Definitions for quit-rent
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Quit rent, Quit-rent, or quitrent, in practically all cases, is now effectively but not formally a tax or land tax imposed on freehold or leased land by a higher landowning authority, usually a government or its assigns. Under feudal law, the payment of quit rent freed the tenant of a holding from the obligation to perform such other services as were obligatory under feudal tenure, or freed the occupier of the land from the burden of having others use their own distinct rights that affected the land. As such, it was a rental of distinct things that were not parcelled up in the ownership of the land itself, although connected with the full enjoyment of the land, and formally it was a sort of buy back rather than a tax. Where a true tax can be varied by the taxer, and must be paid on pain of penalties that can be varied by the taxer without formal limit, the only sanction for not paying a feudal quit rent was that the alternative burdens would return — which imposed a ceiling on how much could be demanded in payment of a quit rent in practice. Where the sanctions for non-compliance are limited in this way, a quit rent is a rent in fact as well as in form and name, and not a tax; where they are not so limited, a quit rent is not a rent in fact but only in form and name, being rather a tax in fact. The latter is the usual case today, as the former was in earlier times.
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a rent the payment of which frees the tenant of a holding from other services such as were obligatory under feudal tenure.
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