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Rented and leased
Thread poster: Paul VALET
Paul VALET  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:02
Jun 20, 2012

Why are these words used together when they mean the same thing?

Would it be a matter of origins difference?

[Modifié le 2012-06-20 12:50 GMT]


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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
It is a feature of legal English Jun 20, 2012

It is a feature of legal English. There tends to be an element of repetition within legal documents drafted in English, as we have several words that have similar or virtually identical meanings. This often gives rise to an element of redundancy, but lawyers are creatures of habit and are reluctant to drop one or other of the terms in case there is a slight nuance of meaning that might be lost.

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Paul VALET  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:02
TOPIC STARTER
Legacy of the past ? Jun 20, 2012

Thank you Angus. I have noticed several times the feature you explain.

I wonder whether it would be a legacy of the past.

Rent is given for coming from Old French and lease from Anglo-Norman.

Maybe there was a time when these 2 words were in competition and the lawyers used both of them to make sure that they would be understood?


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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 20, 2012

This indeed a legacy of the past, as English has absorbed so many different words from different sources. In some cases the original meanings may very well have been quite different, but over time they converged. Lawyers have a tendency to use several words having similar meaning in order to avoid a dispute. From my own experience, I can remember an occasion on which it was considered that "rebuild" and "reconstruct" had different meanings although the average lay person would be hard placed to distinguish between them, but that was dependent upon a very particular context.

Reflecting on the case in point, on the basis of my own usage of these words, I would say that I tend to use "leased" slightly more to describe the actions of the landlord, who is leasing out his property and "rented" slightly more to describe the actions of the tenant, whose obligation to pay rent.

However, the nuance, in so far as it exists, is a very subtle one and depending on the context of the text you are translating, you may simply decide that it is appropriate to translate this by omitting one of the words, unless you can find two words with similar meanings in your target language.


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Some subtle differences Jun 20, 2012

A lease is normally for a longer and fixed period. Once a lease expires, the agreement is terminated and a new lease must be drawn up, if needed. A rental agreement is usually shorter, often renewable and can be rolled over automatically.

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:02
Chinese to English
Trust Wikipedia... Jun 20, 2012

"A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee (user) to pay the lessor (owner) for use of an asset.[1] A rental agreement is a lease in which the asset is tangible property."

I'm sure that definitions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but as Angus says, if lawyers can make a distinction, they will. As for how you translate it...

In a lot of translation the skopos (purpose) of the translation is pretty obvious, and the difference in translations wouldn't be great even if the purpose was different. But in legal translation the issue is huge. Does your client want a contract in language A to be turned into a contract in language B? (No can do, get a lawyer)
Do they want a quick scan to see if it's basically OK?
Do they want an exact translation to make sure it's watertight?

The answers to these questions would make a massive difference to the way you translate, including what you'd do with those two terms.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:02
Member (2008)
French to English
Lease vs. rent Jun 20, 2012

A lease is generally longer term, usually more than one year. It is mostly commonly used for real estate, vehicles and major machinery (usually two or three years).

Rental is generally short term, one year or less, and generally for less significant assets, such as a flat, tools or short term rental of a vehicle (a few days to a few months).

As usual, there are always exceptions and they are not hard and fast rules.

[Edited at 2012-06-20 14:41 GMT]


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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Yes, but... Jun 20, 2012

Lisa Simpson, MCIL wrote:

A lease is normally for a longer and fixed period. Once a lease expires, the agreement is terminated and a new lease must be drawn up, if needed. A rental agreement is usually shorter, often renewable and can be rolled over automatically.


That certainly reflects contemporary usage up to a point in relation to "leases" and "rental agreements", although leases can generally also be "rolled over" where tacit relocation is operating (as Phil said there may be differences between different jurisdictions in this regard). However, my understanding is that the question relates to instances where "leased" and "rented" are used together in the same document, which is an altogether more subtle point.


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Can the OP please clarify? Jun 20, 2012

My impression was that the OP was simply pondering the whys and wherefores of using two very similar terms rather than struggling with a specific translation (in which case, this is a question for KudoZ rather than the forums) - thus my brief and rough explanation. OP?

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Paul VALET  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:02
TOPIC STARTER
That's it Jun 22, 2012

Angus Stewart wrote:

[However, my understanding is that the question relates to instances where "leased" and "rented" are used together in the same document, which is an altogether more subtle point.


