One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A very low or nominal rent.‘the houses were let for a peppercorn rent’
- ‘Payment of the peppercorn rent has been an annual ceremony ever since Henry Whistler, a London merchant, leased the Ouse-side structure from the city in 1677 to use as a water tower supplying York.’
- ‘She says: ‘The project relied on the council granting a peppercorn rent, and they sunk it by refusing.’’
- ‘Now they want to privatise it for a peppercorn rent of one pound.’
- ‘While the fee represents a peppercorn rent for large consumer device manufacturers it's a toll nevertheless.’
- ‘The city council eventually bought the site and agreed to rent it out on a peppercorn rent for art and culture.’
From the (formerly common) practice of stipulating the payment of a peppercorn as a nominal rent.
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