Acting for a tenant—assignment of existing lease—key issues
Acting for a tenant—assignment of existing lease—key issues

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Acting for a tenant—assignment of existing lease—key issues
  • Is the landlord’s consent required to the assignment?
  • New leases—can the landlord require the tenant to enter into an authorised guarantee agreement?
  • New Leases- what is the position of the tenant's guarantor
  • Old leases—what is the tenant’s liability to the landlord for future breaches of the lease?
  • Is the landlord’s consent required for the assignee’s proposed use of the property?
  • Is the landlord’s consent required for the assignee’s proposed alterations?
  • Applying for landlord’s consent
  • Outstanding or pending rent reviews
  • Balancing service charges due after completion
  • more

Is the landlord’s consent required to the assignment?

Check the terms of the lease (including any deeds of variation or supplemental documents). If the lease is registered and it is a lease that contains HM Land Registry prescribed clauses, the register will state whether or not the lease contains provisions that prohibit or restrict dispositions. In addition, there may be a restriction on the title prohibiting assignment without landlord’s consent. Where relevant, also check the terms of any superior lease to see if there is a restriction prohibiting the assignment (for example a prohibition on assigning an underlease without consent).

Assignment may be:

  1. prohibited

  2. permitted without consent—this is the case if the lease is silent (note that a covenant not to part with possession prohibits assignment), or

  3. permitted with landlord’s consent, not to be unreasonably withheld. If assignment is permitted with Landlord’s consent, statute implies a proviso that consent is not to be unreasonably withheld (regardless of whether this is specifically imposed by the lease)

Where assignment is permitted with consent:

  1. for 'new' leases, the lease may specify circumstances in which consent may be withheld or conditions subject to which consent will be given. Where no circumstances or conditions are specified the landlord may still withhold consent if it is reasonable to do so

  2. for ‘old’ leases, the lease may contain