Renting is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good owned by another person or company. Examples:
- Housing tenure, where the person who lives in the house is a tenant, paying rent to the landlord, who owns the property.
- The renting of motion pictures on VHS or DVD, of audio CD's, of computer programs on CD-ROM.
- Renting transportation equipment, such as an automobile, boat or bike.
- Renting somewhat specialized tools, such as a floor buffer, or something bigger, such as a cherry picker.
- Renting a beach chair.
Reasons for renting rather than buying include:
- Renting is tax attractive (in Spain)
- Financial inadequacy, such as renting a house when one is unable to buy it.
- A product is needed only temporarily, as in the case of a special tool or a truck.
- Need for a similar product that is already owned but not in close proximity, such as renting a car or bike when away on a trip.
- Needing a cheaper alternative to buying, such as renting a movie: a person is unwilling to pay the full price for a movie, so they rent it for a lesser price, but give up the chance to view it again later.
Some merchants have rent-to-own programs, usually for expensive items such as homes or appliances.
As seen from the examples, some rented goods are used on the spot, but usually they are taken along; to help guarantee that they are brought back, one or more of the following applies:
- one shows an identity document
- one signs a contract; any damage already present when renting may be noted down to avoid that the renter is blamed for it when the good is returned
- one pays a deposit (also used for paying for small damage)
Sometimes the risk that the good is kept is reduced by it being a special model or having signs on it than can not easily be removed, making it obvious that it is owned by the rental company; this is especially effective for goods used in public places, but even when used at home it may help due to social control.
If one regularly rents goods from a particular company, often one has some kind of account, which reduces the administrative procedure on each occasion.
See also: Leasing