I just come across these two words used to describe "home rental". However, I want to know the difference between these two words and whether they can be used interchangeably.

My understanding is that

  • 家賃 can be used to refer to:

    1. To let
    2. The rent (money)
  • 借家 refers to the house being rented.


Simply, No.

Your understanding is correct except that 家賃 does not mean "to let" (only your #2), thus not interchangeable.

If you are confused, may be this way of thinking helps you a lot.

Chinese origin Kanji, when divided, the former is always (not entirely) adjective or verb. (This becomes sometimes different for JAPANESE KANJI because JAPANESE KANJI is not actually, KANJI.)

家賃 ⇒ 家(house's) / 賃 (money/rent) ⇒ the house rent.

借家 ⇒ 借(rent (v. tr.)) / 家 (house) ⇒ a house rented.

Have a good night.

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