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Powerful landlord in chariot. Eastern Han 25-220 CE. Hebei, China.

A landlord is the owner of a house, apartment, condominium, land 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 for female owners, and lessor applies to both genders.

History of landowner

Landowner may be traced back to the Roman Empire and the manorial system (seignorialism), which began under it — peasants were bound to the land and dependent on their landlords for protection and justice. Under the feudalism such relations became widespread.

Owner 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, i.e. the landlord, grants possession and use of it for a limited period to the other party, i.e. the tenant. The landlord/landlady 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 homeowner or tenant cancels the agreement. In general, responsibilities are given as follow: the homeowner is responsible for making repairments and property maintenance, and the tenant is responsible for keeping the property clean and safe.

Many owners 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, homeowner-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 or landlady 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.

Licensed victualler

In the United Kingdom the owner and/or manager of a public house (pub) is also called the "landlord/landlady", "licensee" and often, strictly incorrectly, "publican", the latter properly the appellation of a Roman public contractor or tax farmer. In a more formal way the term used is licensed victualler.[1] A female landlord can either be called a landlady or simply landlord.

The Licensed Trade Charity, formed in 2004 from the merger of the Society of Licensed Victuallers and Licensed Victualler's National Homes,[2] exists to serve the retirement needs of Britain's pub landlords. The charity also runs three private schools in Ascot and Reading in Berkshire and Sayers Common in Sussex. As well as having normal full fee paying students, Licensed Victuallers' School in Ascot provides discounted education prices for the children of landlords and others in the catering industry.


  1. ^ "entry for victualler on". Retrieved 2008-07-19.
  2. ^ Charity Commission. Society of Licensed Victuallers, registered charity no. 230011.