Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of landlord


  1. A land or building owner who has leased the land, the building or a part of the land or building, to another person.

Related terms

Definition of landlord


  • (UK) IPA: /ˈlænd.l"ːd/
  • (US) IPA: /ˈlænd.l"ɹd/


landlord (plural landlords)

  1. a person who owns and rents land such as a house, apartment, or condo.
  2. (chiefly UK) the owner or manager of a public house


  • (owner or manager of a public house): publican

Further reading

Landlord is the owner of a house, apartment, condominium, or real estate which is rented or leased to an individual or business, who is called a tenant (also a lessee or renter). When a juristic person is in this position, the term landlord is used. Other terms include lessor and owner. The term landlady may be used in some jurisdictions for female owners, but landlord can apply to both genders.

Landlord and tenant

The two parties step into relationship under the law of real estate property by signing a contract called lease. With this contract the one party, which has superior title to the property, ie the landlord, grants possession and use of it for a limited period to the other party, ie the tenant. The landlord may not be the actual owner of the property but keeping in some way the right to sub-lease.

A rental agreement, or lease, is the contract defining such terms as the price paid, penalties for late payments, the length of the rental or lease, and the amount of notice required before either the landlord or tenant cancels the agreement. In general, responsibilities are given as follow: the landlord is responsible for making repairments and property maintenance, and the tenant is responsible for keeping the property clean and safe.

Many landlords hire a property management company to take care of all the details of renting their property out to a tenant. This usually includes advertising the property and showing it to prospective tenants, and then, once rented, collecting rent from the tenant and performing repairs as needed. Being a good landlord, David Berry (who had owned much of what is now known as Berry - the town was named after him) is well remembered by his tenants.

In the United States, landlord-tenant disputes are primarily governed by state law (not federal law) regarding property and contracts. State law and, in some places, city law or county law, sets the requirements for eviction of a tenant. Generally, there are a limited number of reasons for which a landlord can evict his or her tenant before the expiration of the tenancy, though at the end of the lease term the rental relationship can generally be terminated without giving any reason. Some cities have laws establishing the maximum rent a landlord can charge, known as rent control, and related just cause eviction controls. There is also an implied warranty of habitability, whereby a landlord must maintain safe, decent and habitable housing, meeting minimum safety requirements such as smoke detectors and a locking door.

Sometimes the terms "slumlord" or "ghetto landlord" are used in reference to the owner of dilapidated buildings in blighted urban areas. As a result of declining demand and declining real estate prices, these landlords were often left with completely unprofitable properties and found themselves unable to pay for renovation and the regular maintenance of their property. The situation in many American slums became so dire that some landlords were convicted of arson after they arranged to have their own buildings set on fire in an attempt to collect on the insurance policies.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     landed property
2.     common stock
3.     lex situs
4.     lex causae
5.     lex fori
6.     status quo
7.     buggery
8.     conclusive presumption
9.     interlocutory
10.     writ of seizure and sale