key money

advance rent or security required of a new tenant and given in exchange for the key to the house or apartment.
an amount of money paid, often secretly, to a landlord, superintendent, or current tenant by a person desiring future tenancy.

1895–1900 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
key money
a fee payment required from a new tenant of a house or flat before he moves in

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
The landlord makes money from the returns provided by this key money.
He suggested the board stay in contact with the candidates and key money committee legislators.
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