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Is There a Difference Between Lease and Rent? Find Out Here!

There is very little chance that people out there, including you, know the difference between lease and rent house. Verbally, people use both words interchangeably, but technically, they both have different meanings.

Lease and Rent

Amid the pandemic crisis, individuals are compelled to seek affordable housing options, either through renting or leasing flats. It’s important to note that a lease differs from a rental agreement. In a lease agreement, one party grants the other party the possession of an asset for a mutually agreed-upon period. Legally, a lease serves as a means to rent accommodation and establish a settlement.
Read: The 5 Most Luxurious Houses/Apartments on Rent in Bangalore

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For example, you may have moved to a new city and chosen a suitable place according to your requirement where you have signed a lease agreement. Being unaware of the city and the new people living in your locality, you may want to shift to any other building as you get accustomed to the city. Here, a rental agreement proves beneficial.

What is Rent?

The meaning of rent means letting out any property or any possession to someone for a limited period agreed upon with a basic pay schedule. In simple words renting is an agreement made between the tenant and landlord which is short-term. 

Till the agreement ends, the tenant pays rent for the use of assets like land, car or building, etc. which belong to the landlord.

The two parties involved here are known as landlord and tenant. The term extends that both parties mutually decide to end the agreement. In most cases, the term of rent is less than a year. The laws of a rental agreement differ from state to state.

The terms of the agreement can be modified or raised by the landlord by giving prior notice to the tenant. One major thing to be noted here is that the agreement may be either oral or written. 

Pros of Renting an Apartment

  • Flexibility: Renting an apartment provides flexibility in terms of mobility, allowing you to easily move to a different location or upgrade to a larger space when needed.
  • Lower upfront costs: Renting typically requires a smaller upfront financial commitment compared to buying a property, as you don’t have to worry about a down payment or other significant expenses associated with homeownership.
  • Maintenance and repairs: As a tenant, you are not responsible for major maintenance and repair costs. The landlord or property management is usually responsible for addressing issues such as plumbing, electrical problems, or structural repairs.
  • Amenities and facilities: Many apartment complexes offer amenities such as gyms, swimming pools, laundry facilities, and communal spaces, which can enhance your living experience.
  • Less responsibility: Renting alleviates the responsibilities of property ownership, such as property taxes and insurance. You can focus on enjoying your living space without the additional burdens.

Cons of Renting an Apartment

  • Absence of equity: Unlike owning a property, renting does not provide the opportunity to build equity or gain ownership in the place you reside. Instead, your monthly rent payments contribute solely to the landlord’s investment.
  • Limited customisation options: Renting may restrict your ability to personalize the living space to suit your preferences. Rules regarding modifications, such as painting walls or making structural changes, maybe in place, limiting your ability to customize the apartment. Additionally, some landlords may have restrictions on owning pets.
  • Potential for rent increases: Landlords have the right to increase the rent at the end of each lease term, which can impact your budget and affordability. These rent hikes are beyond your control and can significantly affect your financial stability.
  • Uncertain stability: Renting an apartment lacks the same level of stability and long-term security as homeownership. Landlords may decide not to renew the lease or sell the property, requiring you to find a new place to live. This uncertainty can disrupt your living arrangements and add stress to your life.
  • Limited control: As a tenant, you have limited control over the property. You must adhere to the rules and regulations set by the landlord or property management, which may restrict certain activities or lifestyle choices, affecting your sense of freedom and autonomy.
what is rent

What is a Lease?

A contractual authorisation signed between two parties namely the lessor and the lessee is called a lease. In simple words, a lease is an agreement made between two parties or companies. Here, one of the parties permits the other party to use and control an asset for a definite period without really buying it. This is not renting but it is a form of renting. 
Read: Income from House Property and the Laws That Govern It

The agreement on which the terms and conditions are based is known as a lease deed. Moreover, a lease agreement needs to be first stamped and then registered. Due to the fact that registration is done, it’s not easy to terminate a lease agreement. 

All kinds of property come under a lease like houses, apartments, vehicles, land, furniture, commercial real estate, and even tools or equipment. The tenant and the property owner are expected to honour this agreement. 

Pros of Leasing an Apartment

  • Flexibility and Mobility: Leasing an apartment offers flexibility, allowing you to move easily when your lease ends without the hassle of selling a property.
  • Lower Upfront Costs: Leasing typically requires a smaller upfront payment compared to purchasing a home, making it more affordable for those on a budget.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: In most cases, the landlord is responsible for handling maintenance and repairs, saving you time, money, and the stress of dealing with such issues.
  • Access to Amenities: Many leased apartments come with access to various amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centres, and communal spaces, enhancing your living experience.
  • Financial Predictability: With a fixed lease term, you have a clear understanding of your monthly housing expenses, allowing for better budgeting and financial planning.

Cons of Leasing an Apartment

  • Absence of Property Ownership: Unlike owning a home, leasing an apartment does not provide the opportunity to build equity or gain ownership of the property.
  • Limited Control and Personalization: As a tenant, you may face restrictions on making significant modifications or personalizing the space according to your preferences.
  • Potential Rent Increases: Landlords have the ability to increase rent at the end of the lease term, which can lead to higher housing costs and financial uncertainty.
  • Restrictions on Pets and Subleasing: Many leased apartments have rules and regulations regarding pet ownership or subleasing, limiting your options in these aspects.
  • Risk of Non-Renewal: While a lease agreement offers stability for a specific period, there is always a chance that the landlord may choose not to renew the lease, requiring you to find alternative housing.

