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"You own a street and a block of flats
You earn your living like the other rats
You've no morality, what do you care?
You deal in poverty, you buy despair"
The Police, "Landlord"

In a series dealing with a character staying in apartment-style housing, a landlord is a common sight as a Drop-In Character. The job description entails what one would expect: The upkeep of the building and grounds. However, while landlords are a diverse bunch visually, there is one hard and fast rule: Make them entertaining, or at the very least, intriguing.


Their occupation gives them an excuse to constantly be around despite not being friends with the main character while their apartment setting can house a slightly more realistic version of Pretty Freeloaders who, naturally, constantly visit the put-upon lead.

Cranky Landlord is a subtrope. Can crossover with Almighty Janitor. If ghosts or monsters are involved, they're usually also a Haunted House Historian.

In terms of rank, the authority tropes arguably equal are Badass Preacher, Corrupt Corporate Executive, Good Shepherd, Irish Priest, Preacher Man, Pedophile Priest, Schoolteachers, Sexy Priest, Sinister Minister and The Vicar. For the next step down, see Student Council President. For the next step up, see Dean Bitterman.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • The archetypal example is Otonashi Kyoko from Rumiko Takahashi's Maison Ikkoku.
  • Urashima Keitaro from Love Hina, in a rare example of being the lead character. His Aunt Haruka, though, fits the trope better.
  • Hisakawa Maachi from Best Student Council, who almost universally goes by "Kanrinin-san" ("Ms. Landlady").
  • Hibiya Chitose from Chobits and Kobato..
  • Sanzou Lulu from I My Me! Strawberry Eggs.
  • Hirozaki Karei from Maburaho.
  • Aoba Kozue from Mahoraba.
  • Kasumi Tani from Hand Maid May.
  • Neneko Izumi from DearS.
  • Sarah Dupont, the Idol Singer and Team Mom from Kaleido Star, also works as this.
  • Subversion: Aoi Sakuraba pretends to be the landlady in Ai Yori Aoshi, as her cover to not let people know she is Kaoru's girlfriend.note  The closest to a real landlady is actually Aoi's guardian and the local Apron Matron, Miyabi Kagurazaki.
  • Chitose in Chocotto Sister, who was typically known as "Miss Manager" or "Miss Landlady."
  • "The Landlady" (no actual name known) in Hidamari Sketch.
  • Otose from Gintama.
  • Misae Sagara from CLANNAD, the supervisor for Sunohara's dorm. Apparently, it's very easy to influence her into violence against the immature rugby team members, such as practicing wrestling moves for peeking in the girl's dorm or drop kicks to people who don't clean their plates at dinner. And it's always awesome when she does. She even gets a sort of mini route that sees its resolution in Tomoyo's route.
  • Miya Asama, the landlady from Sekirei always sees herself as the Cool Big Sis, though everyone else sees her as a Mama Bear
  • Taeko of Otaku no Musume-san, whose tenants are slowly trying to make her into Kyoko, starting with an apron with a chick on it and later naming the dog Soichiro.
  • The landlady at Falling Apartments in Crayon Shin-chan! "She should be nice to me, I come from a long line of slum lords." And Hilarity Ensues when Shin confuses "landlady" with "manlady." "She's just upset she'll never be a real lady!"
  • Maiko Motohiro in Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo is the owner of the house where Ureshiko and Kagara lives, those it's Ureshiko who takes care of pretty much the entire household, since Maiko herself is quite old.
  • Chihiro Sengoku in The Pet Girl of Sakurasou. She's also teaching in the school where the tenants study, and known for being excessively lazy—the main plot starts with her dumping the responsibilities of caring her Idiot Savant cousin to one of her tenants, despite knowing the former was under special care before that.
  • The unnamed and very Hot-Blooded Landlady from Ghost Sweeper Mikami, who has next to no patience towards Dr. Chaos's Perpetual Poverty. She does show a softer side when she learns about the the two sweeping brooms that host the souls of a pair of Star-Crossed Lovers, however.

