Landlord Friendly Locations

37 Replies

Im looking into purchasing properties in Indiana (East Chicago, Hammond), Vegas, and or New Orleans. Are either of these considered landlord UNFRIENDLY locations like it is here in Chicago, Illinois?

Dallas, Texas is landlord friendly.

Joe Gore

Washington/Seattle is not

Indiana at least NE Indiana is very pro-landlord. Makes things much easier than I hear about in Chicago which is very pro-tenant.

Tenant/Landlord laws in Nevada are quite fair.

@Sharad M.

Can probably tell you about Hammond, IN. I almost bought there, but the deal was no good.

@Jarrett Harris Thanks for the mention.

@Timothy Riley I love investing in NW Indiana (EC, Hammond) I am closing 2 houses in Hammond tomorrow, 3 more next week. I have 5 other deals going in Hammond right now. Needless to say, I love Hammond :)

I haven't been very active on BP last couple of weeks because of few projects I have going on and I have been a little under the weather, but please feel free to ask any questions I can help you with. You can call me on my cell or send me an email.

I live in Washington State and invest here. I consider it one of the top four most landlord friendly states (with the exception of the city of Seattle which has a strong tenant union and some laws that put landlords at a disadvantage).

Here are my top four: Louisiana, Texas, Utah and Washington. Not necessarily in that order.

Other states that have been known as landlord friendly: Indiana, Wisconsin, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, Arkansas, Nevada.

From what people have posted on BP, I'm guessing some of the least friendly are California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and large metropolitan areas such as the Chicago area of Illinois.

One of our most useful tools in Washington is the 20-day Notice to Terminate (no-cause) that can be used with month-to-month rental agreements. Also evictions can take as little as 30 days from start to finish. (Note: Seattle has "Just Cause Eviction Protection" and is not landlord friendly.) Also, we do not have rent control.

I would somewhat agree about Massachusetts being one of those states that is not landlord friendly. Generally speaking, the laws here are set up to favor the tenants. The mentality is that a landlord is a business person with lots of money and knowledge and the tenant is a poor idiot that knows nothing and can do no wrong. You really just need to know the laws and be a good landlord. As a matter of practice if I'm going to court I don't wear nice clothes. I don't get upset or talk bad about the tenant, I ask a lot of questions of the judge, and I appear as a generally nice guy that just wants to be able to pay his mortgage and feed his family. I've never had a case get continued beyond the summary process stage or appealed and I've never had a counter-claim filed against me. I'm sure the system is similar elsewhere. Some better, some worse.

Next thing we need is a list from 1-50 ranking the landlord friendliest states best to worst.

What criteria would you use to make a list? A few possibiliies:

Rent Control?

Municipal Inspection of rental properties?

History of lots of judgements against landlords?

Evictions percentage? (Lower might mean it is hard to evict)

NJ is generally a tenant friendly state, with some towns/cities friendlier to landlords, within the law. In Trenton, an eviction for non-payment is generally 6 weeks if the tenant doesn't appeal. We've evicted twice there (on our 3rd now) and it took between 6 and 8 weeks. Any legal holiday during that time will add at least a week or 10 days to the process.

In FL, we evicted for non-payment in March - one month from start to finish. The tenant did not answer the summons and we won by default. I have a friend in KY and she said it's very landlord friendly. That may be because evictions for non payment are so common, tenants are very transient, jobs are hard to find/keep, so many in rural areas don't have bank accounts, etc.

I agree NJ is very tenant friendly. The only good thing is the courts force you to keep your ducks lined in a row or you get squashed. Helps in other areas of REI.

Luckily, our attorney handles the Trenton evictions. I would always recommend using an attorney in NJ, specifically one that specializes in landlord/tenant law - not divorce, personal injury, or DUIs. An attorney that doesn't know much about landlord/tenant law can cost you a fortune in lost rent. A friend used an attorney like that and it took months to get the tenant out, and they caused over $15K in damage during that time. And in NJ, water/sewer is lienable, and the longer a tenant stays in your property, the more it will cost you for that.

Gina, where are your properties?

Somerset, Ocean, Monmouth, Bergen NJ Pike, Monroe PA W Palm Beach Fla

Those are holds.. F & F's are all over NJ... Just starting to F & F's in PA

Like @Adam Gerig said, Indiana [the whole state] is land lord freindly. Great eviction laws, affordable taxes, high rents, low purchase price and tons of opportunities!

I invest in AZ and find it landlord friendly. Only had to do one eviction, and it was a quick and easy process with the tenant out in about 30 days. I also like the rules with regard to security deposits: no need for separate trust account (for non-PM landlords), no need to pay tenants interest, and the landlord can actually keep the interest earned on deposits held.

There are a number of reasons that Utah is landlord friendly. We have a powerful landlord lobby (Utah Apartment Association). There's a statutory eviction process which attorneys in SLC offer for $500 flat fee and are done in about 3 weeks, tenants must post formal written notice before they can withhold rent even if they pay to fix something, the list goes on. Basically tenants have to be pretty sophisticated and the landlord has to be very negligent for tenants to prevail.

Tenant protection happens mostly in municipal code which is often outdated and typically does not address much more than minimum habitability standards like running water and heat.

Also, Utah does not represent a culture of grassroots mobilization protecting the little guy.

Not really my personal political beliefs, but good for landlords.

Wm

@Timothy Riley @Rob Beland

"... a landlord is a business person with lots of money and knowledge and the tenant is a poor idiot that knows nothing and can do no wrong."

I think it's simpler than that.

My father once asked me: "How many Tenants (votes) do you think there are for every Landlord? Do you think Politicians might not always favor Landlords?"

(especially in Massachusetts;-)

Arizona is landlord friendly. We can start giving them notice if they are 5 days late with rent. I also had to do one eviction so far and it the process went fairly fast.

I think one other issue needs to be considered. Are the property taxes for non owner occupied residences higher? In SC, the tax on rentals is 4 to 5 times that of owner occupied homes. Tough on both tenants and landlords!

Las Vegas and Henderson both are Landlord friendly in regard to getting the tenant out if they default on the lease.

@Thomas Morris

Wow! The higher taxes does indicate a prevailing attitude that landlords are walking bags of money.

Here there are landlord licenses which are basically business licenses required by some municipalities (a bit of a racket), but no difference in property tax.

Kudos and thanks to everyone that replied and a special thanks to @Robert Norvell and @Thomas Morris for raising eyebrows on ways to further this discussion and create a platform for everyone questioning this topic.
There were between 15 and twenty replies and going from them I would vote Indiana being the most friendliest with New Jersey coming in last (out of the friendlies). New Jersey had 2 yes 1 no and 1 yes/no lol.
LANDLORD FRIENDLY (no special order):
Dallas, Texas
NE Indiana
Nevada
Hammond, Indiana
Washington (with the exception of Seattle)
Wisconsin
Colorado
Arizona
Florida
Kentucky
Georgia
LANDLORD UNFRIENDLY (no special order)
As for the landlord unfriendly we have Washington (Seattle only Washington is a friendly otherwise), Illinois, California, Massachusetts, New York.

With that said I guess it would be a personal preference on ranking them with which locations are convenient for the questioner. One thing mentioned is what to use as the basis for friendly and unfriendly. When I posed the question I was thinking on ease of eviction, but tax prices can also be factored in to decide.
My question now is what would it take to protect ourselves and make a change to make things better for the landlords in the Unfriendly locations?
And if there are any locations that haven’t been mentioned that you’d like to chime in on do so.

Thanks,
Tim

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