Sublet and Assignment



The Basics

A sublet occurs when a tenant temporarily moves out and rents their unit to a subtenant until they return, whereas an assignment occurs when a tenant permanently moves out and transfers their agreement to a new tenant.

To sublet or assign your tenancy agreement, you must have your landlord’s written permission. See TRAC’s template letter, Permission to Assign or Sublet. However, according to section 34(2) of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), if your fixed term tenancy agreement has at least six months remaining, your landlord cannot unreasonably deny your request. If your landlord is being unreasonable, you can apply for dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancy Branch to request an order allowing you to sublet or assign your tenancy.

See Residential Tenancy Branch Policy Guideline 19 for more information.



These rules about sublet and assignment apply to most types of rental housing, but there is one exception. A landlord can refuse a tenant the right to sublet or assign their unit if the tenant lives in non-profit housing that falls under section 2 of the Residential Tenancy Regulation, and their rent is also related to their income.



Previous Legal Decisions


  • Landlord not allowed to unreasonably withhold consent
  • Tenant assigning agreement may retain residual liability