Assignment (lease transfer)
Assignment is the legal term for when a tenant transfers their whole interest in a rental property to another person. For example, if a tenant signed a 12-month tenancy agreement (lease) but decided to leave after 6 months, they could get another person to move in and take over their lease. The new tenant would take the place of the original tenant, paying rent directly to the landlord, and having all the rights and responsibilities of the original tenant.
You can assign your interest in a tenancy agreement if you are a sole tenant or a co-tenant. However, before assigning your interest in the lease to someone else, you must get the landlord’s consent (see: Your right to assign or sublet). If you are the outgoing tenant you need to make sure this assignment is done properly so that you cannot be held liable for problems that may arise after you have left the tenancy. To arrange the assignment of a lease you can: Prepare an assignment in writing. This should be signed by all the parties – the outgoing tenant(s), the incoming tenant(s) and the landlord (or their agent) OR Change the names on the existing tenancy agreement. Any changes should also be signed or initialled by all the parties
Assignment and bond money
If you are assigning your interest in a tenancy agreement and paid all or part of the bond, then both you and the incoming tenant(s) must notify the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) by completing a Tenant Transfer form [RTBA website].
Make sure you receive payment of your bond or of your share of the bond from the new tenant before signing and submitting the RTBA’s Tenant Transfer form. The Tenant Transfer form also has to be signed by the landlord or their agent.