DEFINITION of 'Lessor'

The owner of an asset that is leased under an agreement to the lessee. The lessee makes one-time or periodic payments to the lessor in return for the use of the asset. The lease agreement is binding on both the lessor and the lessee, and spells out the rights and obligations of both parties.

The lessor may grant special privileges to the lessee, such as early termination of the lease or renewal on unchanged terms, solely at his or her discretion. The lessor is also known as the landlord in lease agreements that deal with property or real estate.


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The leased asset can either be tangible property such as a home, office, car or computer, or intangible property like a trademark or brand name. The lessor in each instance is the owner of the asset. In the case of real estate or a car, the lessor is the property owner or automobile dealer respectively; in the case of a trademark or brand name, the lessor is the company that owns it and has conferred the right to use the trademark or brand name to a franchisee.

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