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Lease assignment, sub-leases and change of use

Commercial leases often contain clauses for tenants who wish to assign or sub-let a lease. In order to be successful the tenant has to abide by the relevant provisions in the lease. Equally, the landlord has obligations to respond appropriately.

We work with you to help you part with possession of a commercial premises and transfer occupancy to another business or individual, helping you limit your ongoing liability for a building which you no longer occupy. We will liaise with Landlords to obtain their consent to any assignment and challenge any unreasonable refusal to consent. For Landlords, we can help protect you from being forced to accept an unsuitable tenant or sub tenant. We can also ensure that your position is protected by advising you on the correct procedure and timescales for objecting to any proposed assignment.

Our dedicated team has extensive experience in instructing both tenants and landlords in assigning or sub-letting commercial leases. For example:

  • Where a tenant does not follow the correct procedure they are at risk of legal action from the landlord to obtain damages, legal costs and even forfeiture of the lease.
  • Where a landlord does not follow the procedure or unreasonably withholds consent for assignment or sub-letting, they are also at risk of court proceedings. Damages and legal costs can be claimed.
  • Where a lease is to be assigned or sub-let there are issues of procedures, timing and reasonable objection.

We advise tenants on the procedures and timescales for applications of consent. Where consent is refused, we can work towards reaching an agreement with the landlord or taking legal action to obtain the necessary court order. We also advise landlords when they receive a request to assign or sub-let their commercial property. We offer advice on the reasonableness of their response to the request and seek to avoid disputes on timing and other issues.


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