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Landlord usually refers the owner of real property, such as a house, building, or land, that is leased or rented to another person or entity, called the tenant.

In a lease contract, the landlord or landlady transfers part of his or her interest to the tenant. That is, the tenant can occupy and use the property. The landlord can limit the tenant’s use of the property or require the tenant to do something in the lease contract. However, once the lease is signed, the landlord cannot enter the house without tenant’s permission. Even if the landlord specifies his or her right to entry to the house in the lease contract, the landlord must give tenant adequate notice before the actual entry. By the end of the lease period, the landlord retains the property, and can either extend the current lease, or lease the property to a new tenant, or stop leasing the property.

If the tenant refuse to leave the property after the end of the lease, or the tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord has power to evict the tenant.

Landlord-tenant law is special in the United States, as this area covers contract law and property law. Even if a landlord and tenant fail to sign a lease, there will still be a valid relationship. See landlord-tenant law, and landlord and tenant for more details.

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]