Landlords – Know The Difference Between Subletting; An Assignment and A Licensee?

Licensing arrangements in private rented accommodation are often confused with sub-lettings and assignments. There is a difference between the above mentioned and it is important that landlords know the distinction.

The main difference is that when a tenant assigns or sublets the rental accommodation, they no longer live in it. However, if a tenant takes in a licensee, the licensee shares the accommodation with the tenant.

As landlord you are responsible for your property and you have obligations to your tenants, it is vital that you are aware who is residing in your property.

  • Subletting – is where a tenant permits another party to lease the rental property and they move out. The rent is paid by the other party to the tenant and the tenant pays the landlord. There is an obligation on the tenant to get the landlord’s consent in writing for a subletting, subletting can only take place with the consent of the landlord.


  • Assignment – an assignment in a shared tenancy is when a tenant(s) leaves and with the landlord’s consent allows another person(s) to take over the balance of their rights and obligations in the tenancy.


  • Licensee – is a person allowed to reside in a rental property but has no rights as a tenant. A licensee in a private rented dwelling is there by invitation of the tenant, the relationship of a licensee is with the tenant and not with the landlord. The tenant is under a statutory obligation to inform the landlord of the identity of resident in the dwelling however, the landlord is not in a position to to accept or veto the individual concerned as he/she would with a tenant. The tenant is responsible for all of the acts and commissions of their licensee, should the licensee breach an obligation applying to the tenancy the tenant will be in breach – example of breach could be anti-social behaviour or redecorating without the landlord’s written consent.


Been Prepared; Be Protected ; Be Compliant

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Categories: Property Management.