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The World Law Dictionary Project

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lease verb

to make a legal agreement for money to be paid to use land, a building, a vehicle or a piece of equipment for a specified time, usually in return for a periodic payment
They have been offered the library rent-free for two years by the owner, who currently leases it to the council.

Hi, my name's Jonathan and welcome to TransLegal's lesson of the week.

Today we’re going to be talking about an interesting property law term which is lease.

Now lease is a confusing term for some people because they don't quite know how to use it. Firstly, the verb lease. Who leases property? Well the landlord or lessor leases property to the tenant or the lessee.

A landlord is the owner of a building or a house or an office space, for example, and he leases it to the tenant and the lessor, that's a wider term, that means the person who either owns the property or building or also owns the equipment or a car or something like that and they lease the property to the lessee.

When we talk about leasing we're talking about renting out to someone. An example of that could be used in the following way – "the landlord agreed to lease the property to the tenant", so note the use of the term "lease to" in that sentence.

Conversely, you can also talk about the tenant or the lessee leasing property from someone. So the tenant leases from the landlord and the lessee leases from the lessor. Basically, it means that they are renting it from those people.

Bear in mind that individuals and legal entities can be landlords, tenants, lessors or lessees -- a legal entity being something like a company or a partnership. So you can see that the verb lease is very flexible and can be used by both to show that both lessors are leasing to someone and lessees or tenants are leasing from someone.

The noun lease, i.e. a lease, is actually the agreement under which the landlord leases the property to the tenant or the lessor leases the property to the lessee.

I hope that's clarified this tricky term. Thank you for listening and please feel free to submit any comments in the comments section below.

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