English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

You can distinguish between someone who's paying for a room and paying for an apartment or house with lodger versus tenant.

Is it possible to distinguish between someone who offers a room for rent and offers an apartment or house for rent? Are there any hyponyms for "landlord" that make this distinction?

I checked onelook.com's reverse dictionary, and the thesauri recommended on meta, and didn't find anything.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Well tenant is the antonym of landlord.

From Oxford English Dictionary (OED):

landlord, n.

Originally, a lord or owner of land; in recorded use applied only spec. to the person who lets land to a tenant.

tenant, n

One who holds a piece of land, a house, etc., by lease for a term of years or a set time. (The ordinary current sense. Correlative to landlord.)

Lodger would also strangely be the closest antonym for lodger.

From OED:

lodger, n.

One who resides as an inmate in another person's house, paying a certain sum periodically for the accommodation.

One who lodges a person; a host. Obs.

Renter may also apply, depending on how the word is used:

renter, n

A person who collects rents (esp. those belonging to a corporate body), taxes, or tribute.

Or host:

host, n

A man who lodges and entertains for payment; a man who keeps a public place of lodging or entertainment; the landlord of an inn.

share|improve this answer
Lodger-lodger weirdness is just odd. :D – Anurag Kalia Jan 17 '13 at 12:49

The word that comes to mind is homeowner, and this source uses it in the context you mention.

share|improve this answer

Lessor is the word for somebody who leases something, which is a more general and impersonal term than landlord/-lady.

share|improve this answer
I was after a more specific term, not a more general term. – Andrew Grimm Jan 17 '13 at 11:32

In this discussion of boarding-house on Wikipedia (yes, a less-than-authoritative reference) the persons renting are referred to as lodgers. The operator is referred to as landlord. The term rooming house also seems to be used interchangeably.

While I have never seen such usage, the terms boarding-house keeper or boarding-house owner (or rooming house keeper or owner) would seem appropriate. It should be noted that boarding-houses and rooming houses usually provided some meals, and that is not suggested in the original question.

share|improve this answer

It seems, though, that the words "lodger" and "renter" might be used meaning the opposite things, depending on the conext, while the words "landlord/landlady or lesser" and "tenant" are far less ambiguous...

share|improve this answer
Welcome to EL&U Dennis! I don't believe that you are answering the question at hand. I am actually a bit confused by what you are saying. The question is about how to specify whether a landlord is letting a room or a house/apartment. In a little while with some more 'reputation' you will be able to leave comments. This might better fit as a comment. – Unrelated May 6 at 19:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.