Legal Definition of Rent
Rent is the consideration paid for the right to use and possess property.2 min read
The consideration paid for the right to use and possess property.
A certain profit in money, provisions, chattels, or labor, issuing out of lands and tenements in retribution for the use. A rent somewhat resembles an annuity, their difference consists in the fact that the former issues out of lands, and the latter is a mere personal charge.
At common law there were three kinds of rents; namely, rent-service, rent-charge, and rent-seek. When the tenant held his land by fealty or other corporeal service, and a certain rent, this was called rent-service; a right of distress was inseparably incident to this rent. A rent-charge is when the rent is created by deed and the fee granted; and as there is no fealty annexed to such a grant of rent, the right of distress is not in incident; and it requires an express power of distress to be annexed to the grant, which gives it the name of a rent-charge, because the lands are, by the deed, charged with a distress.
Rent-seek, or a dry or barren rent, was rent reserves by deed, without a clause of distress, and in a case in which the owner of the rent had no future interest or reversion in the land, he was driven for a remedy to a writ of annuity or writ of assize.
But the statute of 4 Geo. II., abolished all distinction in the several kinds of rent, so far as to give the remedy by distress in cases of rents-seek, rents of assize, and chief rents, as in the case of rents reserved upon a lease. In Pennsylvania, a distress is inseparably incident to every species of rent that may be reduced to a certainty. In New York, it seems the remedy by distress exists for all kinds of rent. As to the time when the rent becomes due, it is proper to observe, that there is a distinction to be made. It becomes due for the purpose of making a demand to take advantage of a condition of reentry, or to tender it to save a forfeiture, at sunset of the day on which it is due: but it is not actually due till midnight, for any other purpose. An action could not be supported which had been commenced on the day it became due, although commenced after sunset; and if the owner of the fee died between sunset and midnight of that day, the heir and not the executor would be entitled to the rent.