According to landlord-tenant laws, parties to a rental or lease agreement are the landlord and the tenant. All landlord-tenant agreements have one landlord and at least one tenant, but some may include roommates or subtenants. The standard parties to rental agreements according to most landlord-tenant laws can be described as follows:
The landlord is the owner or official representative of the owner of the rental unit. A landlord may be an individual or a management company assigned the duty of managing the property. Landlord-tenant law requires landlords to make a rental unit livable for prospective tenants. While most landlord-tenant laws require landlords to handle repairs, California’s landlord-tenant law only requires landlords to repair serious defects.
A tenant is a person, group of persons, or other entity recognized by landlord-tenant law that has signed a rental or lease agreement and has the right to occupy a rental unit. Tenants use rental properties for periods specified by rental contracts, and they may pay rent weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or as landlord-tenant laws allow.
Generally, landlord-tenant laws protect tenants from exploitation. For instance, a landlord cannot deny a tenant access to the unit except in emergencies. When the landlord requires entry in a non-emergency situation, the tenant must receive notice according to the state’s landlord-tenant law.