Rent Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Rent, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Rent?

(V) Rent is the action by which the utility or benefits out of any article, property are passed on to another person for a specified compensation either for a limited period or for ever as the parties concerned may decide. Here the ownership lies with the owner and possession with the renter

History and Meaning of Rent

Rent is a term used in the legal world to describe an agreement between a landlord and a tenant, where the tenant pays a fee to the landlord in exchange for the right to use the landlord's property or land. Historically, the concept of rent has existed since the beginning of organized agriculture and settled societies. In medieval Europe, it became a form of tribute payable to a landlord or feudal lord by those who lived on their land. Over time, the laws around rent have evolved as society has changed, resulting in the complex legal framework that we have today.

Examples of Rent

Example 1

John signed a lease agreement to rent a two-bedroom apartment from Jane for $1500 per month.

Example 2

Sarah sublets her room to her friend for the summer and charges her $500 per month in rent.

Example 3

Tom owns a commercial property that he leases to a restaurant business for a monthly rent of $5000.

Legal Terms Similar to Rent

  • Lease: a legal agreement between a landlord and a tenant whereby the tenant has the right to use the landlord's property for a specified period in exchange for rent
  • Tenancy: the occupation of land or property by a tenant or tenants
  • Lessor/Landlord: the owner of the property being rented out
  • Lessee/Tenant: the person or entity paying rent and occupying the property being rented out.