If you are a tenant facing an unexpected move or a landlord with tenants looking to make changes to their lease, you may have heard the terms „assignment of contract” and „subletting.” While these two options allow a tenant to transfer the rights and obligations of a lease, they differ in significant ways. In this article, we will explore the differences between assignment of contract and subletting.

Assignment of Contract

An assignment of contract occurs when a tenant transfers their entire interest in a lease to another party, who then becomes responsible for fulfilling all of the tenant`s obligations under the lease. This means the new tenant, also known as the assignee, assumes all the rights and responsibilities of the original lease, including rent payments, maintenance obligations, and adherence to all other lease terms.

Usually, landlords must approve the assignment of a contract. They may require a credit check and review the new tenant`s income to ensure that he or she can afford the rent and other financial obligations.


Subletting, on the other hand, is when the original tenant (sublessor) transfers a portion of their lease to another party (subtenant) for a specific period. The original tenant retains the ultimate responsibility for fulfilling the lease obligations and paying rent to the landlord. Subletting is a way for original tenants to share living space or rent costs with a roommate.

Subletting may require landlord approval. They may limit the types of subtenants allowed or require a credit check and income review to help ensure financial stability.

The Main Differences

The primary difference between assignment of contract and subletting is the extent of the transfer of rights. In assignment of contract, all rights and obligations transfer to another party, while in subletting, a portion of those rights and obligations are transferred. Additionally, in assignment of contract, the original tenant no longer has any legal obligation to the landlord, while in subletting, the original tenant remains ultimately responsible for the lease obligations.


In conclusion, the difference between assignment of contract and subletting is significant. While both options allow for a transfer of rights and obligations of a lease, assignment of contract transfers the entire lease to another party, while subletting transfers only a portion of the lease. If you are a landlord or tenant considering either of these options, it is essential to understand the differences and seek legal advice to ensure you`re following the correct protocols.