Can someone assign a lease option to someone else if they haven’t performed the initial contact and hasn’t paid their option fee?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can someone assign a lease option to someone else if they haven’t performed the initial contact and hasn’t paid their option fee?

I know under contract law consideration has to be paid for a contract to be legal. What if a party uses your option money to pay that consideration at a future date? How do they have a right to assign the option if their option fee hasn’t been paid yet?

Asked on March 10, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can assign their right to the option to another so long as they are not in breach of their obligations under the contract at the time they do so (and also so long as the contract/lease does not have some clause or provision barring or limiting assignment). If they were in breach, since breaching a contract in a material way allows the other party to treat the contract as terminated, the other side could refuse to allow the assignment. The assignee will then have to pay whatever fees, whenever due, as are necessary to exercise the option, if they choose to do so.

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