As I suggested above, I could have asked the same question for other groups of words used together in a same document, and even in a same phrase, as here "leased and rented" (in fact, if these 2 verbs referred to different contracts, the phrase should be "leased or rented").

In the present case, we would translate "leased and rented" by "loué" in French. It means using something that does not belong to you against payment and for a certain period of time, on the basis of a contract, whatever type of contract signed according to that concept.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:02
French to English
Don't forget hire! Jun 22, 2012

After all, I may hire a car, I may rent a car (synonymous here), or I may lease a car (which is different, isn't it?).

I could rent or lease a flat, but not usually hire it (if I did, I think the implication would be an extremely short term arrangement)

I would hire a skip, but not, I think, rent it - and if I leased it, I think that would imply a long-term arrangement (the neighbours would be pleased!)

I'm not sure there is a clear cut difference. I think consumers tend to rent things, and businesses tend to lease things, but there are most definitely exceptions. I think lease does carry an implication of a long-term arrangement (hence perhaps used more by business than consumers?), but that is not to say rent can't be long term either. I would think hire is very short-term (not that you asked!). When it comes to property/real estate, I think they are interchangeable.

I suspect we do need both in some cases, as in my car example above, if only because of differences that may be inferred by readers but which may not actually exist (saves time in court!). Or if someone tried to weasel out of liability because an agreement was headed "rental" not "lease".


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:02
Italian to English
Don't forget Wikipedia ;-) Jun 22, 2012

Leasehold is a form of land tenure or property tenure where one party buys the right to occupy land or a building for a given length of time. As lease is a legal estate, leasehold estate can be bought and sold on the open market. A leasehold thus differs from a freehold or fee simple where the ownership of a property is purchased outright and thereafter held for an indeterminate length of time, and also differs from a tenancy where a property is let (rented) on a periodic basis such as weekly or monthly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leasehold_estate

HTH

G.


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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Law has a self-defining capacity Jun 22, 2012

Giles Watson wrote:

Don't forget Wikipedia

Leasehold is a form of land tenure or property tenure where one party buys the right to occupy land or a building for a given length of time. As lease is a legal estate, leasehold estate can be bought and sold on the open market. A leasehold thus differs from a freehold or fee simple where the ownership of a property is purchased outright and thereafter held for an indeterminate length of time, and also differs from a tenancy where a property is let (rented) on a periodic basis such as weekly or monthly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leasehold_estate

HTH

G.


Here we are heading down the wrong track entirely. In England leasehold is indeed a form land tenure (a long lease) to be contrasted with freehold (ownership). However, that does not really advance us in terms of the current discussion, which relates to the rather fine nuances between "leasing" and renting", rather than the clear cut distinction between "leasehold" and "freehold".

Whatever the other benefits of using Wikipedia as an aid to translation may be, I'm generally not in favour of referring to it in order to resolve questions of legal interpretation. Law has a tendency to self define. Accordingly, it should be our first port of call. There are a number of resources at our disposal to resolve matters of interpretation.

Firstly, we should refer to the document itself, which may contain a definitions section telling us what certain terms mean in the context of that document. Secondly, there may be legislation governing the matter in question, which will tell us what the terms mean for the specific purposes of that legislation. (There are a number of pieces of legislation which refer to both terms "lease" and "rent" in specific context and so the answer may well differ from case to case and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction). Thirdly, we can refer to judgements which decided what certain terms mean, when someone has seen fit to litigate the point.

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Don't forget hire! 15:14

After all, I may hire a car, I may rent a car (synonymous here), or I may lease a car (which is different, isn't it?).

I could rent or lease a flat, but not usually hire it (if I did, I think the implication would be an extremely short term arrangement)

I would hire a skip, but not, I think, rent it - and if I leased it, I think that would imply a long-term arrangement (the neighbours would be pleased!)


This is much more constructive in terms of advancing this discussion. "Hire" is indeed another word, which would fall into a similar category along with "lease" and "rent". The only occasion I can think of on which all three would appear together in the same document is in relation to static caravans where one could conceivably "lease" and "rent" the land the caravan was located upon, whilst "renting" and "hiring" the caravan itself (and possibly the contents). Of course there may be other instances.

