Rent expense definition — AccountingTools (2023)

/ Steven Bragg

What is Rent Expense?

Rent expense is an account that lists the cost of occupying rental property during a reporting period. This expense is one of the larger expenses reported by most organizations, after the cost of goods sold and compensation expense. However, as a greater proportion of employees work from home, this expense may trend downward over time.

(Video) Best Way To DIY Your Accounting Records [Quickbooks vs. Alternatives vs. Xero vs. Spreadsheets]

Rent Expense Under the Cash Basis of Accounting

Under the cash basis of accounting, the amount of rent expense reported in a period is the amount of cash paid during that period. Under the accrual basis of accounting, the amount of rent expense reported in a period represents the amount of usage of the rental property during the period, irrespective of the amount of cash actually paid during the period.

(Video) 3 Apps for Accountants That BLEW MY MIND

Rent Expense Under the Accrual Basis of Accounting

Under the accrual basis of accounting, if rent is paid in advance (which is frequently the case), it is initially recorded as an asset in the prepaid expenses account, and is then recognized as an expense in the period in which the business occupies the space.

Presentation of Rent Expense

Rent expense is typically allocated between the selling and administrative, and production portions of the income statement. Alternatively, the entire amount may be charged to the selling and administration part of the income statement.

(Video) The 8 Best Rent Payment App in 2023

(Video) 7 AI Apps For Accounting Firms
(Video) Accounting Tools


Rent expense definition — AccountingTools? ›

What is Rent Expense? Rent expense is an account that lists the cost of occupying rental property during a reporting period. This expense is one of the larger expenses reported by most organizations, after the cost of goods sold and compensation expense.

What is a rent expense in accounting? ›

What Is Rent Expense? Rent expense is the cost incurred by a business to utilize a property or location for an office, retail space, factory, or storage space.

What classification is rent expense? ›

A rent expense can either be classified as a production expense or an administrative expense depending on the use of the space for which the rent is being paid. It is classified as a production cost if the space is being used specifically to manufacture and produce the product that the business sells.

What type of asset is rent expense? ›

Rent is an expense which can either be treated as a current asset or current liability. When rent is paid in advance before it is due, then it is known as prepaid rent and is considered as a current asset.

What expense is rent an example of? ›

In conclusion, rent or mortgage payments come under the category of operating expenses. This is because they are necessary costs of doing business and are not directly related to the production of goods or services. Other examples of operating expenses include office supplies, utilities, and insurance.

Is rent expense a current asset? ›

Rent can also be considered a current asset. If you're making a rent payment before the period it's due, this is considered prepaid rent. It's a current asset that's reported on the balance sheet.

How do you record rental expenses? ›

Records That Rental Property Owners Need
  1. A record of incomes and expenses for each rental property, usually in the form of a P&L (profit & loss) statement.
  2. Back-up or supporting documents – such as receipts, credit card or bank statements – to prove that the income and expenses on your P&L are accurate and legitimate.

What is the difference between lease expense and rent expense? ›

The monthly installments are paid for the lease. Rent is paid monthly/quarterly for using the property/asset. In leasing, the responsibility for maintenance of the property lies on the lessee. In renting, the asset's maintenance burden lies on the tenant.

What type of account is rent? ›

Rent is considered as an expense and thus falls under the nominal account. Additionally, cash falls under the real account. So, according to the golden rules, you have to credit what goes out and debit all losses and expenses.

Is rent an operating expense? ›

An operating expense is an expense that a business incurs through its normal business operations. Operating expenses include rent, equipment, inventory costs, marketing, payroll, insurance, step costs, and funds allocated for research and development.

How do you treat rent in accounting? ›

Renter Accounting

When the renter is preparing its financial statements for the month to which the rent payment applies, the rent expense account is debited and the prepaid expenses account is flushed out with a credit, so that rent expense is recognized in the correct month.

Is rent expense accounts receivable? ›

Rent receivable is the rent that has to be received by the owner or business firm in exchange for providing the rent facilities to the tenant for the specified period. It is the current asset of the company's balance sheet as it is one of the accounts receivable for the company just like debtors and others.

Is rent expense a credit or debit? ›

Answer and Explanation: Rent expense is a debit in accounting because it is an example of expense. In debit and credit rules, all expenses are said to be debit accounts because the increase in its value is journalized through a debit entry.

Is rent expense a fixed expense? ›

Examples of fixed expenses include: Rent or mortgage payments. Car payments.

Is rent an example of a fixed expense? ›

Fixed expenses generally cost the same amount each month (such as rent, mortgage payments, or car payments), while variable expenses change from month to month (dining out, medical expenses, groceries, or anything you buy from a store).

Is rent a income or expenditure? ›

You generally must include in your gross income all amounts you receive as rent. Rental income is any payment you receive for the use or occupation of property. Expenses of renting property can be deducted from your gross rental income. You generally deduct your rental expenses in the year you pay them.

Is rent expense an operating expense? ›

Operating expenses—also known as selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A)—are the costs of doing business. They include rent and utilities, marketing and advertising, sales and accounting, management and administrative salaries.


1. Tour Accounting Tools & Ask Jen Anything
(Jen Kellogg)
2. Cloud-Based Accounting Tools
(Moss Adams)
3. How To Create Your Own AI Based Accounting System with ChatGPT
(Nerd Enterprises, Inc.)
4. Streamline Your Client’s Rental Property Accounting with Xero and Landlord Studio
(Insightful Accountant)
5. TOP 5 Accounting Software For Small Businesses 2023 - Quickbooks vs xero vs freshbooks vs wave
(Knowledge By Marcus)
6. ACCOUNTING BASICS: a Guide to (Almost) Everything
(Accounting Stuff)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Carey Rath

Last Updated: 27/06/2023

Views: 5758

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Carey Rath

Birthday: 1997-03-06

Address: 14955 Ledner Trail, East Rodrickfort, NE 85127-8369

Phone: +18682428114917

Job: National Technology Representative

Hobby: Sand art, Drama, Web surfing, Cycling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Leather crafting, Creative writing

Introduction: My name is Pres. Carey Rath, I am a faithful, funny, vast, joyous, lively, brave, glamorous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.