New Hampshire Landlording

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Hi Everyone,  Looking for some information about being a landlord in New Hampshire.  Are the tenant/landlord laws much better in New Hampshire versus Massachusetts or only a little better?  How is the rental Market in New Hampshire? Is the border to Massachusetts the best bet or are there other booming areas?  I would appreciate hearing back from anyone currently doing buy and hold in NH.  Thank you.

Hi Susan,

I can't really speak for Mass but the laws in New Hampshire are a bit more landlord friendly than they are in Rhode Island.  Here is a link you can take a look at and compare to what you're familiar with in MA.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/lv/540/54...

New Hampshire's laws are really pretty reasonable.  Not the sort of extremely pro-tenant laws you hear nightmare stories about, but not the sort of wild-west nonsense we hear about some places, either.  They strike a pretty fair balance.

There is a pretty long list of reasons to lawfully terminate tenancy, and another pretty long list of types of occupation that do not create a tenancy (including a specific exemption for vacation rentals I am sure one poster here wishes California had!).  On the other hand, there is a pretty long list of things landlords cannot do.  Evictions are pretty straightforward.  You can collect only first month and security deposit, no last month or crazy deposits.

Hard for me to answer how they compare to MA, since I don't own anything in MA.  

Rental market in NH strikes me as very variable on location.  Mind you, I have a grand total of three rentals, all within a 12 mile radius.  I'm in Southwestern NH (Monadnock region) and rents are stable and vacancies short.  No big run ups that will make you rich overnight, on either property appreciation or rent growth, but people have wanted to live here for going on 400 years now and that doesn't seem to be changing.

In terms of the culture or general attitude, it is mixed.  On the one hand, there is a lot of deference to property rights, generally.  On the other, "Live Free or Die" is understood to apply to renters as much as to property owners.  Some of the stuff I see people post on here that they do just makes me shake my head.  Insisting on inspecting a prospective tenant's current home before leasing?  Might be common elsewhere.  Here, everyone will laugh in your face and then tell all their friends about the weird, invasive SOB they just had to deal with.  And I make a point of figuring out what I think is a "reasonable" amount of notice to enter the house, and then double it.  Not kidding even a tiny bit.  I give a month of notice to change the filters on the furnace.

I guess a couple of other things. For an SFR, the ability to have pets is, in my area, assumed. It would be a significant disadvantage for me to try to rent with a no-pet rule. It is one of the big differences, in tenants' eyes, between renting an apartment and renting a house.

I rent with no utilities.  Standard practice for SFRs here.

Trash removal is very cheap compared to MA, and so is water in places that have town water, which many small towns do not.

I have yet to find a property management company worthy of the name.  Mostly it is a sideline to a handyman/cleaning/realty business, and it shows.

wrt pets, it is illegal to charge a pet fee, not sure what the rule is in mass though.  Also, if not stated otherwise in the lease you have 15 days to return a security deposit (which cannot exceed the value of one months rent) and if it is stated in the lease you can go as high as 30 days.  

Thanks for the information everyone.

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