Nicole owns a number of residential properties around Wellington which she lets out to students and young professionals.  On one occasion a group of tenants decided to transfer (or assign) their tenancy to some friends when they moved out, without letting Nicole know.  The new tenants defaulted on paying the rent and the question for Nicole was who should she chase up?

The general position is that she had no arrangement with the new tenants and therefore no legal rights against them.

Fortunately for Nicole, before finalising her documents she had run them by her experienced property lawyer who had advised her to insert a provision in all her tenancy agreements which prohibited transferring (or assignment) without the consent of the landlord.  This made her position stronger against the old tenants for breaching the terms of their tenancy.

As a landlord, it is important that you and your tenants understand the terms of your tenancy agreements to ensure you don’t get caught out.