Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Assignment. An assignment of land or real estate is properly a transfer or making over to another of a person's interest therein; but it is more particularly applied to express the transfer of an estate for life or years, or of movables. An assignment for life or years differs from a lease only in this, that by a lease a man grants an interest less than his own, reserving to himself a reversion; by an assignment he parts with the whole property, and the assignee consequently stands in the place of the assignor. Thus where a lease is assigned, the assignee (as well as the lessee) is liable to the landlord or reversioner for the future performance of the covenants entered into by the lessee, and such assignee remains liable until he assigns over in his turn to another person. And this liability attaches to him even without entry, where the assignment is by deed. However, he is not liable by force of the assignment except on such covenants as run with the land. And he is also entitled to enforce against the reversioner any covenant of that kind which the lease contains in favour of the lessee; and in case the reversioner conveys his interest to another, then to enforce it also against such grantee of the reversion. But if the transfer be for a single day short of the residue of the term, no liability or claim on the original covenants can arise between the transferee on the one hand, and the reversioner or the grantee of the reversion on the other hand, for it is then an underlease and no assignment, and the alienee not coming precisely into the place of the alienor, is in no privity with the reversioner. No deed or other writing was necessary at common law to the validity of an assignment, though in the case of a lease for life it could not be effected without livery of seizin, but by the Statute of Frauds a deed or written instrument was made necessary, and now an assignment of a chattel interest not being copyhold, in any tenements or hereditaments made after the 1st October, 1845, shall be void at law unless made out not only in writing but by deed; while on the other hand an assignment even of a lease for life may now be effected by deed of hand without livery of seizin. Assignment may be effected by any words which are sufficient to express the intention, but "assign" or transfer are the most technical expressions.