Rent has been defined as a definite periodical return for the use of land. It may be payable in money, or it may be payable in the produce of the land. The amount of rent need not be definitely fixed in advance but it must be capable of being made definite at some time. For example, leases may be made having the rent fixed as a certain share of the crop to be raised on the land - when the crop is harvested the amount of rent is known. Store property is sometimes leased with a provision that the landlord shall receive a fixed sum of rent, plus a percentage of the tenants' gross receipts above an agreed amount. This additional sum is part of the rent, the total rent being determined when the results of the tenant's business is known.
Rent must also be periodical - that is, it is payable at regular recurring intervals, so much payable in one sum for the term, or so much each week, month or year of the term.
There is a danger in giving possession of property without establishing a tenancy. A purchaser of real estate who enters into possession of the property he is buying under a contract of sale, and before delivery of the deed, is not a tenant, unless he is made so by express agreement. Because of the delay and expense of an eviction action, it is advisable to establish the nominal relationship of landlord and tenant in such cases. This is accomplished by a letting agreement between the parties in which the term and rental is specified. This may be a separate instrument, but is often contained as a special clause in the contract of sale. (Appendix form 12.)
Janitors are employees and often receive the use of an apartment as part of their wages. It is usually advisable to have the employee sign an agreement for the use of the apartment at a nominal rental. If he is ever discharged, the letting agreement can be terminated and possession of the apartment secured through a dispossess proceeding.