smooth and legally compliant lease assignment.

2. Securing the landlord's consent: A prerequisite

Before proceeding with a lease assignment, obtaining the landlord's consent is paramount. This process involves submitting a formal request providing details about the proposed assignee and their financial stability.

While landlords cannot unreasonably withhold consent, specific lease terms may give them grounds to do so. Understanding the particular conditions for refusal is crucial, so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

3. Liabilities when assigning a commercial lease

Understanding liabilities when assigning a lease is crucial for business owners as it directly impacts their ongoing responsibilities and potential financial obligations. Transferring a lease doesn't automatically absolve the original tenant of all liabilities; they may still be held accountable if the new tenant defaults on payments or breaches lease terms. 

An authorised guarantee agreement (AGA) is a legal commitment often used in the context of commercial lease assignments. When a tenant assigns its lease to a new tenant, the outgoing tenant (assignor) may be required to provide an AGA. This agreement serves as a guarantee by the original tenant to the landlord, ensuring that the obligations of the new tenant (assignee) under the lease will be fulfilled.

The AGA means that if the new tenant defaults on the lease obligations, the outgoing tenant remains liable, guaranteeing the landlord a level of financial security. The original tenant can be pursued for any unpaid rent or other breaches of the lease terms by the new tenant. The AGA provides a legal mechanism for the landlord to seek redress from the outgoing tenant if issues arise with the assigned lease. 

Clear comprehension of these liabilities ensures informed decision-making and risk mitigation during the lease assignment process.

4. Navigating regulatory changes

The evolving regulatory landscape, particularly factors like Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), can add additional challenges to lease assignments. For example, if you took on a lease before Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into effect on April 1, 2018, the regulations did not apply at the time of the lease's inception. However, if you are now considering assigning the lease, MEES regulations would be applicable. 

A landlord may be less willing to agree to the lease assignment if it becomes essential to ensure that the property meets the required EPC standards to comply with the current regulations. 

5. Formalising with Land Registry: A vital step

Registering an assignment with the Land Registry is an important step in the lease assignment process. If a lease is granted with a term of over seven years, it must be registered to record the change of tenant officially. 

Failure to complete this registration can have significant consequences, including potential challenges to the validity and enforceability of the assignment. 

What are the alternatives to assigning a commercial lease?

When considering an exit from a commercial lease, it's crucial to recognise that assignment is just one of several options. Exploring these options is vital, and seeking guidance from a solicitor ensures a comprehensive understanding of the available choices.

  • Assignment vs. subletting: Assignment involves permanently transferring your lease obligations to a new tenant. On the other hand, subletting a commercial property allows you to lease a part of your space to another party, retaining your responsibility for the entire lease.  
  • Taking advantage of a 'break clause': A break clause is a provision in the lease allowing either party to terminate the agreement early, typically at predefined intervals. It provides a strategic exit, but conditions and notice periods must align with the lease terms.  
  • Early termination with landlord's consent: Seeking your landlord's agreement to terminate the lease prematurely can be challenging. It requires negotiations and may involve financial considerations. Legal advice is essential to navigate this complex process and safeguard your interests.

Business owners can make informed decisions that align with their strategic objectives by understanding the intricacies, exploring alternatives, and leveraging legal expertise.

Commercial lease expertise

Our team of experienced commercial property solicitors is dedicated to guiding you through the lease assignment process. Every business has unique needs, so we offer tailored advice that aligns with your objectives. 

In addition to lease assignments, we can provide guidance on alternative options for ending a commercial lease, such as subletting, break clauses, and lease termination. 

With solicitors in London, Brighton, East Sussex, and Cumbria, we assist commercial landlords and tenants nationwide.

Looking to assign a commercial lease?

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Subletting strategies: maximising flexibility in commercial leases, how to surrender a commercial lease: a guide for landlords and tenants.

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How to end a commercial lease early: A quick guide

Repair clauses in commercial leases: what tenants need to know.

How Do You Assign or Transfer a Commercial Lease?

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By Jessica Dinh Lawyer

Updated on December 15, 2023 Reading time: 5 minutes

This article meets our strict editorial principles. Our lawyers, experienced writers and legally trained editorial team put every effort into ensuring the information published on our website is accurate. We encourage you to seek independent legal advice. Learn more .

  • 1. Seek Your Landlord’s Consent 

2. Deed of Assignment

3. transferring a retail lease, key takeaways.

If you lease a commercial property to operate your business, there may be situations where you need to transfer the lease. There are usually two situations when a tenant will transfer (also known as an assignment ) a commercial lease to another party (the assignee) before the end of a lease term. Namely, where the tenant is:

  • selling their business, and the purchaser agrees to accept the existing lease rather than enter into a new lease with the landlord; or
  • is proposing to exit the lease and has found a party who will take on the existing lease.

This article explains how the transfer of a commercial lease works. It also explains the critical terms of the deed of assignment from the perspective of the landlord, tenant and assignee.

1. Seek Your Landlord’s Consent 

As soon as you propose an assignment as a tenant, you should:

  • review the existing lease to identify if the lease can be assigned;
  • identify the requirements of landlord’s consent upon assignment; and
  • correspond with the landlord or agent as to consent and approval of the proposed assignee under the lease. 

When seeking your landlord’s consent for the assignment, the proposed new tenant must usually provide their financial and business references to the landlord.

Can a Landlord Refuse to Assign a Retail Lease? 

If the lease is a retail lease, the landlord will not be able to withhold consent to an assignment unreasonably. The retail legislation (different in each state) provides the grounds on which the landlord can withhold their consent. These generally include the:

  • assignee proposes to change the permitted use;
  • assignee has financial resources or retailing skills that are inferior to the assignor, and
  • assignor has not complied with the relevant steps, per the retail legislation in that particular state, including providing a disclosure statement.

Ensure that you check the retail legislation in that particular state when carrying out an assignment.

After obtaining the landlord’s consent, a deed of consent to assignment is prepared (deed of consent).

A deed of consent is a legal document that outlines that the:

  • landlord confirms their consent to the transfer of lease;
  • tenant agrees to transfer their entire interest in the lease to the assignee from a specific date (the assignment date); and
  • assignee, or new tenant, agrees to assume the rights and obligations of the lease as if they were the original tenant (such as repairs, security and payment of rent and outgoings) from the assignment date. This will continue until the end of the lease term and during any option or renewal terms.

The Landlord

Generally, the landlord’s key concern is that the transfer does not affect their rights under the lease. The landlord can address this concern by ensuring that the original tenant (assignor) has complied with all of their obligations under the lease until the assignment date. The landlord will have the right to take action against the tenant after the assignment date for any existing breach of the lease. 

Additionally, the landlord will want to make sure that the assignee can comply with the lease obligations. This will often involve an assessment of the assignee as a tenant. The landlord will thoroughly examine the information before confirming their consent to the transfer. This might include: 

  • financial statements; 
  • business history; and 
  • professional references. 

Finally, there is usually an agreement about who is liable for the costs of the deed of assignment. The landlord’s lawyer usually prepares the agreement. However, the outgoing tenant or the incoming tenant pays these costs, not the landlord.

The deed of assignment usually requires the assignee to give the relevant security and guarantees.

The Outgoing Tenant

As the outgoing tenant, your key concern is to be released from your obligations under the lease from the assignment date. The deed of assignment can address this concern by specifying that:

  • the tenant is released from any claims or liabilities under the lease from the assignment date (provided that there is not an existing breach of the lease); and
  • if the tenant has provided any security, it is to be returned or refunded.

It is important for you to remember that you are bound to the terms of the lease until the transfer of the commercial lease is formalised through the deed of assignment. Accordingly, you should continue to comply with your obligations under the lease until the assignment date.

On that note, a landlord might not agree to release you entirely from your obligations if the retail legislation in your state does not prevent this. This means that if the new tenant defaults, you could be responsible for fulfilling the lease obligations. In that case, you would need guarantees or an indemnity from the new tenant.

If the transfer of deed has to be registered, typically with retail leases, you (the assignor) usually organise the registration of the transfer, whose costs are divided with the new tenant  (the assignee).

The Assignee

The new tenant’s, or the assignee’s, key concern is for the landlord to accept the transfer of the commercial lease from the assignment date. The deed of assignment can address this concern by providing that:

  • the landlord accepts the assignee as tenant from the assignment date;
  • the landlord will observe their obligations specified in the lease in favour of the assignee; and
  • if required in the relevant state, the parties sign a transfer of lease form and register the transfer at the land titles office.

The assignee should ensure that they have reviewed the contents of the commercial lease (including the disclosure statement if it is a retail lease). Then, they must review the lease before signing the deed of assignment. This is because the assignee will need to comply with the obligations of the tenant from the assignment date. These obligations may include the provision of security and a personal guarantee.

A personal guarantee is taken on by an individual to guarantee the obligations of another individual or entity. For example, the assignee providing may provide a personal guarantee where a particular party becomes a guarantor. If you cannot meet your obligations (such as to pay the lease), then the guarantor will have to meet that obligation themselves.

Before finalising the deed of assignment, it is important that the landlord, assignor and assignee agree on who bears the costs of preparing, negotiating and registering the deed of assignment. Generally, you, as the assignee, will bear the costs. However, you may choose to add a cap or exclude negotiation costs. 

If the lease you are transferring is a retail lease, the tenant will typically need to give the assignee a disclosure statement. This statement also includes details of any changes to the disclosure statement that the landlord provided when the lease was first entered into.

The disclosure statement outlines the vital information that the assignee needs to know, including the:

  • current annual rent under the lease;
  • current estimated outgoings payable under the lease;
  • term of the lease and any options to renew; and
  • details of the premises. 

Generally, the tenant may request an updated disclosure statement from the landlord before the transfer of the commercial lease. The landlord has an obligation to provide the updated disclosure statement, usually within 14 days from the date of the request.

The disclosure statement requirements differ between the states and territories. For example, in:

  • New South Wales, the assignee must receive the disclosure statement at least seven days before the date of the transfer; and
  • Victoria and Queensland, the assignee must receive the disclosure statement at least seven days before the assignor requests the landlord’s consent.

The consequences of failing to provide a disclosure statement also differ between the states and territories. For example, the assignee may:

  • withhold payment of rent;
  • seek compensation from the landlord; or
  • terminate the lease within a specific timeframe.

It is essential for all parties to be aware of the requirements and consequences of the disclosure statement provisions in their particular state or territory.

Additionally, transferring a lease may also lead to stamp duty implications . Stamp duty is a tax imposed on the purchase of assets and transactions of property. Therefore, if you are transferring a lease, you will commonly have to pay stamp duty. It is important that you are aware of the circumstances where you, as a tenant, will be required to pay stamp duty.

Front page of publication

A factsheet that sets out the three ways to end a commercial lease in Australia: surrendering your lease, assigning it or subletting it.

Whether you are a landlord, tenant or assignee, it is crucial that you understand your rights and obligations when transferring a commercial lease. Further, the transfer of a retail lease leads to additional requirements and consequences related to the disclosure statement. Finally, you need to be aware of the steps you should take to ensure a smooth assignment.

If you need assistance with drafting or reviewing the terms of a deed of assignment, our experienced leasing lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 1300 544 755 or visit our membership page .

