SUBLET AND ASSIGNMENT
A sublet (or sub-lease) occurs when a tenant temporarily moves out of their unit and and rents it to a subtenant until they return. The original tenant remains on the original tenancy agreement, but also enters into a new tenancy agreement with the subtenant. This means the original tenant retains all obligations and requirements of their tenancy. In other words, the original tenant is still responsible for rent, any damages caused by the sub-tenant or sub-tenant’s guests, and all other obligations in the tenancy agreement.
An assignment occurs when a tenant permanently transfers their tenancy agreement to a new tenant (assignee). While the assignee takes on most responsibilities related to the tenancy, the original tenant may retain some residual liability if the assignee fails to meet the requirements of the agreement. The assignee is not responsible for any damages or liabilities that occurred before the assignment.
You must have the written consent of your landlord to assign or sublet a unit. If you sublet or assign the unit without first getting their written permission, the landlord may issue a one month Notice to End Tenancy. See TRAC’s template letter, Request for Permission to Assign or Sublet.
If you have a fixed-term tenancy lasting six months or longer, the landlord is not allowed to unreasonably deny your request to sublet or assign the unit. If you have a periodic (month-to-month) tenancy, your landlord may withhold consent for any reason.
If you have a fixed-term tenancy of six months or longer, and believe your landlord has unreasonably withheld consent, you can apply for dispute resolution at the Residential Tenancy Branch and request an order allowing the assignment or sublet. You may also seek compensation for any damages you suffered as a result of your landlord’s refusal. See our page on Applying for Dispute Resolution for more information.
Your landlord may not charge a fee for agreeing to allow a sublet or assignment, or for investigating potential sub-tenants.