A tenant is a person who rents a unit from a property owner or landlord for a pre-determined lease period. Every person occupying the unit is usually considered a tenant, so there are often multiple tenants in a single unit.
Tenants don't own the property but they still have rights set out by the law and a signed agreement called a lease.
Homeowners and tenants are different categories of occupants. Homeowners are individuals that pay a mortgage on a home and will eventually own the property outright.
Tenants rent from homeowners or property owners of larger properties. Homeowners can rent their properties out to tenants if they chose to do so. If a tenant rents their unit out, they're doing what's known as "subleasing."
Tenants don't get to just freeload housing from property owners. Though tenants have rights, they also have responsibilities, such as:
Renting is quite common in the U.S. However, not all renters make good tenants. Maintaining good standing with the property owner is very important for tenants, especially if they plan on renting for an extensive amount of time. Being a good tenant is pretty simple, thankfully.
Being familiar with the lease and following the guidelines set out there is the best way to remain a good tenant. Secondly, maintaining an open and honest line of communication with the property owner is important. Beyond that, being friendly and responsible doesn't hurt either.