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Landlord vs. Tenant: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on November 17, 2023
A Landlord owns or manages property for lease, while a Tenant rents and resides in that property.

Key Differences

A Landlord is typically the owner or manager of a property that is rented out. They have the responsibility of ensuring the property meets specific standards, maintaining its condition, and collecting rent. Landlords hold the right to the property and can establish terms for its lease.
On the other hand, a Tenant is an individual or entity that rents property from a Landlord. This property could range from apartments to commercial spaces. By entering into a rental agreement, Tenants gain the right to use and occupy the property for the duration of the lease.
Landlords and Tenants both have rights and obligations. While the Landlord must provide a habitable space, make necessary repairs, and respect the Tenant's privacy, the Tenant, in turn, must pay rent on time, maintain the property's cleanliness, and adhere to the terms set in the lease.
Conflict can sometimes arise between Landlords and Tenants. Disputes might pertain to property damages, lease violations, or rent payment delays. Legal systems usually have guidelines in place to address and resolve these disagreements, ensuring fairness to both parties.

Comparison Chart


Owner or manager of rental property
Renter of property


Property maintenance, rent collection
Paying rent, maintaining property


Set lease terms, inspect property
Occupy and use the property


Provides lease or rental agreement
Agrees to and signs lease

Relation to Property

Has ownership or managerial rights
Has temporary rights based on lease term

Landlord and Tenant Definitions


The party in a lease agreement offering the property.
The Landlord set strict pet policies.


A person renting property from a Landlord.
The Tenant paid rent on the first of every month.


An owner of rented property.
The Landlord fixed the plumbing issue promptly.


An occupant of rental property under a lease agreement.
The Tenant was responsible for utility bills.


An individual or entity leasing property to others.
The Landlord increased the rent this year.


One who temporarily occupies and uses property.
The Tenant decorated the apartment beautifully.


One who holds property rights to be leased.
The Landlord decided to sell the apartment complex.


A renter with rights based on a lease term.
The Tenant complained about the noisy neighbors.


One that owns and rents land, buildings, or dwelling units.


One that pays rent to use or occupy land, a building, or other property owned by another.


A man who runs a rooming house or an inn; an innkeeper.


A dweller in a place; an occupant.


A person that leases real property; a lessor.


To hold as a tenant or be a tenant.


The owner or manager of a public house.


One who holds a lease (a tenancy).


A shark, imagined as the owner of the surf to be avoided.


(by extension) One who has possession of any place.


The lord of a manor, or of land; the owner of land or houses which he leases to a tenant or tenants.


(computing) Any of a number of customers serviced through the same instance of an application.
Multi-tenant hosting


The master of an inn or of any form of lodging house; as, the landlord collects the rents on the first of the month.
Upon our arrival at the inn, my companion fetched out the jolly landlord.


One who holds a feudal tenure in real property.


A landowner who leases to others


One who owns real estate other than via allodial title.


A person responsible for property maintenance and rent collection.
The Landlord painted the building last summer.


Misconstruction of tenet


To hold as, or be, a tenant.


(transitive) To inhabit.


One who holds or possesses lands, or other real estate, by any kind of right, whether in fee simple, in common, in severalty, for life, for years, or at will; also, one who has the occupation or temporary possession of lands or tenements the title of which is in another; - correlative to landlord. See Citation from Blackstone, under Tenement, 2.


One who has possession of any place; a dweller; an occupant.
The hhappy tenant of your shade.
The sister tenants of the middle deep.


To hold, occupy, or possess as a tenant.
Sir Roger's estate is tenanted by persons who have served him or his ancestors.


Someone who pays rent to use land or a building or a car that is owned by someone else;
The landlord can evict a tenant who doesn't pay the rent


A holder of buildings or lands by any kind of title (as ownership or lease)


Any occupant who dwells in a place


Occupy as a tenant


An individual or group with a leasehold interest.
The Tenant renewed the lease for another year.


Who holds the property's title, Landlord or Tenant?

The Landlord holds the title; the Tenant has a leasehold interest.

Who is responsible for property repairs, Landlord or Tenant?

Typically, the Landlord is responsible for major repairs, while the Tenant handles minor ones.

Can a Landlord evict a Tenant without reason?

Typically, a Landlord needs a valid reason, like lease violations, to evict.

Do Tenants have a right to privacy?

Yes, Landlords must respect a Tenant's privacy and give notice before entry.

How long can a Tenant's lease last?

Lease duration varies, but common terms are monthly or annually.

Can a Tenant refuse entry to a Landlord?

A Tenant can refuse if not given proper notice, but generally, a Landlord has a right to inspect with advance notice.

Can a Tenant sublease a property?

Only if the lease allows it and the Landlord approves.

Can a Landlord increase rent anytime?

Generally, rent increases must follow lease terms and local regulations.

Can a Tenant make alterations to the property?

Usually, any significant changes require the Landlord's approval.

Is a verbal rental agreement valid?

While possible, written agreements are clearer and more enforceable.

What happens if a Tenant breaks the lease?

The Tenant might face penalties or eviction, depending on the lease.

What if a Tenant doesn't pay rent on time?

The Landlord can charge late fees or even move to evict, based on lease terms.

What is a security deposit?

It's an amount paid by the Tenant to cover potential damages or unpaid rent.

What rights does a Tenant have if the property is sold?

Generally, the Tenant's lease remains valid, and the new owner becomes the Landlord.

What is "fair wear and tear" regarding rental properties?

It refers to the natural degradation of the property over time, which isn't the Tenant's fault.

Can a Landlord enter a property without notice?

Typically, no. Notice is usually required unless it's an emergency.

Can a Landlord keep the security deposit after a Tenant leaves?

Only for valid reasons like unpaid rent or property damage.

How can a Tenant end a lease early?

They can negotiate with the Landlord or check the lease for early termination clauses.

Can a Landlord refuse to rent based on discrimination?

No, federal law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and more.

Who pays for utilities, Landlord or Tenant?

It depends on the lease. Either party can be responsible.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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