What is a Landlord?

Definition: A landlord is the owner of a piece of real estate who rents (lessor) the real estate to a tenant (lessee).

What Does Landlord Mean?

What is the definition of a landlord? Individuals who own real estate, such as an apartment complex, and rent the real estate to tenants, are commonly known as landlords. While it’s typical that a lessor owns and maintains residential property, the term can also be applied to owner of commercial real estate.

What are the responsibilities of a landlord? Given that the relationship between a lessor and tenant is often governed by state law and a lease contract, the specific responsibilities of the lessor can differ greatly. Regardless of the state, the lessor has basic legal responsibilities associated with the ownership of leased real estate. Generally speaking, the lessor is responsible for repairs and maintenance associated with the real estate, and the tenant is responsible for the overall cleanliness and safety of the property.


Let’s say your friend just moved into a new city, and was looking to rent an apartment. He contacted a real estate agent who specializes in rental properties, and the agent was able to find your friend the perfect apartment. Your friend completed a tenant application, and submitted the document to the owner of the rental property, otherwise known as the lessor. After the landlord performed a variety of background and credit checks, he approved your friend’s tenant application, and began to develop the lease contract.

The landlord’s contract outlines all of the legal obligations of the tenant, and outlines the terms of the lease (including the monthly rent amount). Upon execution of the contract by both the landlord and your friend, the lease becomes a binding document and your friend becomes financially responsible for monthly rent payments owed to the landlord. The landlord may require a security deposit that he holds as financial collateral during the lease term. If necessary, the landlord will leverage the collateral to fix any damages caused by your friend during the lease.

Summary Definition

Define Landlords: Landlord means an owner of property that is rented to tenants.