Under feudal law, the payment of quit rent freed the tenant of a holding from the obligation to perform such other services as were obligatory under feudal tenure. In post-feudal times, quit rents have continued to be imposed by some governments, usually attached to land grants as a form of land tax.
The quit rent system was used frequently by colonial governments in the British empire. Many land grants in colonial America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries carried quit rent. Quit rents went on to be used in British colonies in Asia and elsewhere in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Some governments have now abolished the quit rent system and relieved those with a nominal quit rent obligation from the requirement to pay it, replacing quit rents with a uniform system of land tax. However in other countries, such as Malaysia, quit rent remains an important means of raising revenue from landowners.