A landlord has a list of tenants in a given building.

They want to look at this list for the following reasons:

  1. To know which tenants are in their building
  2. To see other information at a glance, like the Suite Number or Square Footage occupied by each tenant
  3. To see the subtenants in the building and which tenants they are subleasing from*

This is the issue I'm running into: reason #3 suggests that I should show subtenants as nested within tenants, but reason #1 suggests that sub-tenants should be as easy to access in the list as tenants, aka placed at the same level of hierarchy.


Can anyone recommend a good UX/IA solution for a list that allows for a mixed-hierarchy? Here are a couple of ideas I had:

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*context on tenants/subtenants: the landlord has a legal relationship with the tenant. The subtenant does not have a legal relationship with the landlord, but rather with the tenant. In a subtenant situation, the subtenant pays rent to the tenant, who then pays the landlord. Thus, the subtenant is not as "important" to the landlord, but the landlord still likes to know who is physically occupying space in the building.

1 Answer 1


Don't break the hierarchy. Make the table easier to use.

By adding the subtenants as duplicate rows (making them more noticeable), you break the hierarchical relationship you're trying to show.

Plus, square footage becomes confusing if a landlord is looking at a glance by size. That and duplicate suite numbers add extra UI for users to view.

You can make a tradeoff by adding some table controls, like a global expand / collapse, and a search if need be (useful for bigger buildings).

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This way you can allow them to see who is renting in the building, and they can see a subtenant at a glance without having to read text describing the relationship (it's nested in the group).

No need to count the subtenants twice, since they occupy only a single location and square footage in the building.

  • 1
    I would probably add an option to either have the subtenants nested under their tenant OR listed separately. But indeed not both at the same time, especially if totals will be shown or the table can be exported. Search/filtering may become an issue in nested mode, though.
    – jcaron
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 9:43

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