On assignment of lease and sublease of things

Before entering into a contract of lease of things with anyone, you need to consider some important rules.

Among them are the rules on assignment of lease and sublease of things.

But to have a clear grasp of these rules, you need to know first what a contract of lease of things is and who are its parties.

Contract of lease of things

What then is a contract of lease of things?

It refers to a contract where one of the parties binds himself to give to another the enjoyment or use of a thing for a price certain and for a period, which may either be definite or indefinite.

But remember that a lease of things for a period of more than ninety-nine years is void.

Parties in a contract of lease of things

Like in all other contracts, there are parties in a contract of lease of things. And they are the lessor and the lessee.

But who is a lessor? And who is a lessee?

From the definition of a contract of lease of things, the lessor is the one who binds himself to give to another the enjoyment or use of a thing for a price certain and for a period.

While the lessee is the one to whom such enjoyment or use is given.

Assignment of lease

After knowing what a contract of lease of things is and who are its parties, the question now is: “May the lessee assign the lease?”

Of course, the answer to this question is: “It depends.”

If the contract of lease of things contains a provision allowing the assignment of lease, the lessee may then make an assignment

But if there is none, the only instance where the lessee is permitted to do so is when the lessor gives his consent.

Without his consent, any assignment made is void.

In assignment of lease, the lessee (assignor) dissociates himself from and ceases to be a party to the contract of lease of things.

While the other (assignee) to whom the lease is transferred becomes the new lessee.

There is assignment of lease when the lessee transfers the lease to another.

Sublease

But it is entirely different when it comes to a sublease.

Why?

Because the lessee may (sub) lease the whole or a portion of the leased property to another even if the contract of lease of things has no provision allowing it.

The only instance where the lessee is prohibited from doing so is when the contract of lease of things has a provision forbidding it.

In a sublease, the lessee never dissociates himself from and remains a party to the contract of lease of things.

He merely becomes a sublessor with respect to either the whole or a portion of the leased property that is (sub) leased to another known as the sublessee.

A contract of sublease exists when the lessee (sub) leases the whole or a portion of the leased property to another.

[References: Articles 1643, 1649, and 1650 of the Civil Code of the Philippines]

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