What is a 'Lessee'

A lessee is the person who rents land or property from a lessor. The lessee is also known as the "tenant", and must uphold specific obligations as defined in the lease agreement and by law. The lease is a legally binding document, and if the lessee violates its terms, he or she could be evicted.


The lessee's rights include the right to privacy, the right to basic standards of habitability such as water, electricity and heat and the right to live in a space that complies with local building codes.

The lessor's rights include the right to screen potential tenants, the right to know and approve of who is occupying the leased unit and the right to use part or all of the tenant's security deposit to repair any damage caused to the property by the lessee. The lessor's responsibilities include complying with health and safety codes, making necessary repairs, returning a fair amount of the tenant's security deposit when the lease is terminated and providing advance notice to the tenant if it will be necessary to enter the unit.