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What is assignment?

This content applies to England

This page looks at what is meant by 'assignment'.

The term 'assignment'.

Assignment is the transfer of a property from one person to another. This can be done by a sole tenant or the joint tenants acting together, and the assignment can be made to any other person or to one or several of the joint tenants (eg to reduce the number of joint tenants from four to three). This is the most common way of passing on a tenancy.

Assignment is the transfer of the assignor's legal interest in a property to another person, known as the assignee. Both landlords and tenants can make assignments.

When a tenant assigns, her/his legal interest in the property is passed on to the assignee who takes over that interest and becomes the tenant. This is different from a subtenancy, where the tenant grants someone a tenancy but remains a tenant of the original landlord and becomes a landlord of the new tenant.

After an assignment has taken place, the landlord and the assignee have a direct landlord/tenant relationship and all the terms of the original tenancy agreement apply to them both. For example, this means that the assignee should pay the same rent as the original tenant and the landlord is bound by any terms in the original tenancy, such as an agreement to do repairs.


Licences do not give the occupier a legal interest in the land, and so cannot be assigned.

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