Tenant/landlord laws by state

14 Replies

I would look for the actual statutes posted on the individual state websites if they are available. Anything other than that and you risk incorrect and/or outdated info. 

I usually google something like "[state name] statute tenant eviction [or whatever topic I'm researching]".

Too many municipalities are enacting their own legislation. Regs by state have become almost meaningless so you need to drill down and find regs by city. It is also changing all the time as there are so many more tenants than LLs and politicians are hungry for votes and attention. 

Search for state property code, municipal/county property code, and code enforcement. Don't trust anything unless it is on a government website or from a lawyer. 

nolo.com is a good general resource in my opinion. Turbotenant was putting local info about rentals, not sure if they still are, been a while since I checked. The discrepancies probably come from when the material was published. State and Local websites are your best for up to date for sure. 

Four levels of legislation: federal (e.g. Fair Housing Act), state (e.g. NC Landlord tenant Act), county (e.g. Wake County Rental enforcement aka code enforcement in many counties that also regulate dwellings and/or rental dwellings), and city (e.g. Raleigh special rules and regulations). Where you invest, you should know about what rules/laws/ordinances/statutes apply at every level. Generally, the laws get more restrictive as you get more local. As Ryan points out, all the information is publicly available (almost always on-line these days) in one form or another. Available via google search... 

@Heather Rodden As mentioned above, and as you've found yourself, a good attorney is your best bet. But since you're looking for information, I've found nolo to be really useful for quickly looking up statutes. No advanced legal knowledge required. My team recently put together a well-researched and handy list of landlord-tenant statutes by state that just covers the basics: security deposits, eviction issues, legal recourse against tenants, deduct-and-repair rights, etc. Fortunately for those who don't specialize in this area of law, the legalese translators gave some definitions for all of those terms too. I hope this helps!