A landlord is always interested in the identity and financial
status of his tenant and therefore most leases (apart from long
leases) contain provisions which place restrictions on the tenant's
ability to transfer the premises to a third party. These
restrictions are usually either absolute or qualified in some way,
usually by providing that there can be a transfer but only with the
landlord's consent which cannot be unreasonably withheld. There are
a number of different ways of transferring a tenancy. Subletting is
a common one, but a tenancy can also be transferred by assignment.
The tenant could also part with possession or occupation.
A tenant of commercial premises will often want to sublet the
whole or part of his premises and it is not unusual for there to be
tension between a tenant and his landlord about the sub-tenant or
the time the landlord takes to decide whether he is prepared to
consent to the subletting.
Disputes over illegal subletting etc. may lead to proceedings
with landlords claiming injunctions to set aside sub-leases and
sometimes (although unusually) forfeiture, and tenants claiming
declarations that consent has been unreasonably withheld and
damages. In order either to avoid proceedings or to position
themselves in any future proceedings it is in the best interests of
landlords and tenant to take early advice.