In the case of this unsuspecting business owner, he should have looked over the assignment language before signing it and requested that at the end of the first extended term, he would be let out of his obligation. The landlord had to approve the new owner (assignee) and would not likely have approved them if they were not credit worthy or had the finances to fulfill the financial obligations of the lease.
What happened next was a total shock to the commercial lease tenant. The landlord wanted to exercise their right to cancel the lease and recapture the space due to very onerous and restrictive language in the lease contract.
‘Recapture’ means the landlord can take your business from you.