Charlie Bavington wrote:

I'm not sure there is a clear cut difference.....

I suspect we do need both in some cases...., if only because of differences that may be inferred by readers but which may not actually exist (saves time in court!). Or if someone tried to weasel out of liability because an agreement was headed "rental" not "lease".


Another valid point! I wouldn't regard the fact that a document is headed "rental" or "lease" or otherwise as being definitive per se, as I would look to the substance of the document. However, the fact that one of a sequence of words which is normally included has been excluded is certainly something which is capable of giving rise to differences in interpretation, especially if someone takes the view that the omission has been intentional.

This is exactly the sort of circumstances that could gives rise to the sort of litigation I was describing above from which we have learnt what certain words mean for the purposes of legal interpretation. One such instance that I can recollect being litigated was the distinction between "cash" and "money" when someone inadvertently omitted one of them (I forget which) from a legal document and it transpired that they had quite different meanings.

Paul VALET wrote: As I suggested above, I could have asked the same question for other groups of words used together in a same document, and even in a same phrase, as here "leased and rented" (in fact, if these 2 verbs referred to different contracts, the phrase should be "leased or rented").


To revert to the point I made above about the document itself being a source of interpretation, I would regard the distinction between the words being listed together, in which event the translation unit is "leased and rented", as opposed to appearing in different parts of the document as being very significant.

In the former case, the intention is to cover off all the particular words that may have the same or similar meaning in order to avoid a dispute. In the latter case, the fact that different words are being used in distinct contexts may indicate that it is intended that they have different meanings for those different purposes. Such was the case, with the example of "rebuild" and "reconstruct" I mentioned previously where the document had been drafted in such a way as to place the two terms in opposition to each other.





[Edited at 2012-06-22 23:10 GMT]


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:02
Italian to English
Let's keep it simple Jun 23, 2012

Angus Stewart wrote:

Giles Watson wrote:

Don't forget Wikipedia

Leasehold is a form of land tenure or property tenure where one party buys the right to occupy land or a building for a given length of time. As lease is a legal estate, leasehold estate can be bought and sold on the open market. A leasehold thus differs from a freehold or fee simple where the ownership of a property is purchased outright and thereafter held for an indeterminate length of time, and also differs from a tenancy where a property is let (rented) on a periodic basis such as weekly or monthly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leasehold_estate

HTH

G.


Here we are heading down the wrong track entirely. In England leasehold is indeed a form land tenure (a long lease) to be contrasted with freehold (ownership). However, that does not really advance us in terms of the current discussion, which relates to the rather fine nuances between "leasing" and renting", rather than the clear cut distinction between "leasehold" and "freehold".



And there was me thinking that for once the Wikipedia explanation was good enough on its own without further comment!

The distinction between "lease" and "rent" is perfectly clear: a "lease" gives time-limited but complete legal title to a good; "rent" gives the renter usufruct but not ownership.

Neither is leasing restricted to land. Leasing payments are treated differently from rental charges for tax purposes because of this distinction (a leased car is an asset; a hire car is an expense).


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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
I still don't agree Jun 23, 2012

Giles Watson wrote:

And there was me thinking that for once the Wikipedia explanation was good enough on its own without further comment!

The distinction between "lease" and "rent" is perfectly clear: a "lease" gives time-limited but complete legal title to a good; "rent" gives the renter usufruct but not ownership.

Neither is leasing restricted to land. Leasing payments are treated differently from rental charges for tax purposes because of this distinction (a leased car is an asset; a hire car is an expense).



I'll concede that your point about taxation is an interesting one. Tax treatment has motivated all sorts of hair splitting, (for instance the well known debate in the UK concerning when is a cake, "a cake" and not "a biscuit") in order that people can squeeze themselves into a particular tax category and thereby obtain more favourable tax treatment.

I think that I had also implicitly accepted in a previous post that in contemporary usage there are often differences in the situations in which the terms are used when they appear separately.

However, that still does not answer what I understand to be the main thrust of Paul's question which relates to what each term adds to our understanding of the meaning when they are used together (indeed side by side) in the same document and why in English legal drafting the practice is to use two or more terms having apparently similar meanings (i.e. when looking at the situation superficially arguably one would suffice to serve the purpose).


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