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Licence to Assign a Lease

Our Licence to Assign a Lease template:

  • Expert-lawyer-drafted template for reliability
  • Create a legally-binding licence
  • Save on legal fees
  • Easy to edit with our guidance notes
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How Does It Work?

  • 1. Download
  • 2. Edit
  • 3. Print
  • 4. Sign

Landlord’s can use our Licence to Assign a Lease template to grant formal written permission to assign (transfer) a lease from one tenant to another. Use it for property that is in England or Wales, but not for Scottish property.

This licence to assign incorporates various options, so it is appropriate:

1. where the date of the lease on or after 1 January 1996;

2. whether or not there was someone guaranteeing the tenant’s obligations under the original lease;

3. whether or not there is an option to renew the lease on expiry (called “security of tenure”) under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954; and

4. regardless of whether the lease is a commercial one or is for residential property.

If a tenant is selling or transferring the remaining term of a lease to a new tenant, it is very likely that they will need the landlord’s permission for the sale or transfer. You can simply check the terms if the lease to see if this is the case. If so, this needs the landlord to complete and sign a licence to assign.

This licence to assign template should not be used just as it is for “old leases”. There is more about this in the guide to this template.  If you are looking for a licence to assign for an “old lease”, then please email us at: [email protected].

Other templates you may need

If you need the full batch of documents for the assignment of a lease, we offer 20% off when you buy them all at the same time using our discount package – click here for more details.

An authorised guarantee agreement (or “AGA”) does not come with this template of the licence to assign. There would normally be one in the existing lease, which you should use.  If there is not, or if its wording isn’t accepted by the present tenant, you can purchase a template AGA separately from Legalo – click on the link.

Click the link to see the full range of commercial property documents we offer.

Using the Licence to Assign a Lease template

David has drafted this template. He is our co-founder and a solicitor of over twenty years. He has written it in plain English and without legal jargon. The download comes with full guidance notes to keep completing your final document simple.

Once purchased, download the licence template in Word format and then edited to your requirements. Once the document is complete, it then just needs to be signed by the parties. Usually the landlord then passes it to the purchaser of the lease.

We provide a full money-back guarantee if you are not happy with your template document for any reason.

When you draft the licence to assign, use our free guidance notes to walk you through the document. A summary of the guidance notes can be viewed here.

What is a Licence To Assign?

The licence to assign is where the landlord and owner of the property grants permission to its tenant to sell or transfer the remaining term of the lease to another party, who will take over as the tenant.

There are situations in which a tenant will want to assign their lease. For example, a landlord owns a building which the tenant is using for storage. The tenant decides they no longer need the building. However, the original lease still has time left on it. If no “break clause” is available, to surrender the lease might cost the tenant:

  • their deposit; and/or
  • any rent owed to the end of the existing term of the lease.

To avoid this money being wasted, the tenant has presumably asked the landlord for permission to assign (or transfer) the lease to someone who will be able to use the building and pay the rent. If the landlord agrees, the tenant would then transfer the remainder of the term of the original lease to the new tenant. This new tenant then becomes primarily responsible for paying the rent to the end of the term (although, with an AGA, the out-going tenant might still be responsible if the new tenant defaults).

The landlord will want to be sure that the new tenant is able to pay the rent before he consents to the assignment. Alternatively, he may require someone to act as a guarantor before agreeing to it.

This is different from sub-letting. Where a sub-lease agreement is in place the existing tenant can be held responsible for any default on the original lease, even though a new tenant is in place. For a sub-letting situation you would need a sub-lease agreement and a licence to sub-let which again needs to be signed by the landlord.

Registering the Assignment of the Lease

Signing your documents is not the end of it. You may need to register the assignment at the Land Registry. For more details, click on this link and then scroll down to either:

  • if your lease is unregistered, the section headed “2.3 Transfers or assignments of unregistered leases having more than seven years of the term unexpired”; or
  • if your lease is already registered, the section headed “2.5 Transfers of any registered leases“.

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