FOR LAWYERS

Assignment of Leases

By
Daisy Rogozinsky
/
April 17, 2023

An assignment of leases is a legal document that property owners and lessors may encounter. In this article, we’ll define the term “assignment of leases” and explain how it relates to real estate law. 

Key Takeaways

  • An assignment of leases is a document transferring the rights and obligations of a lease agreement from one party to another
  • The assignee in an assignment of leases assumes all responsibilities and obligations under the lease agreement, including paying the rent
  • The landlord, as well as other parties with an interest in the property, may have the right to refuse an assignment of leases
  • It is recommended to work with a real estate attorney to draft, negotiate, and understand assignments of leases

What Is an Assignment of Leases?

An assignment of leases is the transfer of the rights and obligations of a lease agreement from one party, the assignor, to another party, the assignee. This transfer can occur for various reasons, such as a change in ownership of the property or the desire to sell or sublet the leased property. 

The assignment of leases usually requires the written consent of the landlord, and the terms of the original lease agreement remain in force. The assignee assumes all responsibilities and obligations under the lease agreement, including the payment of rent and compliance with any conditions or covenants in the lease. The assignment of leases may also involve the transfer of security deposits or other funds held by the landlord. 

Generally, the lease agreement will contain provisions related to assignment, which may specify any restrictions on the transfer, the information that must be provided to the landlord, and any fees or costs associated with the assignment.

Things to Keep in Mind About Assignment of Leases

If you plan to use an assignment of leases, there are a few things you should consider.

First, the landlord may have the right to refuse an assignment of leases. If they have concerns about the proposed assignee’s financial stability or use of property, they may be able to reject the assignment. And, in addition to the landlord’s consent, the assignment of leases may also require the consent of mortgage lenders or other parties with an interest in the property. 

If there is a breach of the lease agreement prior to the assignment, the assignor may still be held liable. 

Finally, the assignment of leases may have tax implications for both the assigner and the assignee. If, for example, the assignee pays a premium for the assignment, it may be treated as income for tax proposes. 

All of these issues make it important for both the assignor and assignee to carefully review the terms of the lease agreement before completing the assignment. It is highly recommended to work with a real estate lawyer, who can assist in drafting and negotiating an assignment of leases agreement to ensure that the transfer is legal and complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

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