Assigning A Commercial Lease

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What is an Assignment of a Commercial Lease?

An assignment of a commercial lease occurs when a tenant transfers all of his interest in a leased property to another party before the original lease expires. The original tenant may also be released from liability in the event of a breach of the lease by the new tenant. 

What is a Sublease of a Commercial Lease?

A sublease of a commercial lease occurs when a tenant transfers all or part of his interest in a leased property to another party before the original lease expires. The original tenant remains liable for all damages in the event of a breach of the lease.

Can a Commercial Lease Be Assigned or Subleased?

The right of a tenant to sublease or assign a commercial lease is determined by the terms of the lease. The terms of the lease may expressly prohibit the tenant from subleasing or assigning or they may allow the tenant to sublease or assign only with the landlord's consent or if certain conditions have been met. Some jurisdictions prohibit a landlord from withholding consent unreasonably.

In the absence of a provision in the lease stating otherwise, a commercial lease can generally be assigned or subleased. The ability of a tenant to sublease or assign a commercial lease can always be negotiated when signing or renewing a lease. 

What Happens if I Breach the Lease by Subleasing or Assignment?

In addition to any other remedies for breaching the lease, the landlord or tenant may recover contract damages caused by the other's breach and may also terminate the lease agreement. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Commercial Sublease or Assignment Issue?

Commercial real estate law is complex, varies by jurisdiction, and varies depending on the terms of the lease. An experienced real estate attorney can make certain that your sublease and assignment interests are represented when negotiating a commercial lease. A real estate lawyer also can help you draft sublease or assignment agreements and can determine if the sublease or assignment provision of the lease has been violated.

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Last Modified: 05-18-2012 03:04 PM PDT

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