Landlord Friendly states?

52 Replies

David,

I live in Hawaii, and have had rentals here in the past. I pretty much agree with your conclusions. The government here pretty much favors tenants in disputes, so you have to CYA.

Property taxes are low, but are probably going to go up substantially with the new governor. The excise tax is a PITA. Luckily, I have a biz where I can just charge the customer. Hard to do with a rental.

I am waiting for them to do whatever damage they will do to the local economy and RE and maybe do some buying in a couple years or so,

TC

I agree that GA is quite friendly. Process is pretty clear and simple to do BUT expect that some people will delay the eviction process so that they have more time to move out. I don't handle eviction cases but have a decent working knowledge of the system. As with anything, choose your tenants wisely, have EVERYTHING in writing and communicate clearly. Even though I don't litigate, my advice is this--if you show up in court with the best documentation and clearest 'story', you will most likely be the winner (maybe not with a jury but again, in Magistrate/Small Claims this should make sense, but your mileage may vary).

Hello All!

I am new to investing and would like to know, if Delaware or Philadelphia are Landlord friendly states.

Also, is there a source or list I can view with Landlord friendly States?

Thanx,

Elliot

Welcome. We'll that's for you too judge. Have a conversation with the person you'll about to rent from and draw from that. I'm sure there is some good landlords. 

I feel like virginia is landlord friendly.  I just finished reading the landlord/tenant act and revising the lease we have, and feel there is alot of protection for the landlord and not overly tenant friendly. 

Many investors like Northern Virginia over DC/MD because of its "landlord-friendliness." 

That said, it's more difficult to find viable income opportunities here due to higher prices (unless you look into the "outer" areas of NoVA.) 

A online site you may want to check out is Landlordology.com. I came across it recently and find it to be an excellent resource for landlords (no matter where you invest). 

P.S. I have no affiliation with this site. 

Hope this helps. 

Originally posted by @Donald Howaniec:

Illinois, bad. Cook County, Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel , need I say more?

^^This is a short-sighted statement.  There are plenty of places outside of Cook Co. to invest and much like @Christopher Lombardi noted--often the bigger cities are the more stringent.  We own in the Chicago suburbs and it definitely differs by the town/city.

We also owned a rental in Baltimore (in the city proper) and some of the rules were pretty intricate and it seemed that while the resources were in place to support a remote landlord, there were plenty of challenges in doing so.  Even lenders and insurers were clearly trying to ensure that properties didn't fall into absentee landlording and the problems that come with that.  We sold that property in roughly 2009-ish so I'm not sure if things have changed.

We also owned in NJ and my family has owned there for a long time.  It's like everywhere else--know the local codes (town AND county).

Originally posted by @Jimmy H. :
Originally posted by MikeOH:
I know first hand that Ohio is cool, but the tenant doesn't pay utilities, so this will sneak up and crack you in the back of the head.

I'm not sure what you meant here, but my tenants certainly pay their utilities. I would never buy a property if I were paying gas and/or electric.


Mike


Mike,

Assuming you up the rents accordingly, to cover the cost of utilities and effectively "re-billing" the utilities, why would you "never" buy a property where gas and electric were paid by the landlord? Also it can provide a value add opportunity in some situations to get it switched. - Just wondering what your logic is here.

There's no incentive for tenants to efficiently manage utility use.  Financially, bills can spiral because tenants are insulated from increases in the price of electricity/water/etc.  Environmentally, there's a lot of resource waste that, for those who are environmentally conscious, is not ideal.

I just closed a few months ago on a turnkey property on the Southwest side of  Atlanta, GA.  It seems to be working out well.   I am looking to expand my portfolio in this area.  Are there any landlord or tenant laws that I should be aware of?

Originally posted by @Lynn Fujihara :

I just closed a few months ago on a turnkey property on the Southwest side of  Atlanta, GA.  It seems to be working out well.   I am looking to expand my portfolio in this area.  Are there any landlord or tenant laws that I should be aware of?

 Would appreciate you keeping us posted, Lynn. You're ahead of me but have taken a similar track as I am in CA and plan to do TK in the South as well.

I will second @Nathan G. on Wyoming being a landlord friendly state.  It is only in the last 20 years a law got passed requiring you to have running water in a rental, but we have had laws on the books for over 100 years on what constitutes a legal fence.  By the way the law on having runni9ng water does not apply if the landlord and tenant agree it is not part of the lease.

Fun thread.  I see a variety of responses, and looks like most are bucketing "landlord friendly" as 1. relatively easy to evict  2.  Lack of onerous, complicated laws.  What other characteristics are you all thinking of in terms of 'friendly' or 'un-friendly'?  Thanks!

Originally posted by @Pam Storm :

Fun thread.  I see a variety of responses, and looks like most are bucketing "landlord friendly" as 1. relatively easy to evict  2.  Lack of onerous, complicated laws.  What other characteristics are you all thinking of in terms of 'friendly' or 'un-friendly'?  Thanks!

The longer time to hold on to security deposits and ease of eviction is nice. What I think of with a more landlord friendly state is that it is not a good breeding ground for "professional tenants" that know the laws better than the unwary landlords they prey on. All the chicanery they put forth could score them 6 months or longer of staying in a unit, where it would be 30 days or less in landlord friendly states. 

On another note, I have been going through the forums, and the states that keep getting mentioned are TX, GA, MS, CO, IN, and FL. Honorable mentions are AZ, VA, OH, and TN.

The most landlords friendly states are Taxes, Indiana, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arizona, Florida. Sadly I do not know the least friendly states, but I suspect other people can cover that.

@Eliott G. @Sandra Sunshine

Massachusetts is absolutely on the top of least friendly states for landlords. 

http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer-rights-and-resources/housing/tenant-and-landlord/tenant-rights.html

For example if the tenant simply stops paying you cannot kick them out or just change the locks. You have to bring them to court to officially evict them, which takes time, a lot of patience and your money at the same time and chances are better than most that you will never see that money ever again. Meticulous tenant screening and careful notice of where you purchase property is a must. 

I invest in Georgia and it is a very landlord-friendly state. Evictions in Georgia are very simple, and it usually only takes 7 days and only costs about $75. There is a lot of leeway in how leases can be written in GA, and most of the laws favor the landlord. However, in my experience the magistrate judge makes a big difference. I invest in a small town in South Georgia, and though the laws are landlord-friendly, the magistrate judge can be difficult for landlords. My recommendation would be to talk to lawyers in your local area where you want to invest and see how the magistrate court operates in that area. It definitely makes a difference. We have had to adjust some of our procedures based on how the magistrate judge wants things done, even though we shouldn't have to based on the law.

A rule of thumb is the more red the state the more landlord friendly as they'll tend to respect individual freedoms and the rights for two free parties to enter into whatever contract they agree to.

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