Tenant Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Tenant?

Someone who owns a property by the way of paying rent or leasing the property on the basis of an agreement between the leasor and leasee.

History and Meaning of Tenant

The term "tenant" dates back to medieval England when the system of land ownership and tenancy was established. Under this system, landowners would lease their land to tenants who would then be responsible for farming or otherwise using the land. The tenant would pay rent to the landlord in exchange for the use of the land. Today, the term tenant still refers to someone who occupies and pays rent for a property belonging to someone else.

Examples of Tenant

  1. John is a tenant of an apartment in New York City. He pays monthly rent to his landlord in exchange for the right to occupy the apartment.

  2. Mary and her husband are tenants of a house in the suburbs. They signed a lease agreement for one year, and they pay their landlord rent every month.

  3. The company leased an office space in a commercial building. As a tenant, they are responsible for paying rent, utilities, and maintenance costs for the space.

  4. The landlord required the tenant to provide a security deposit before moving in. The deposit is meant to cover any damages or unpaid rent at the end of the lease.

Legal Terms Similar to Tenant

  1. Landlord: The owner of the property that is being leased to the tenant.

  2. Lease: A written agreement between the landlord and tenant that outlines the terms and conditions of the tenancy.

  3. Subtenant: A person who rents a property from a tenant who is already renting the property from the landlord.