What’s Different Between a Landlord and Tenant?

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Are you about to sign a lease?

Then you’ll need to know if you’re signing as a landlord or tenant. It’s also helpful if you understand how rental agreements work. That way, there aren’t any surprises when it comes time to move in or move out.

To help you understand your rights, as well as responsibilities, we created this guide! What’s the exact nature of the relationship between a landlord and tenant? Read on to find out!

What Is a Landlord?

A landlord is someone who rents out property to tenants. Landlords are responsible for the upkeep of the property, including repairs and maintenance.

Landlords or property owners also have rights and responsibilities when it comes to dealing with tenants. For example, they can’t enter the premises without giving notice or if there is an emergency. Thankfully, with a few proactive safety precautions, you can avoid most residential emergencies.

Property Owner Rights

Does a landlord have to rent to someone just because they ask? No siree!

Landlords are not obligated to rent their property to anyone, but they can’t discriminate against certain groups. For example, landlords cannot refuse to rent based on the tenant’s age, gender, or disability. Once a landlord decides to rent to someone, the tenancy will be either a fixed-term tenancy or a periodic tenancy.

When Can Landlords Rent Property?

Can a landlord rent any property they own? Not exactly. First, the property has to be in good living condition.

 If there’s a significant problem with the state of the property, then it can’t be rented out. For instance, exposed wires, faulty roofs, and uneven walkways can all make a property unlivable.

Once the property owner fixes up the home or apartment, they’ll likely need to get an inspection done before renting it out. When the property is ready for tenants, the landlord can post up a tenant wanted ad!

What Is a Tenant?

By now, you probably realize a tenant is someone who rents property from a landlord. People, groups, and businesses can be tenants. 

For example, if an investment company owns an apartment building that goes bankrupt, then the people living in the apartments would-be tenants of the investment firm. Instead of a residential property, it can also be a commercial property with a commercial lease.

The same thing happens if you rent out your own home to tenants. Your tenants are the people who paid you to live there, and you’d be the landlord.

Fun Facts

The word tenant is incredibly versatile. A tenant can also be a person, business, or organization that rents equipment from someone else.

For example, let’s say an event hall has its own catering company on-site. The catering workers would be the tenants of the event hall.

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How Long Does a Tenancy Last?

Landlords have to decide how long the tenancy will last before renting their property out. They may choose to do a fixed-term or a periodic tenancy.

Fixed-Term Tenancies

Fixed-term tenancies usually happen when the renter and landlord have agreed about how long the living will last. For example, your landlord may have decided to rent out their apartment for one year. They’ll probably charge you a little bit more since you’re paying for shorter-term rental plans.

The term could last as long as a decade or more; it varies. Pay extra close attention to the notice period. That’s how long your landlord has to notify you before raising the rent or finding a new tenant.

There will also be a notice period for requesting to renew or non-renew as a tenant. For instance, a landlord may give you a notice of 30 days if they don’t want to continue your rent. Tenants may also have to provide written information about their intentions before the policy renews.

Periodic Tenancies

This is one of the most common types of tenancies. A periodic tenancy happens when someone signs a lease with a landlord, but it isn’t tied to a specific term or duration. These tenancies go month-to-month, so there’s no set end date to look out for!

In some cases, periodic tenants might have a lease that lasts six months or just a few weeks. Tenants can stay in the property as long as the lease dictates. Landlords typically won’t raise the rent on these tenancies unless it’s stated in the original contract.

How Evictions Work

Landlords have certain rights that allow them to evict tenants from their property. In most cases, landlords need to give a list of reasons for eviction, along with a written notice. The process can be lengthy, drawing out for weeks or months.

Unfortunately, this happens more than you might think. Some of the most common reasons for eviction include:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Violation of lease agreement
  • Damage to property

Some landlords try to evict tenants by not renewing their leases. However, many cities and provinces have specific rules about how landlords should go about this kind of eviction. Some municipalities may require that your landlord pay you compensation for the inconvenience or that they give you enough time to find a new place before evicting you.

What Is Landlord-Tenant Law?

Next, did you know there is a landlord and tenant law called the “landlord-tenant law”?  It outlines the same rights and responsibilities of both parties. Landlords aren’t the only ones who have to hold up their end of the bargain. 

Tenants have specific responsibilities toward their landlords, including paying rent on time, looking after the property, and not damaging the property or disturbing other tenants. This is why it’s important to know what your rights are as a tenant.

Reading Landlord and Tenant Agreements

Aren’t you glad you took the time to learn what being a landlord and tenant is all about? By understanding both sides, you’ll have a better relationship between yourself and your landlord. Hopefully, you’ll also avoid getting evicted.

Hold off a minute if you are getting ready to rent a place but haven’t signed the lease. Re-read the lease, and make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions. 

Only when you’re confident you know the ins and outs of the agreement should you add your name. Then explore the rest of our site!

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