In some jurisdictions one who rents a room in a landlord's own residence is considered less than a tenant and doesn't receive the same protections against illegal eviction, etc.

It seems that this concept doesn't exist in Florida. Does anything like this exist either in Florida or in the rest of the US?

1 Answer 1


Anti-discrimination laws in the U.S. have exceptions for someone who rents a room in a landlord's own residence, but generally speaking, for other purposes, there is not a distinction in U.S. or Florida law.

People who stay at a place with the permission of the owner for a very brief period of time and not pursuant to a lease, such as someone who gains use of a particular seat in a movie theater pursuant to a purchased ticket, is, however, not a tenant with the full rights of a tenant, and is instead a licensee who does not have a property right to use that space, only a contract that can be terminated by the property owner or their agent at will, potentially with breach of contract damages if this is done without justification, but not with liability for violating a tenant's rights.

In some cases, someone whose housing, at least part of the time, is for the convenience of the employer, like a medical resident who uses a sleeping room at a hospital, or a member of the crew of a ship who sleeps on the ship incident to their duties, may have reduced rights relative to housing when their employment is terminated for cause, although this is only sometimes clearly enunciated in statutes or case law and the law would not be terribly consistent in this area.

  • So I take it then that the notion of a lodger does not in fact exist in US law. Commented Jun 21, 2022 at 15:55
  • 1
    @Joseph P. To the best of my knowledge the term "lodger" is not often used in US housing law. But I believe that there are jurisdictions in which a landlord has greater control, and the tenant somewhat reduced rights, if the residence is also the landlord's dwelling. But even in such cases I don't think the distinction is as great as it is in UK law. Commented Jun 21, 2022 at 17:21
  • The term "lodger" is somewhat ambiguous in U.S. law. Sometimes it refers to a tenant, sometimes it refers to a short term hotel occupant (e.g.). When it is used, the term is most often used in local zoning and ordinance contexts and in the contexts of taxes on lodgers imposed by local government. It is not generally used in the landlord-tenant law context in the sense meant in the question. In zoning the concept is sometimes used to prohibit boarding house type occupancy in a residential zone.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 21, 2022 at 20:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .