The definition of the term “demise” covers more spectrums than just real estate related. Most commonly the term demise is used to talk about someone’s death. It is also used to describe the end of something that had been considered powerful but is no longer, such as a business, industry, or a system. In law, the term “demise” is used to describe a property that you decide to rent to someone for a specific period of time, or a legal agreement through which you rent, give or leave someone a property through a will. Another legal term used in real estate today is demised premises.
In the past the term “demise” was used to lease or rent a vessel by the shipowner to someone else. From the start date of the demise to the end date, that ship, it’s earnings, use and management fell entirely in the hands of the person renting it. When that time expired, everything went back to the shipowner and the demise contract had to be written again.
In order to define the word “demise” in real estate, we have to go to its origins. The term, when used in a legal or real estate setting, is derived from the Anglo-Norman démettre or demittere which means to send away. Today, the word “demise” is a legal jargon that means the act of granting a lease of property. For real estate, it refers to giving an estate, to transfer it through a will or a lease. What is important to mention is that a real estate demise is defined by a lease that allows ownership of a property for a specific period of time or for life, but the end time of the lease is mentioned, whether by date or by something that will happen in the future (i.e. Demise a property till the time of death). It is used synonymous to leasing or letting a property for a period of time. To demise means to convey land or property through a deed or contract for a particular period of time.