Browse Proptionary encyclopedia

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Party that leases property from the landlord or property owner.


The lessee is the party who acquires the right to use the real property under a lease. A lessee has rights to land for a specifically agreed upon term. The lessee is referred to as the tenant.

A lessee can lease real or personal property by making periodic payments on the rental. The term of the lease will be highlighted in the rental agreement. Once executed, the lease will hold both the party leasing the property and the party offering the lease responsible according to the terms of the agreement. The party renting the property is more commonly known as the tenant, while the party leasing the asset is the lessor. In real estate, the lessor is known as the landlord.

When a party leases a property, they have the right to reasonably enjoy and use the property they leased, the right to privacy, and in the case of real estate the right of habitability and safety.

The lessor is not obligated to lease the property to everyone. The lessor has the ability to screen tenants both financially, for credit purposes, and for the prospective lessee’s criminal history. Assuming the prospective tenant has met the standards set forth by the lessor, the tenant will have the right to lease the property.

Tenant Responsibilities

Making rental payments on time

Maintaining the property under reasonable standards

Inform landlord of any damages, repairs, and/or additions

Do not engage in activities that could cause damage to the property, put others in danger, or inhibit other tenants’ quiet enjoyment, or allow guests to do so

Do not engage in illegal, criminal activity

If a residential property, do not use the property for purposes other than dwelling (i.e. don’t use it to operate a retail business)

Use electrical equipment and other devices properly

The covenant of quiet enjoyment ensures the lessee the right to exercise use of the property without interference from the landlord. The landlord can interfere with the tenant’s use of the property in instances of eviction or other reprehensible acts, such as damage or failure to make rental payments.