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  • soft drinks
  • confectionary
  • HS 22 - Beverages, spirits and vinegar
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IMAGES

  1. Free Assignment of Lease Form

    assignment of commercial lease

  2. Free Assignment of Commercial Lease Template Doc Template

    assignment of commercial lease

  3. How to Fill a Lease Assignment Form

    assignment of commercial lease

  4. Free Commercial Lease Agreement Template

    assignment of commercial lease

  5. ASSIGNMENT AND ASSUMPTION OF COMMERCIAL LEASE

    assignment of commercial lease

  6. ASSIGNMENT OF COMMERCIAL LEASE

    assignment of commercial lease

VIDEO

  1. Assignment Commercial

  2. Module 3 Assignment: Commercial Website Analysis

  3. SALES VIDEO ASSIGNMENT

  4. COMMERCIAL LAW GROUP ASSIGNMENT

  5. Modul 3 Assignment: Commercial Website Analysis

  6. Module 3 Assignment: Commercial Website Analysis

COMMENTS

  1. Navigating the assignment of a commercial lease

    Landlord's assignment of a commercial lease. Sometimes a commercial landlord needs to sell his property. After the new owner, or assignee-buyer, buys the property subject to existing leases, the assignor-landlord assigns the leases to the new owner, who can then collect rent. The assignor-landlord notifies tenants by sending a notice of sale, a ...

  2. Understanding How a Commercial Lease Assignment Works

    Lease Assignment 101. In basic terms, a lease assignment occurs when the current tenant to an existing lease agreement (known as the "assignor") assigns the lease rights and obligations to a third party (known as the "assignee"). A lease assignment should not be confused with a sublease, in which the existing tenant transfers by a ...

  3. Lease Assignment Agreement

    Lease Assignment Agreement. Last revision 02/19/2024. Formats Word and PDF. Size 3 to 4 pages. 4.9 - 137 votes. Fill out the template. A Lease Assignment Agreement is a short document that allows for the transfer of interest in a residential or commercial lease from one tenant to another. In other words, a Lease Assignment Agreement is used ...

  4. Assignment of Lease: Definition & How They Work (2023)

    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 ...

  5. What Is a Commercial Lease Assignment?

    What Is an Assignment of a Commercial Lease? A commercial lease is a written contract that is used when a commercial tenant rents space from a landlord. Commercial real estate law is the area of law that governs commercial leases and commercial tenant and landlord rights. Similar to other types of leases, a commercial lease gives a commercial ...

  6. Subletting vs. Assigning a Commercial Lease

    Refer to your Commercial Lease Agreement. Like a sublease clause, there should also be a statement in the original commercial lease addressing whether a tenant can assign the remainder of a lease to a third party. ... A Lease Assignment Agreement is used when a tenant who is renting property from a landlord wants to transfer the entire interest ...

  7. PDF Assignments and Collateral Assignments Of Commercial Leases

    An assignment of lease agreement is a contract to effectuate a transfer to an assignee of title and rights to certain real property held by a les-see or tenant pursuant to a lease. There are varying reasons why a tenant may want to assign the lease. Most often, a tenant will look to as-sign its lease in the event that its

  8. Commercial Landlord's Reasonable Consent to Sublease or Assign

    The right of a commercial tenant to assign or sublease a commercial lease is determined by the terms provided in the lease. The terms of a lease may expressly prohibit a tenant from assigning or subletting. The terms of a lease may also allow a tenant to assign or sublease only with the consent of the landlord or if certain conditions are met.

  9. A Full Guide to Commercial Lease Assignment (Lease Transfer)

    A commercial sublease, which is a type of lease transfer, occurs when a tenant who currently leases property agrees to let another tenant use the space concurrently. The agreement involves all three parties: the original tenant, the new tenant, and the property owner. When you sublease your space, you become the sub-lessor (or sub-landlord ...

  10. What Is a Commercial Lease Assignment?

    A lease assignment agreement is a document that transfers a commercial or residential lease from one party to another. When a tenant needs to break a lease and has a new tenant lined up, they can use a lease assignment agreement. A lease assignment agreement contains basic information: Names. Identifying information.

