Which states are landlord friendly?

25 Replies

I just heard on the podcast today that Illinois definitely isn't.

Are there any others to avoid?

This is going to be our first investment property so we're trying to make it as stress-free as possible.

Texas is landlord friendly. California is a tenant friendly.


Joe Gore

South Carolina  North Carolina  Upstate NY Between Rochester and Syracuse 

Are all good.

Originally posted by @Sydney Chase:

South Carolina  North Carolina  Upstate NY Between Rochester and Syracuse 

Are all good.

 You may what to break that down for state to City or county. 

@Shane Willcox  -  Well Chicago has specific laws outside of Illinois...

Even if our city is tenant friendly I still invest here as the it does not effect me.  If I am a good landlord and get good tenants I have no problems with the rules the city imposes

Brie Schmidt, Real Estate Agent in Wisconsin (#57846-90) and Illinois (#471.018287)

General rule of thumb: red states = landlord friendly.  blue states = tenant friendly.

Based on my specific research and experience of certain states: AZ, CO, GA, and NC seem to be pretty landlord friendly (we currently own 2 fourplexes in AZ).  CA is extremely tenant friendly (we own a triplex in CA).  I haven't researched every state, only a few that we're looking to invest in ourselves.

You also may need to qualify what constitutes landlord friendly.  For example, I've read that SC has significantly higher property taxes on non-owner occupied properties (aka rentals) than owner-occupied, which, in my book, is not very landlord friendly.  Perhaps @Sydney Chase can enlighten me on that... is that actually true?  Is it only in certain areas in SC?

@Brie Schmidt  

Thanks Brie I guess I was being a bit general with Illinois there.

Great podcast today!

Originally posted by @Kimberly T.:

General rule of thumb: red states = landlord friendly.  blue states = tenant friendly.

Based on my specific research and experience of certain states: AZ, CO, GA, and NC seem to be pretty landlord friendly (we currently own 2 fourplexes in AZ).  CA is extremely tenant friendly (we own a triplex in CA).  I haven't researched every state, only a few that we're looking to invest in ourselves.

You also may need to qualify what constitutes landlord friendly.  For example, I've read that SC has significantly higher property taxes on non-owner occupied properties (aka rentals) than owner-occupied, which, in my book, is not very landlord friendly.  Perhaps @Sydney Chase can enlighten me on that... is that actually true?  Is it only in certain areas in SC?

@Kimberly T

All out of state owners or non primary residence pay a higher property tax, but in comparison to most other states with the same type of people and demographics we are very cheap, Plus rents are higher here along the grand strand.

California!  50 year tenant gets the boot.  Gone, Grandma, Gone.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/10/mary-phillips-98-evicted_n_5573150.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl14%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D499788

Washington is a blue state and is landlord friendly, except for a few pockets, like the Seattle area which tends to favor tenants in some ways.  We have reasonable landlord-tenant laws, which make it easier to end a tenancy (20-day no cause notice) and an eviction process that can be completed in under 30 days (from posting the "pay rent or quit" notice to sheriff lock out.)

1.) Texas Texas has a reputation for being very pro-landlord and not as kind to its tenants. Texas landlords can evict a tenant for not paying rent, and they wield other powerful advantages over the tenant that they can take advantage of with little or no notice.

2.) Indiana
Indiana’s rental laws definitely favor landlords rather than tenants. For example, before 2002 it was completely legal for landlords to withhold tenants’ security deposits past the standard 45 days. Now, landlords can only be sued for the deposit amount and certain legal fees if they exceed the 45-day due date.

3.) Colorado
The rental laws here are strict and have little tolerance for delinquent tenants. In addition, a landlord can enter the property at any time without providing notice to the tenant.

4.) Arizona
Arizona has strict laws regarding noncompliance with rental agreement and nonpayment of rent. For example, if a tenant provides false information on the rental application, Arizona landlords have the right to deliver a written notice to the tenant and terminate the rental agreement within 10 days.

5.) Florida
One primary reason Florida seems to favor landlords is the lack of rent control laws in Florida. Florida also does not require a written lease, which can sometimes create problems when disputes arise. While recent legislation has been proposed to help better protect tenants, tenants should still be careful before renting in Florida.

