A landlord is the owner of a house, apartment, condominium, land, or real estate which is rented or leased to an individual or business, who is called a tenant (also a lessee or renter). When a juristic person is in this position, the term landlord is used. Other terms include lessor and owner. The term landlady may be used for female owners, and lessor may be used regardless of gender. The manager of a pub in the United Kingdom, strictly speaking a licensed victualler, is referred to as the landlord/lady.

In modern times, landlord describes any individual(s) or entity (e.g. government body or institution) providing housing for persons who cannot afford or do not want to own their own homes. They may be peripatetic, stationed on a secondment away from their home, not want the risk of a mortgage and/or negative equity, may be a group of co-occupiers unwilling to enter into the ties of co-ownership, or may be improving their credit rating or bank balance to obtain a better-terms future mortgage.

Many owners hire a property management company to take care of all the details of renting their property out to a tenant. This usually includes advertising the property and showing it to prospective tenants, negotiating and preparing the written leases or license agreements, and then, once rented, collecting rent from the tenant and performing repairs as needed.

In Canada, residential homeowner•tenant disputes are primarily governed by provincial law (not federal law) regarding property and contracts. Provincial law sets the requirements for eviction of a tenant. Generally, there are a limited number of reasons for which a landlord can evict a tenant. Some provinces have laws establishing the maximum rent a landlord can charge, known as rent control, or rent regulation, and related eviction. There is also an implied warranty of habitability, whereby a landlord must maintain safe, decent and habitable housing, meeting minimum safety requirements.

Renters (tenants or other licensees) at the lowest end of the payment scale may be in social or economic difficulty and suffer significant social stigma as a consequence. Due to lack of alternative options, such renters are often the victims of unscrupulous owners of unsafe and decrepit properties who neglect their responsibility to maintain the property.

The incentive, certainly if not social housing, is to obtain a good rental yield (annual return on investment) and prospect of property price inflation. The disincentives are the locally varying duties of landlords in repair/maintenance and administration ‚ and keynote risks (tenant disputes, damage, neglect, loss of rent, insurance inavailability/disputes, economic slump, increased rate of interest on any mortgage, and negative equity or loss of investment). Net income (yield) and capital growth from letting (renting out) particularly in leveraged buy to let, is subject to idiosyncratic risk, which is considered objectively intensified for a highly leveraged investor limited to a small number of similar profile homes, of narrow rental market appeal in areas lacking economic resilience.

A landlord or its agent can decide to collect a security deposit (and/or in some jurisdictions such as parts of the US, a move-in/administration fee). A deterrent if high and a relative attractive if low in many markets for a tenant, it is rarely debated in pre-tenancy term negotiations. In some jurisdictions either or both are banned in the original sense. Instead a landlord's loss of rent/comprehensive damage insurance may be factored into the rent agreed and/or a special type of deposit, a regulated sum of money as a bond (protected security deposit) from the tenant held by a registered third party (such as certain realty agents) may be permissible. A deposit is normally by law to be offset against arrears (rent deficits) and damage by or failures to clean/repair by the tenant.

The Licensed Trade Charity, formed in 2004 from the merger of the Society of Licensed Victuallers and Licensed Victualler's National Homes, exists to serve the retirement needs of Britain's pub landlords. The charity also runs three private schools in Ascot and Reading in Berkshire and Sayers Common in Sussex. As well as having normal full fee paying students, Licensed Victuallers' School in Ascot provides discounted education prices for the children of landlords and others in the catering industry.



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