Also found in: Dictionary.
life rent(sometimes hyphenated, always all one word in Scotland) a LIFE INTEREST in property without damaging or depleting it. It is different from an ANNUITY. It maybe a proper life rent, where the property goes directly to the life renter, but almost always in modern times there is the interposition of a trust. Questions often arise as to what falls within the life rent and what is part of the right of the ultimate proprietor, the fee. The life renter pays all the usual running costs of the property. A provision of life rent for aliment is known as an alimentary life rent and, so long as suitably drafted, it is not attachable by creditors. The Apportionment Act 1870 declares that all payments of the nature of income accrue day by day and are apportionable accordingly.
In the Scots law of property, a form of personal servitude more usually considered as an interest in land. It is the right to use and enjoy subjects during life without destroying or wasting the source. FEE is the full and unlimited right to the subjects, and it is the fee that is encumbered by the liferent. The liferent can be reserved where A transfers the fee to B, keeping the liferent to himself, or it can be constituted, as in the case of a will where one person may be given the liferent (such as a widow) and another the fee (such as a child). The liferenter gets the fruits of the subjects, although this principle can be quite difficult to apply in some circumstances.