Gross rent means that the landlord is responsible for all operating expenses. The tenant writes one check to the landlord and the tenant's occupancy costs are paid for that month.
Net rent means that the tenant is responsible for all operating expenses. The tenant writes a check to the landlord for the base rent and also has to pay additional amounts for common area expenses (real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, etc.), utilities, and management.
Depending on the geographic region, rents can be quoted at something between net and gross, "modified gross" for example. Also, in some cases "net" will require the tenant to pay for management fees and structural repairs while other times they will be the landlord's responsibility. It is best to ask about each expense category so you have no confusion.
Aug 7, 2013