Occupant Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Occupant, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Occupant?

n.1) person using any premises as a tenant or an owner for residential or other purposes. 2) person who occupies real property that is not owned by anyone else.

History and Meaning of Occupant

The term "occupant" in legal terms refers to a person who is using a property, which can either be rented or owned, for residential or commercial purposes. Such usage can be either authorized or unauthorized. The term has been used in the legal system since the early 15th century, but the modern meaning of "occupant" has been in use since the mid-19th century. It is derived from the Latin word "occupare," which means "to seize."

Examples of Occupant

  • A person renting an apartment is considered an occupant.
  • A person operating a small business in a rented commercial property is also considered an occupant.
  • A trespasser is also an occupant, but their usage is unauthorized.
  • A person who inherits a property and starts living in it is an occupant.

Legal Terms Similar to Occupant

  • Tenant: a person renting a property
  • Lessee: a person who leases a property
  • Subtenant: a person who rents a property from a tenant
  • Squatter: a person who occupies a property without legal ownership or any right to do so.