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Lease vs. Rent: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A lease is a contractual agreement where a property is provided for use or occupation over a specific period in return for a set rent. Rent refers to the periodic payment a tenant makes to a landlord for using and occupying this property.
Lease vs. Rent

Key Differences

Lease typically refers to a contractual arrangement where property is rented for a long-term period, often spanning several months to years. Rent, however, is generally understood as the payment made for the temporary use of a property, typically on a monthly basis.
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In leasing, the terms and conditions are more rigid and defined for a longer duration, and breaking a lease can often involve penalties. Renting offers more flexibility, with agreements often renewable on a monthly or annual basis, allowing for easier termination.
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Leases often include specific clauses regarding maintenance, modifications, and usage of the property. Rent agreements, while also outlining use and maintenance, are usually less detailed and offer more flexibility in these areas.
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When leasing, tenants may have the option to buy the property at the end of the lease term. In contrast, renting does not typically offer this option, with the arrangement purely for the use of the space.
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Lease agreements usually require a security deposit, which is typically higher than that for renting, reflecting the longer commitment and potential for more significant wear and tear on the property.
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Comparison Chart

Duration

Long-term (months to years)
Short-term (often monthly)
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Nov 16, 2023

Flexibility

Less flexible, with penalties for early termination
More flexible, with easier termination options
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Agreement Details

More detailed terms and conditions
Less detailed, more general terms
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Option to Buy

May include an option to purchase
Typically does not include a purchase option
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Nov 16, 2023

Security Deposit

Generally higher
Usually lower
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Nov 16, 2023
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Lease and Rent Definitions

Lease

A contract granting use or occupation of property during a specified period in exchange for a specified rent.
They signed a two-year lease for the apartment.
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Nov 16, 2023

Rent

A periodic payment made by a tenant to a landlord for the use and occupation of property.
Their monthly rent for the apartment is quite affordable.
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Nov 16, 2023

Lease

A legal document outlining the terms under which one party agrees to rent property from another party.
She carefully reviewed the lease before agreeing to the terms.
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Nov 16, 2023

Rent

To pay someone for the use of something, typically property, land, or a car.
They decided to rent a car for the road trip.
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Nov 16, 2023

Lease

An arrangement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service, or property owned by another.
The lease on their business property was due for renewal.
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Rent

The amount of money paid in return for the right to occupy or use the property of another.
Rent in the city center is higher than in the suburbs.
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Nov 16, 2023

Lease

A contract granting use or occupation of property during a specified period in exchange for a specified rent or other form of payment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

An agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service, or property owned by another.
The rent agreement for their new home was straightforward.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Lease

The term or duration of such a contract.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

Payment, usually of an amount fixed by contract, made by a tenant at specified intervals in return for the right to occupy or use the property of another.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To grant use or occupation of under the terms of a contract.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

A similar payment made for the use of a facility, equipment, or service provided by another.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To get or hold by such a contract.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

The return derived from cultivated or improved land after deduction of all production costs.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

An interest in land granting exclusive use or occupation of real estate for a limited period; a leasehold.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

The difference between the price paid for use of a resource whose supply is inelastic and the minimum price at which that resource would still be provided. Also called economic rent.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

An interest granting exclusive use of any thing, such as a car or boat.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

An opening made by rending; a rip.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

The contract or deed under which such an interest is granted.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

A breach of relations between persons or groups; a rift.
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Lease

The document containing such a contract or deed.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

To obtain occupancy or use of (another's property) in return for regular payments.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

The period of such an interest.
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Rent

To grant temporary occupancy or use of (one's own property or a service) in return for regular payments
Rents out TV sets.
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Lease

An open pasture or common.
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Rent

To be for rent
The cottage rents for $1,200 a month.
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Lease

The place at which the warp-threads cross on a loom.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

A past tense and a past participle of rend.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To grant a lease as a landlord; to let.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

A payment made by a tenant at intervals in order to occupy a property.
I am asking £100 a week rent.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To hold a lease as a tenant.
I'm leasing a small apartment in Runcorn for a month while I'm there for work.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

A similar payment for the use of a product, equipment or a service.
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Lease

(transitive) To gather.
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Rent

(economics) A profit from possession of a valuable right, as a restricted license to engage in a trade or business.
A New York city taxicab license earns more than $10,000 a year in rent.
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Lease

(transitive) To pick, select, pick out; to pick up.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

An object for which rent is charged or paid.
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Lease

(transitive) To glean.
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Rent

(obsolete) Income; revenue.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

(intransitive) To glean, gather up leavings.
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Rent

A tear or rip in some surface.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To tell lies; tell lies about; slander; calumniate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

A division or schism.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To release; let go; unloose.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

(transitive) To occupy premises in exchange for rent.
I rented a house from my friend's parents for a year.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To gather what harvesters have left behind; to glean.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

(transitive) To grant occupation in return for rent.
We rented our house to our son's friend for a year.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To grant to another by lease the possession of, as of lands, tenements, and hereditaments; to let; to demise; as, a landowner leases a farm to a tenant; - sometimes with out.
There were some [houses] that were leased out for three lives.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

(transitive) To obtain or have temporary possession of an object (e.g. a movie) in exchange for money.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To hold under a lease; to take lease of; as, a tenant leases his land from the owner.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

(intransitive) To be leased or let for rent.
The house rents for five hundred dollars a month.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

