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Difference between tenant and lodger?

Oakland, CA |

I recently purchased a home that I intend to occupy, but I will be renting a bedroom and bathroom to a lodger. Is there legally a difference between this situation--where there is a housemate-tenant and housemate-landlord--and a situation where a landlord rents out an apartment to a tenant?
I intend to have a written contract, but I also don't know where to find a good template for that.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

There are many boilerplate contracts for such a thing but you should consult with an attorney on this as sometimes it is very difficult to remove a tenant. You should consult an attorney who does most of his work for landlords who can draw up a legally binding lease.

You may also find some information here You should also consult with the Oakland rent board as many of thes laws that protect tenants and landlords are local in nature.

NOTE: This answer is made available by an attorney licensed to practice in the state of California for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding.


Technically, a lodger is a tenant in the landlord's own house. A tenant rents property owned by the landlord that is not where the landlord currently resides.

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