Continued from page 1

After her death, Mr. Biden asked the Secret Service about renting the property, but the agency declined and a private tenant whose identity has not been disclosed moved in. When that tenant moved out, however, the Secret Service reconsidered, approached Mr. Biden about renting the property and moved in, paying the same $2,200 per-month rate charged to the previous occupant.

Mr. Donovan previously told The Times that the cottage’s close location provided a level of security for the Biden family that the agency might not have had otherwise.

Before moving into the cottage, the Secret Service had been renting properties in the Wilmington area for agents who were assigned to Mr. Biden’s personal residence.

When first asked this past summer whether the Secret Service typically pays rent to those it protects, Mr. Donovan said, “It’s a rental property, so we pay rent there.”

Even with extra income as a landlord, Mr. Biden isn’t nearly as wealthy as Mr. Obama, who reported overall income of slightly less than $1.8 million last year mostly from the sale of his books.

Last year, Mr. Biden and his wife, Jill, reported earnings of $379,178, including $11,000 in rental income from their cottage, according to their tax return. They did not list any rental income for 2009.