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Landlord/Tenant Relations

In the realm of real estate law, Landlord/Tenant relations revolve around a lease, or rental agreement, between two parties in which real property, single family homes, apartments, vacant land, commercial or industrial buildings or minerals rights, is involved.

The agreement forms a contractual relationship in which one party, called the landlord or lessor, who holds title to the property, grants possession and use of the property for a limited term to another party, who is known as the lessee or tenant.

The landlord does not have to be the actual owner of the property, but may be a lessee who grants a sublease to another party, or tenant, while keeping the rights to resume possession of the property at a later date.

Landlord/tenant relationships are subject to federal, state, and local laws and certain contractual arrangements between the parties. This relationship continues for the term of possession by the tenant, for a fixed period or for a time that is agreed to by both parties.

If a tenant remains in possession of property beyond the agreed to period fixed by the lease, the relationship may last but it is dependant on the discretion of the landlord.

A lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant contain certain obligations that have to be met by both parties. A lease usually contain provisions for the protection of the tenant from the landlord and other tenants. The tenants must use the property for purposes specified in the lease.

Unless otherwise agreed to in the lease agreement, the owner of the property pays for all taxes, assessments, and the mortgage payments, if any.

Tenants must make payments as agreed in the lease/rental contract and take reasonable care of the property.

  • Note: In some states, landlords must provide heat, hot water and sanitary conditions in the property they lease to tenants.

Some municipalities have enacted laws meant to control the amount of rent a landlord can charge for residential property. Rent control has support from renters groups but is challenged vehemently by many landlords.

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