Subletting and Assignment

It is important to know at the outset of a tenancy what subletting and assignment involve, and what are the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords in this area.

What is subletting?

Subletting occurs when a tenant permits another party to lease the rental property that the tenant has leased from the landlord. The tenant then assumes the position of landlord (known as the head tenant) in relation to his or her subtenant. Subletting usually occurs because the tenant has signed a fixed-term lease and wants, for whatever reason, to get out of the lease before it expires. Subletting can only take place with the consent of the landlord.

Where a landlord refuses the tenant the option of subletting, the tenant can serve a notice of termination to end the tenancy if they so wish. Subletting is not available in Approved Housing Body tenancies.

What is assignment?

Assignment is where a tenant transfers their entire interest in a tenancy to a third party.  The original tenant then ceases to have any interest or involvement in the tenancy and the assignee becomes the tenant who now deals directly with the Landlord.

Assignment can only take place with the consent of the landlord.  Where a landlord refuses an assignment of a fixed term tenancy, a tenant can serve a notice of termination on the landlord.

Tenants of Approved Housing Bodies are not permitted to assign or sublet their tenancy.