Disputes in assignation and subletting leases in Scotland
Produced in partnership with Rebecca Roberts of DLA Piper Scotland LLP
Disputes in assignation and subletting leases in Scotland

The following Property guidance note Produced in partnership with Rebecca Roberts of DLA Piper Scotland LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Disputes in assignation and subletting leases in Scotland
  • Assignation and subletting
  • Landlord’s consent and delectus personae
  • Unreasonably withholding consent
  • Continuing liability of the assignee post-assignment

Assignation and subletting

Assignation and subletting are two options which a tenant may use to introduce a new tenant into the lease arrangement. The tenant may choose to exercise these options because it no longer needs to occupy the premises (or a part thereof) but it is not entitled under the lease terms to terminate. This Practice Note covers the contentious issues which can arise when a tenant seeks approval from its landlord for an assignation or sublease.

The primary distinction between assignation and sublease is the degree to which the tenant's responsibilities under the lease are transferred:

  1. assignation—normally transfers all of the tenant's obligations under the lease to the assignee. In this way, an assignation can provide a tenant with a clean break from its responsibilities under the lease, and the assignee steps into the shoes of the tenant

  2. sublease—the tenant must continue to fulfil its obligations under the head lease, but these are then passed down the line to the subtenant by way of a sublease. This creates a chain of responsibility whereby the subtenant is responsible to the original tenant (or ‘mid landlord’) for its obligations under the sublease and the tenant remains responsible for its obligations to the landlord (or ‘head landlord’) under the head lease. For further information, see: Between landlord and subtenant: Stair Memorial