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LEASE Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

A conveyance of lands or tenements to a person for life, for a term of years,  at will, in consideration of a return of rent  some other recompense. The person who so conveys such lands or tenements is termed the “lessor,” and the person to whom they are conveyed, the “lessee;” and when the lessor so conveys lands or tenements to a lessee, he is said to lease, demise, or let them. 4 Cruise, Dig. 5S. A conveyance of any lands or tenements, (usually in consideration of rent or other annual recompense,) made for life, for years, or at will, but always for a less time than the lessor has in the premises; for, if it be for the whole interest, it is more properly an assignment than a lease. 2 Bl. Comm. 317; Shep. Touch. 266; Watk. Con v. 220. And see Sawyer v. Hansen, 24 Me. 545; Thomas v. West Jersey R. C., 101 U. S. 78, 25 L. Ed. 050; Jackson v. Harsen, 7 Cow. (N. Y.) 326, 17 Am. Dec. 517; Lacey v. Newcomb, 95 Iowa, 287, 63 N. W. 704; Mayberry v. Johnson, 15 N. J. Law, 121; Milliken v. Faulk, 111 Ala. 658, 20 South. 594; Craig v. Summers, 47 Minn. 189, 49 N. W. 742, 15 L. R. A. 236; Harley v. O’Donnell, 9 Pa. Co. Ct. R. 56. A contract in writing, under seal, whereby a person having a legal estate in hereditaments, corporeal or incorporeal, conveys a portion of his interest to another, in consideration of a certain annual rent or render, or other recompense. Arclib. Landl. & Ten. 2. “Lease” or “hire” is a synallagmatic contract, to which consent alone is sufficient, and by which one party gives to the other the enjoyment of a thing, or his labor, at a fixed price. Civil Code La. art. 2669. When the contract is bipartite, the one part is called the “lease,” the other the “counterpart.” In the United States, it is usual that both papers should be executed by both parties; but in England the lease is executed by the lessor alone, and given to the lessee, while the counterpart is executed by the lessee alone, and given to the lessor.


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