There is often the question what is the difference between an apartment resident and an apartment occupant. The distinction is easy to explain. A resident has signed the lease and is legally obligated to pay the rent and follow the terms of the lease. An occupant is someone living in an apartment without signing or being added to the lease. An occupant is not responsible for making lease payments or keeping the terms of the lease. This is the reason anyone living in an apartment over the age of 18 should be on the lease.