A Dictionary of Landlord / Tenant Terms – Part I

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on December 19, 2006 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Instead, of relying on a lawyer who charges an arm and a leg to decode some of the legal clauses, one typically finds residential leases or rental agreements, it is important landlords / tenants alike should familiarize themselves with definitions for a number of common words and phrases that often arise in the context of the landlord-tenant relationship.

  1. Abandonment – it is a word used for a tenant’s conduct that demonstrates his / her intention to give up residential rights to the rental premises, without notifying or getting the landlord’s authorization or agreement. For example, if a tenant removes all of his / her personal property from his / her rental unit, and is not seen in or around the rental premises for two weeks, the landlord can safely conclude, the tenant has abandoned his / her rental property.
  2. Constructive Eviction is a process employed by unscrupulous landlords, which involves failing to act on tenant complaints / problems, or through interference with a tenant’s possession of rental property to such an extent, it is made unfit for reasonable occupation.
  3. Eviction is a court-based process allowing landlords to remove an unwanted tenant from his / her rental property, with good cause and after following a number of procedural requirements. In some states, the eviction process is also given the title of ‘unlawful detainer’.
  4. Fixture in a residential rental context is personal property owned by a tenant, but made a permanent part of the property he / she is renting, so that removal is impossible or impractical. For example, if a tenant installs custom double-paned windows, these would amount to being a fixture. Ordinarily, a fixture remains on the rental property even after the lease or rental agreement is up and has been terminated, although landlord and tenant may come to some agreement as to compensation.
  5. Landlord is someone, who owns real property and who through a lease or rental agreement, agrees to rent all or a portion of the property to another person (a ‘tenant’) for his / her use, usually for a set timeframe, and in exchange for a fixed sum of money per month.

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