6.) Kentucky
Kentucky handles security deposits a little differently than other states. According to Kentucky rental laws, landlords are allowed to withhold security deposits anywhere from 30 to 60 days, depending on tenant disputes regarding deductions. Other than the states that have no statutory deadline, Kentucky has the longest waiting period for tenants to get their security deposits back.

7.) Georgia
Georgia courts are the primary reason why the landlord is favored. Regardless of the reason, tenants who do not pay rent typically lose their eviction cases in Georgia courts. That means, if you feel that your rights have been violated in Georgia, chances are you will lose if you take the matter to court.

8.) Mississippi
Mississippi’s favoritism for landlords dates back to the days of segregation, when landlords had much more power. While today legislation has reigned in the landlord’s power of their tenants, Mississippi landlords still enjoy a number of benefits, including a requirement that tenants keep the rental premises clean and remove all garbage.

Originally posted by @James Wise :

generally red tends to benefit the Landlord and blue the tenant.

 Since Ohio swings between blue and red; can you update us on the friendliness in your backyard?

I think Montana is fairly neutral.  And would agree Colorado leans towards landlord-friendly, while California is certianly tenant friendly.

Sarnen Steinbarth

Sorry Brie but the idea that being a good landlord negates the problems of excessively Tenant friendly laws is., well,  bogus.  I have a lot of family in NYC with property who can't even set their own rents.  Evictions are inevitable even for the best of landlords  but can often drag on for the better part of a year in places like NYC. Building and construction codes can make repairs or updates way more expensive depending on where you are. The laws matter, a lot,  and no matter how good you are they impact your bottom line.  They definitely should be taken into account when purchasing somewhere and priced in.  In my opinion cap rates in markets that are tenant friendly also tend to be lower further dictating caution. 

I would fully agree with George on that.  It only takes one crazy tenant to tie up a property long enough to lose a lot of money in a difficult eviction state.  I have been lucky that my properties are in Colorado and Idaho, but now I am buying some in KC, MO, which is NOT that friendly and can take a few months to get a snarky tenant out.  I'm hoping my new Property Managers will be up to the task... I've always managed my own before, (even from a very large distance) so wish me luck!

I have to stop managing my own, partly because I tend to be ridiculously nice to my tenants, bending over backwards to keep them happy, so that they will lease again... and like an idiot, I'm always surprised (for some reason) when they find some way to try to screw me!   And thus, the one rule I sadly have had to stick with, is:  when screening tenants, ALWAYS imagine them in the worst possible situation.  How nasty could they become?  Can that ultra sweet person become manipulative?  Litigious?  Whiney?  Look for any kind of signs that might give away these traits... This unfortunately can change your personality a little (or a lot if you let it), because it's a habit that can bleed over into other parts of life and make you cynical.  Still, it has sharpened my radar and saved me from some potentially ruinous renters, like the woman I walked through a mountain property of mine in high heels.  she caught the spikey things in a 3/8" gap in the deck and joked, 'good thing you have insurance"!!  Run Away, Run Away!

I digress.  And sound negative!  Sorry!  I have had mostly neutral and a lot of fabulous tenants, and have prospered well due to them, so it's worth whatever struggle we go through.  I have always avoided CA since I lived there and saw evictions taking 6 months or longer...  (and watched Pacific Heights--DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE)

Alan Brown

    Georgia is Landlord friendly.  Most Judges will start the proceeding with,"if you don't pay, you don't stay." Followed up by, "outstanding maintenance items are not grounds for non- payment of rent."   

    If a landlord gets in trouble in Georgia, they most likely deserved it.  

    Tennessee definitely landlord friendly. If you have the tenant waive their right to the whole legislative eviction process, which you can legally do, you can put them out real fast after the legal grace period (5 business days). This is  different in certain counties and cities like Memphis and Nashville, which are covered by a different set of laws.

    In Arkansas the criminal violation law is changing county by county to a civil violation.

    Mississippi tends to lean in favor of the landlord. Tenants are required to keep the premises clean and remove all garbage. So with a few photos of the property it could be an open shut case.

    i know I saw a vice news on YouTube about Arkansas and the criminal violations vs civil affair. That will just give you some background on it. 

    Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

    Basic membership is free, forever.