The Ins and Outs of Lease Assignments - What Are They and How Do They Work?
8 February 2024

The Ins and Outs of Lease Assignments - What Are They and How Do They Work?

Are you considering moving out of your rental property before the end of your fixed-term lease? Maybe you’re just curious about how the process works? In this article, we'll break down the ins and outs of lease assignments, making sure you have a clear understanding of what's involved, your responsibilities, and the steps to follow.


What exactly is a lease assignment? 

Think of it as a tenant shuffle. A lease assignment happens when you want to leave your rental property before your fixed-term lease ends and a new tenant steps in to take over the remaining time. This can be handy if life throws you a curveball or new opportunities come your way and you need to move out or relocate.

How do I initiate a lease assignment? 

A lease assignment isn't an anytime kind of deal and requests must be made in writing to your landlord or property manager to consider on a case-by-case basis. Whilst they cannot unreasonably decline a lease assignment request, they can specify conditions or negotiate alternative terms.  

What are my responsibilities in the lease assignment process?

If your request for a lease assignment is approved, you are still on the hook for rent and looking after the property until the new tenant takes over. Even if you’ve decided to let your property manager handle the entire process, feel free to look for someone to take over the lease - just remember they'll still need to pass the vetting process.

What does the lease assignment process involve?

When it comes to orchestrating a lease assignment, it's usually the property manager or landlord who takes the lead. Here is an overview of the Propertyscouts lease assignment process: 

  • Initial Outreach: If you find yourself needing to move out early, start by giving your property manager a heads up. The lease can’t be ended ahead of time, but a new tenant can be found to pick up where you left off. 

  • Exploring Your Options: Whilst your tenancy can’t be ended early, here are a few possible courses of action:

    • Option 1: Your property manager will handle the entire lease assignment process.

    • Option 2: You do some legwork and advertise the property yourself. Potential tenants must still be verified by your property manager and you will still be liable for any reasonable costs as specified by your property manager (all potential costs will be fully explained before you decide to proceed). Please note that this option is not always possible and requires agreement with your property manager (your property manager does not have to agree to this course of action). 

    • Option 3: You leave, but keep paying rent until the original lease end date. You’ll be responsible for maintaining the property as per the tenancy agreement (including grounds maintenance). A final exit inspection will be carried out at the end of the tenancy. 

    • Option 4: You decide to stick around. In this case, let your property manager know in writing that you do not wish to do the lease assignment.

  • Signing the Authority: In order to proceed with the lease assignment, an online tenancy assignment authority will be prepared and everyone involved in the process will need to sign it (i.e. you, your property manager, and any other relevant parties).

  • Understanding the Costs: Landlords and property managers (acting on the landlords behalf) can recover reasonable expenses for costs incurred during the lease assignment process. The Propertyscouts lease assignment costs cover the time spent and the expenses incurred when finding a new tenant for the property - as well as time spent on additional entry and exit inspections. We’ll explain the costs in advance and give you an itemised invoice at the end. 

  • Advertising the Property: We will advertise the property and conduct viewings with potential tenants. We'll keep you in the loop throughout this process and work with you to arrange suitable viewing times. 

  • Confirming a New Tenant: Once a new tenant is found, we’ll email you to let you know. We'll then adjust your vacate date and conduct an exit inspection. During this phase, you will also receive your final rent statement, detailing any outstanding payments up to and including your vacate date.

  • Completing the Process: As mentioned earlier, we’ll send you an itemised invoice for any reasonable costs incurred during the lease assignment process. Once you've paid the invoice, and the new tenant has taken over the lease, we’ll process your bond refund.

A note on rent reductions

At Propertyscouts, we want to ensure tenants are well-informed about important aspects of their tenancy. Rental prices fluctuate, and in certain situations, we may need to lower the rent for a new tenant during a lease assignment. If the new tenant's agreed rent is lower than what you've been paying, you will be responsible for covering the shortfall in rent until the end of your lease term. Rest assured if a rent reduction is necessary, we will communicate this to you through either a phone call and/or email and any changes will be documented in writing.