When considering whether to lease an apartment, it is crucial to carefully assess these drawbacks alongside the advantages to make an informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle and financial goals.

A lease is most common in commercial real estate. 

what is lease

What is the meaning of Lessee and Lessor?

The legal owner of the asset or property who lends the right to the lessee to use or occupy the asset or property for a specific period is called a lessor. He has the complete right to take back the property from the current lessee and lend it to some other lessee. 

The lessee has only restrictive control over the property or asset. The amount of lease or rent is paid as compensation by the lessee

The Key Differences Between Lease and Rent

Renting a house versus taking it on lease – which option is better for you? If you’re pondering this question, it’s crucial not to confuse these two terms. Though the line between them may seem thin and unclear, understanding the disparities is essential. Let’s delve into the key differences of lease and rent:

  • The lease is a long-term agreement, while rent is a short-term agreement.
  • There is no specific standard made within a rent while Accounting Standard-19 deals with leasing.
  • The Lessee and lessor are the two parties involved in a lease while the landlord and tenant are the two parties involved in renting.
  • The landlord bears the cost of repairs and maintenance of the assets. While when it’s a finance lease the expenses of the same are taken by the lessor and if the lease is agreed upon as an operating lease, then the lessor bears the expenses.
  • The advantage of a lease agreement is that the party cannot alter the terms of the contract that was agreed upon together until the contract expires, unlike the rent agreement where the landlord can alter the terms of the contract at any time.
  • Lastly, when the lease ends, the lessee has an option to buy the asset at a residual price while there is no such option made available to the tenant.

Benefits of Rent Agreement over a Lease Agreement

When considering housing options, it’s important to understand the distinction between lease and tenancy agreements. While both involve renting a property, there are significant differences between the two. In this section, we will explore the benefits of opting for a rental agreement over a lease agreement, highlighting the key differences between a lease and a tenancy.

  • Flexibility in duration: Rent agreements allow for shorter terms, providing more flexibility compared to lease agreements with longer commitments.
  • Easy termination: Rent agreements typically have shorter notice periods, making it easier to terminate the agreement when needed.
  • Lower upfront costs: Rent agreements involve lower upfront costs and security deposits, making them a more affordable option.
  • Simplified documentation: Rent agreements involve less legal complexity and paperwork compared to lease agreements.
  • Tenant freedom: Rent agreements grant tenants more freedom to make changes to the property compared to lease agreements with stricter rules.
  • Ideal for short-term needs: Rent agreements are well-suited for short-term housing requirements and offer more flexibility.
  • Less commitment: Rent agreements involve fewer long-term obligations, providing tenants with more flexibility.
  • Negotiation opportunities: Rent agreements often offer room for negotiation and adjustments during the tenancy period.
  • Fewer restrictions: Rent agreements tend to have fewer restrictions, allowing tenants to personalize their living space.

While deciding on which to go for, be it lease or rent; what should be kept in mind is to analyze and choose the one required by the asset and which is adjustable with your requirements. Functionality-wise, there is not much of a difference but payment plays a major role. In leasing, you’ll have to pay a fixed amount (it will be 40-50 times that of the rental amount). 

Additionally, if a particular company requires an asset throughout the year, then a lease is the best option. However, if there is no such demand, then renting is the best option. Between lease and rent, most people choose to rent over lease due to its flexibility. The tenant is not bound by any crucial rules and regulations.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the difference between lease and rental agreements, you can confidently make the right decision. Whether you’re a buyer or a tenant, consider the terms and usage of the asset to make an informed choice. If any doubts persist, seeking assistance from NoBroker’s experts is a wise step. 

With their experience in drafting numerous leases and rental agreements, they will guide you through the entire process. The added convenience of getting a rental agreement from the comfort of your home makes it even more appealing. For more details about this service, click the link below.


1) Why are the rental agreements made for a maximum of up to 11 months?

Ans: This is because the government ruled that any rental agreement that is made for more than 11 months has to be compulsorily registered.

2) Between lease and rent, which one is better?

Ans: Nobody can ever tell you which is better for you. Since there are many differences between lease and rent, you can decide Based on your savings and budget. A lease is a huge one-time payment whereas rent is monthly.

3) Who takes responsibility for the maintenance of any damage done to the property in a rent agreement?

Ans: A rental agreement has an advantage here over an agreement made in the lease. The landlord takes accountability for any damage that is done or made by the tenant, no matter if it is a house, building or car, etc. 

4)Why are lease agreement and rental agreement usually done?

Ans: These agreements are usually made to protect the interest of the parties involved. Without any documentation, either party could misuse the property or cause damage and nothing can be done to hold them accountable. 

5) What is the difference between terms and conditions made in a lease and a rent agreement?

Ans: The terms and conditions in leasing contracts are predetermined and are made by ensuring that there is mutual acceptance between the two parties. It’s the opposite in a renting agreement. Here, the terms and conditions can be changed anytime.


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Kruthi is a Chartered Accountant has worked for various Real Estate firms across India, she is well versed with the legal and financial aspects of all real estate transactions. There are numerous documents and plenty of hidden fees that people get lost in, her goal is to shed some light on it all.

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