In real estate, term beginning refers to when the tenant of a lease begins to owe rent. A tenant may sign the lease agreement but not plan on moving into the property for some weeks or months in the future. The lease agreement documents this with the term beginning showing the first date the tenant becomes legally obligated to pay rent to the property owner. For example, let's say a property owner knows that a tenant is moving out on January 1. He begins advertising the space for rent a couple of months in advance. This allows time to find the right tenant and to get the paperwork signed. He finds an acceptable tenant in mid-November. When the parties sign the lease, it indicates the term beginning as January 1.