is a legal term used in the context of the law of contract and of property.
In both instances, assignment is the process whereby a person, the assignor, transfers rights or benefits to another, the assignee.
However, it is possible to assign the lease, but the new party (assignee) will be subject to the lessor’s credit evaluation process and approval.
Even if the assignee is approved, the existing lessee’s (assignor’s) personal guarantee(s), if any, might not be released unless the assignee’s credit stature is extremely strong.
The effect of a valid assignment is to extinguish privity (in other words, contractual relationship, including right to sue) between the assignor and the third-party obligor and create privity between the obligor and the assignee.
Unless the contractual agreement states otherwise, the assignee typically does not receive more rights than the assignor, and the assignor may remain liable to the original counterparty for the performance of the contract.
A related concept of assignment is novation wherein, by agreement with all parties, one contracting party is replaced by a new party.
While novation requires the consent of all parties, assignment needs no consent from other non-assigning parties.
An assignment cannot have any effect on the duties of the other party to the contract, nor can it reduce the possibility of the other party receiving full performance of the same quality.
Certain kinds of performance, therefore, cannot be assigned, because they create a unique relationship between the parties to the contract.