The temporary transfer of a possession to another person in return for a fee or other valuable consideration paid for the transfer;
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

Simple past tense and past participle of rend
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

The contract for such letting.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

That has been torn or rent; ripped; torn.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lease

Any tenure by grant or permission; the time for which such a tenure holds good; allotted time.
Our high-placed MacbethShall live the lease of nature.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rent

To rant.
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Lease

Property that is leased or rented out or let
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

To tear. See Rend.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Lease

A contract granting use or occupation of property during a specified time for a specified payment
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

To grant the possession and enjoyment of, for a rent; to lease; as, the owwner of an estate or house rents it.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

The period of time during which a contract conveying property to a person is in effect
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

To take and hold under an agreement to pay rent; as, the tennant rents an estate of the owner.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

Let for money;
We rented our apartment to friends while we were abroad
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

To be leased, or let for rent; as, an estate rents for five hundred dollars a year.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

Hold under a lease or rental agreement; of goods and services
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

An opening made by rending; a break or breach made by force; a tear.
See what a rent the envious Casca made.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

Grant use or occupation of under a term of contract;
I am leasing my country estate to some foreigners
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

Figuratively, a schism; a rupture of harmony; a separation; as, a rent in the church.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

Engage for service under a term of contract;
We took an apartment on a quiet street
Let's rent a car
Shall we take a guide in Rome?
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

Income; revenue. See Catel.
[Bacchus] a waster was and all his rentIn wine and bordel he dispent.
So bought an annual rent or two,And liv'd, just as you see I do.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To grant the temporary use of property under the terms of a lease.
The company leases its office space in the downtown area.
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Nov 16, 2023

Rent

Pay; reward; share; toll.
Death, that taketh of high and low his rent.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Lease

To take or hold by lease.
He leased a car for business purposes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Rent

A certain periodical profit, whether in money, provisions, chattels, or labor, issuing out of lands and tenements in payment for the use; commonly, a certain pecuniary sum agreed upon between a tenant and his landlord, paid at fixed intervals by the lessee to the lessor, for the use of land or its appendages; as, rent for a farm, a house, a park, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

That portion of the produce of the earth paid to the landlord for the use of the "original and indestructible powers of the soil;" the excess of the return from a given piece of cultivated land over that from land of equal area at the "margin of cultivation." Called also economic rent, or Ricardian rent. Economic rent is due partly to differences of productivity, but chiefly to advantages of location; it is equivalent to ordinary or commercial rent less interest on improvements, and nearly equivalent to ground rent.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

A regular payment by a tenant to a landlord for use of some property
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

An opening made forcibly as by pulling apart;
There was a rip in his pants
She had snags in her stockings
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

The return derived from cultivated land in excess of that derived from the poorest land cultivated under similar conditions
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

The act of rending or ripping or splitting something;
He gave the envelope a vigorous rip
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

Let for money;
We rented our apartment to friends while we were abroad
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

Grant use or occupation of under a term of contract;
I am leasing my country estate to some foreigners
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

Engage for service under a term of contract;
We took an apartment on a quiet street
Let's rent a car
Shall we take a guide in Rome?
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

Hold under a lease or rental agreement; of goods and services
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Rent

To let or lease property to another.
She rents out her cottage during the summer months.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can a lease be transferred to another person?

This depends on the lease terms; some leases allow transfers, others do not.
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Nov 16, 2023

Are utilities included in leases and rents?

It depends on the terms of the lease or rental agreement.
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Nov 16, 2023

Can rent prices fluctuate during the rental period?

Rent prices are typically fixed during a lease term but can change upon renewal.
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Nov 16, 2023

Are security deposits always required for leases and rents?

Most leases and rental agreements require a security deposit.
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Nov 16, 2023

Is a lease agreement legally binding?

Yes, a lease is a legally binding contract.
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Nov 16, 2023

Can you negotiate the terms of a lease?

Yes, terms of a lease can often be negotiated before signing.
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Nov 16, 2023

Is it possible to negotiate rent terms?

Yes, rent terms can sometimes be negotiated with the landlord.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Are pets usually allowed in leased or rented properties?

This depends on the specific terms set by the landlord in the lease or rental agreement.
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Nov 16, 2023

Are there different types of rental agreements?

Yes, there are various types, including fixed-term and month-to-month agreements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Can a landlord increase rent during a lease term?

Typically, landlords cannot increase rent during the fixed term of a lease.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Does breaking a lease have financial penalties?

Yes, breaking a lease can result in financial penalties.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Can a tenant sublet in a rental agreement?

This depends on the terms of the rental agreement; some allow subletting, others prohibit it.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Can maintenance responsibilities be included in lease and rent agreements?

Yes, these agreements often specify who is responsible for maintenance and repairs.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Can leases have an option to buy?

Some leases, particularly lease-to-own agreements, may include an option to buy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Do leases typically have a fixed end date?

Yes, leases usually have a specified end date.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Do lease agreements need to be in writing?

While verbal agreements can be legally binding, it's safer to have a written lease.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Are there laws regulating lease and rental agreements?

Yes, lease and rental agreements are regulated by local and state laws.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Is it easier to leave a rental agreement than a lease?

Generally, yes, especially if the rental agreement is on a month-to-month basis.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Is rent insurance mandatory?

Renters insurance is not always mandatory but is often recommended.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Can a lease be extended?

Yes, a lease can often be extended, depending on the agreement with the landlord.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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