Sublease and Assignment Clauses in Commercial Leases

Commercial leases can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to understanding their contents, especially for the novice commercial office space tenant. However, there are certain clauses to be on the lookout for within the lease which will dictate how you can engage in your tenancy. The sublease clause and assignment clause are two clauses which you will often find in a commercial office space lease. These two clauses let the tenant know how they can occupy their tenancy and whether or not anyone else may come into possession with their permission. Here are some things which you as a commercial office tenant must know about sublease and assignment clauses:

What Is The Difference Between a Sublease and an Assignment?

There are distinct differences between subleases and assignments in commercial leases. A sublease is when the office space tenant transfers only a portion of their office space lease term to another. On the other hand, in an assignment situation, the office space tenant transfers their entire interest in the remainder of their lease term to another individual. Some landlords will allow one, both or neither. It basically depends on the individual landlord and oftentimes what the current area trend is with regard to assignments and subleases in commercial leases.

What Do The Sublease and Assignment Clauses Contain?

The sublease and assignment clauses contain all of the factors surrounding these two types of tenant transfers. In general, the clauses will either state that the tenant is allowed to sublet or assign the property during their tenancy or that they must refrain from doing so. Some commercial real estate clauses pertaining to these issues may take the middle of the road approach and allow the tenant to do one or both of these transfers but with restrictions.

Are These Clauses Negotiable?

Sublease and assignment clauses are usually negotiable items in the lease.  It never hurts to inquire with your future landlord as to whether or not you can change the terms within the sublease and assignment clauses. A tenant representative can help you to make this request and provide valid arguments for why certain changes or requests should be granted.

Must You Follow These Sublease and Assignment Clauses?

Once the sublease and assignment clauses are in the commercial office space lease and the lease has been signed, they are permanent fixtures of the current lease. Therefore, you must follow the guidelines listed in these clauses. These sublease and assignment clauses not only benefit the office space landlord but also the tenant by detailing how the tenancy must be carried out during the lease term.

Sublease and assignment clauses are commonplace in commercial leases. The terms of assignments and subleases will vary depending on your individual lease. Before you sign your commercial office space lease, make sure you read the lease thoroughly, especially the assignment and sublease clauses if you intend to transfer any part of your tenancy during the lease term.