  11. Free Lease Assignment Agreement (US)

    A Lease Assignment transfers the rights and obligations of an existing lease from one tenant to another. Use for residential or commercial properties. ... 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 ...

  12. Assignment of Commercial Leases

    When a commercial lease provides for assignment upon the lessor's consent, the courts disagree on whether the provision is subject to an implied rule of commercial reasonableness. The older, and still prevailing rule, is that the lessor may withhold consent for any reason. 10 . Courts refuse to imply reasonableness into a restrictive assignment ...

  13. Commercial Lease Assignment and Sublet Provisions

    Learn how to negotiate and draft transfer provisions in commercial leases to balance the interests of landlords and tenants. Compare and contrast the differences between assignments, subleases, and partial assignments, and their legal consequences.

  14. Assignment and Consent Standards in Commercial Leases

    Assignment provisions in commercial leases are heavily negotiated and very important to both landlords and tenants. When a tenant's interest in a lease is assigned, the tenant is transferring its entire leasehold interest and 100% of the leased premises to a third party for the entire remaining term of the lease. For the tenant, the ...

  15. PDF Exhibit F Assignment and Assumption of Lease Agreement and Landlord's

    Lease. 3. Assignment. The Assignor assigns, transfers and sets over unto the Assignee all of the Assignor's right, title and interest in and to the Lease, including, without limitation, any and all of the Assignor's right, title and interest in and to the Security Deposit referenced in Section

  16. How Do I Assign a Commercial Lease?

    1. Find an Assignee. If you wish to assign your commercial lease, the first step will be to find a suitable business owner. They will be the assignee. A potential assignee will want first to inspect the lease terms in your commercial lease agreement before they agree to take on the lease.

  17. Commercial lease assignments: A guide for businesses

    While every commercial lease assignment is unique, several legal aspects require careful consideration. 1. Leasehold covenants: Ensuring compliance . Understanding leasehold covenants is essential in the lease assignment process as it involves recognising and complying with the agreed-upon obligations and restrictions outlined in the lease ...

  18. How Do You Assign or Transfer a Commercial Lease?

    is proposing to exit the lease and has found a party who will take on the existing lease. This article explains how the transfer of a commercial lease works. It also explains the critical terms of the deed of assignment from the perspective of the landlord, tenant and assignee. 1. Seek Your Landlord's Consent.

  19. Assignment 10.1- The UCC and Sales and Leases Contracts

    Law document from Eastern Gateway Community College, 3 pages, Autumn Miller Assignment 10.1: The UCC and Sales and Leases Contracts Eastern Gateway Community College PLG205 Professor Gregory Chambers April 28, 2024 Articles of the UCC that Describe the elements of relate to sales and lease each article Examples of

  20. Moscow Oblast

    Moscow Oblast (Russian: Московская область, romanized: Moskovskaya oblast, IPA: [mɐˈskofskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ], informally known as Подмосковье, Podmoskovye, IPA: [pədmɐˈskovʲjə]) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast).With a population of 8,524,665 (2021 Census) living in an area of 44,300 square kilometers (17,100 sq mi), it is one of the most densely ...

  21. NFL's Jaguars and city of Jacksonville commit $1.4 billion to ...

    The Jacksonville Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville have agreed to a $1.4 billion deal to push ahead with their "Stadium of the Future" plan, the city announced on Tuesday. The agreement ...

  22. Mercatus Nova Co., Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

    Thousands of companies use Panjiva to research suppliers and competitors. Mercatus Nova Co. at Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia. Find their customers, contact information, and details on 164 shipments.

  23. File:Flag of Elektrostal (Moscow oblast).svg

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  24. Machine-Building Plant (Elemash)

    In 1954, Elemash began to produce fuel assemblies, including for the first nuclear power plant in the world, located in Obninsk. In 1959, the facility produced the fuel for the Soviet Union's first icebreaker. Its fuel assembly production became serial in 1965 and automated in 1982. 1. Today, Elemash is one of the largest TVEL nuclear fuel ...