    Fan Works 
  • Gabriel's grandfather, Alphonse Agreste, in the Miraculous Ladybug fic "The Legend of Royal Blue and La Sylphide." He owns the decrepit mansion Hôtel Camélia and rents it out to several people who can't afford better. While Alphonse is very friendly and quick to excuse late rent, it's a Running Gag how little managing of the property he does. M. Lévêque, the creepy tenant living in the basement, is the de facto janitor and handyman.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Mrs Hudson, landlady of Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Only a minor character in the books, but many adaptations give her a bit more to do.
  • The Dresden Files has old Mrs. Spunkelcrief, whose basement and sub-basement Harry rents. Mrs. Spunkelcrief is a Cool Old Lady who isn't afraid to go after intruders with a shotgun, albeit a bit hard of hearing. She occasionally tears into Harry for being late with the rent or throwing late night parties, but also appreciates Harry's regular help with the garbage and snow-shovelling.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger had the Zyuranger's boss, an immortal sorcerer do this as his day job.
  • This was once a popular character type in 70's sitcoms:
  • Mr Balowski from The Young Ones.
  • Ethel and Fred Mertz in I Love Lucy.
  • Marsha from Spaced
  • Mrs. Dubcek on 3rd Rock from the Sun
  • Mr. Barriga in El Chavo del ocho is the landlord of the vencidad that serves as main setting for the characters. His main issue is collecting the fourteen months of overdue rent Don Ramon owes him (which he often attempts to pay doing odd jobs for him instead). When Doña Florinda became a restauranteur, she rented a place that also belongs to him.
  • Hwang is Charlie Kelly's landlord in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia embodies this trope. Exempting that he only appears in two episodes, of course.
  • Mork & Mindy's landlord is called Mr Wanker.
  • Law & Order has landlords as characters in some episodes, frequently viewed in an unflattering light. An exchange regarding who to use as a jailhouse informant goes:
    • Schiff: "Who’s available to send in?" Stone: "An armed robber. A rent-gouging landlord. Both of those are ripe for deals." Schiff: "Go with the armed robber: ends up in front of a jury, get more sympathy than a landlord." (season 2 episode 14)

  • A rather shady one in Duran Duran's "Sin Of The City" from The Wedding Album is mentioned as having "six thousand code violations," since the rest of the song references the Happyland fire.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the HERO system (Champions), characters can purchase a base with Character Points. For every 5 points you spend, the size of your base doubles. It's possible, without too much effort, to buy a base with grounds that cover the known universe. ("The Landlord bought it. He owns everything. And for another 170 points, you can buy 8 billion loyal followers (that's everyone on Earth).")

  • Mrs. Quickly from Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V.
  • The Host of the Garter Inn from Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Gary Coleman (yes, that one) in Avenue Q.
  • Benny from RENT.
  • Mr. Appopolous in My Sister Eileen and the musical adaptation Wonderful Town considers renting out studios to Starving Artists "merely a hobby" of his. He is more obsessed with painting and writing poetry and drama, though he has to admit that "not more than fifteen people" in the world appreciate his artistry. The basement studio he rents to Eileen and Ruth has a landscape from his "blue-green period" hanging over one of the beds.
  • The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! has Jidder/Jitter/Mr. Jitters/Phantom Jitter/Jütter, who in each of the musicals within the musical demands rent from June/Jeune/Junie/Junita/Juny/Guny/Luny/Schluny.
  • In the musical Violet, Flick slips the landlady some cash because she does not want to rent to white people (Violet and Monty).

    Video Games 
  • Super Mario Bros.: It's said that Mario got his name from Mario Segale, the landlord at Nintendo of America.
  • In The Sims 2 (and DLC packages in 3 and 4), if your Sims have an apartment, they get a landlord who visits every day. They can also call the landlord to have things in their apartment repaired. He or she actually shows up faster than the repair service for Sims living in houses does.

    Web Comics 
  • Vladic from the webcomic Emergency Exit. Who, curiously, is implied to have been summoned by the apartment rather than being the owner proper; to start with, there was no landlord, but someone commented on this deficiency and the maybe-sentient apartment complex obliged.
  • The main characters from Absurd Notions eventually had Dr Ümlaut, the least caring professor ever, assigned as their landlord. He was also the least caring Landlord ever, not caring what the tenants did with their apartment.
  • Richard in S.S.D.D is one of the few examples who is a main character. He's pretty light on his friends Norman and Kingston, often allowing them to pay their rent in the form of favors or pot, and his girlfriend Anne. But it's been shown that he often has to threaten his other tenants (usually with Norm acting as his muscle), and there's only so much he'll let his old school chums get away with as well.
  • In League of Super Redundant Heroes, Gyrognome is the protagonists' landlord. He's a grumpy old gnome and former superhero, though still quite strong. Any lateness in paying the rent will result in violence, usually aimed at Lazer Pony.

    Western Animation 
  • The Roman Holidays has Mr. Evictus who is always trying to...well, evict the Holidays by trying to find their pet lion Brutus, thus giving him a reason to evict them (no pets allowed in the apartment buildingnote , after all).
  • Officially, Mr. Henry Orbit in The Jetsons is the maintenance man for the apartment building the Jetsons live in. It has been suggested however, that he might also be their building's manager as well.
  • Ranger Smith seems to act like this as far as Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo are concerned, as he is always trying to catch Yogi stealing "pic-a-nic baskets" (as Yogi calls them). No feeding the park bears, after all.
  • Mr. Dinkle seems to be this for the Shirt Tales, although he's really just trying to keep his eye on them.He doesn't know that the furry residents of Oak Tree Park's oak tree are in fact the Shirt Tales.

Alternative Title(s): Landlady


Example of: