Each state has specific rules and regulations concerning rental property. Needless to say, some states favor landlords more than others. That’s why the location of your rental property is so crucial. In this article, we will discuss what makes a state landlord friendly and then look at the most and the least landlord friendly states throughout the United States in 2024.
What Makes a State Landlord Friendly?
So, what are the criteria that determine whether a state is landlord friendly or not? The best landlord friendly states have:
- Less complicated eviction process: Evictions can often turn sour and may be uncomfortable for all parties involved. However, a tenant who has been defaulting on their rent payments or has violated their lease agreement will have to be evicted. In some states, the process of eviction is long, burdensome, and may take up to several months. While in other states, the process is quick and much less complicated.
- No rent control: Certain states restrict landlords from increasing rent by imposing a rent ceiling even during inflation. It’s vital to consider the rent control policies in the market you want to invest in.
- Low property taxes: Some states charge higher real estate taxes than others. When choosing a state for your investment, you should consider the local taxes imposed on rental properties.
Top 10 Most Landlord Friendly States in 2024
Here are the top 10 most landlord friendly states in 2024. Even though these states are landlord friendly, in almost all these states a landlord cannot evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms or not upholding responsibilities
Louisiana’s effective property tax rate is just 0.54%, the third lowest in the US. It is also one of the states that have laws that preempt rent control. Louisiana has one of the fastest eviction processes in the country.
From start to finish, an eviction can be completed in two to five weeks. Landlords must give a five-day notice period for non-payment of rent or lease violations, and ten days for end of lease. In addition, landlords in Louisiana do not need to have a rental license to rent out their property.
Alabama is known for its low cost of living and affordable real estate markets, which makes it one of the most landlord friendly states today. Property taxes average just $850 per year, the second lowest average in the country.
Alabama law prohibits cities from enacting rent control ordinances, meaning landlords can raise rents at their discretion. And in Alabama, landlords are required to give tenants a 7-day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate the Premises before filing an eviction lawsuit. If the tenant does not do either within that time frame, the landlord can move forward with filing an eviction lawsuit. The same goes for lease violations (if they can be cured). In order to end a lease early, a 30 day notice must be given. And you do not need a license to be a landlord in Alabama.
3. South Carolina
In South Carolina, the average effective property tax rate is 0.56%, and homeowners pay an average of $1,708 in annual property taxes.
South Carolina has no rent control unless you live in a subsidized apartment where rent is based on income. Also, landlords are not required to have a rental license in South Carolina.
If a tenant fails to pay rent after 5 days from the payment due date, the landlord can start eviction proceedings immediately. The lease must contain the following statement: “IF YOU DO NOT PAY YOUR RENT ON TIME. This is your notice. If you do not pay your rent within five days of the due date, the landlord can start to have you evicted.”
In any other case, the landlord must give the defaulting tenant a 5 days’ notice to pay rent or vacate the premises. Curable lease violations require a 14 day notice and end of lease requires a 30 day notice. Eviction takes four to nine weeks (or more) depending on the type of eviction and how quickly you serve the tenant with a summons.
Real estate prices in Nevada are higher than the US average, but the effective property tax rate is low at just 0.6%, keeping annual property taxes low.
Nevada landlord-tenant law allows landlords to collect rent payments and use security deposits to cover damages that exceed normal wear and tear. If a tenant breaches the rental agreement, the landlord can pursue an eviction lawsuit.
Nevada is a Dillon Rule state with no rent control nor preemptions—this means that the state grants broad or limited authority to each branch of local government, such as counties, municipalities, school boards.
Nevada has one of the fastest eviction processes in the country: it takes one to six weeks to evict a tenant depending on the reason for the eviction.
Arkansas homeowners pay some of the lowest property taxes in the country, and Arkansas has no implied warranty of habitability. This means that landlords are rarely responsible for repairs or maintenance of a property, unless stated in the lease. These are just a few reasons that Arkansas makes our list of the most landlord friendly states of 2024.
In Arkansas, landlords and tenants are free to make a rental agreement that suits them. There are no rent control guidelines and landlords can charge as much as they consider reasonable. However, according to state and local laws, landlords must give tenants notice of rent increases at least one rental period before the increase takes effect.
Evictions in Arkansas are quick. From start to finish, the process can be completed in about two to four weeks. Landlords in Arkansas may terminate a lease with no reason given. Even model tenants may be subject to having a lease terminated. The landlord must give one rental period’s notice for an oral lease, or provide notice according to the terms of a written lease.
In Wyoming, there are no rent control ordinances and local governments are prohibited from enacting such ordinances. The effective property tax rate is just 0.56%.
When a lease agreement is terminated, the landlord may apply any security deposit that has been held by him or her to cover unpaid rent and damages. The landlord is not required to allow the tenant a chance to correct lease violations. Eviction proceedings in Wyoming generally take about three to four weeks. However, if the tenant requests a continuance or jury trial, the process can be delayed for months.
Arizona is one of the best states to be a landlord. The state has the eleventh lowest property taxes in the United States at just 0.65%. It also has an eviction process that is one of the easiest to navigate: an eviction can be completed in one to six weeks, from start to finish.
Landlords in Arizona can terminate a lease in 10 days if they find false information on a tenant’s application and only have to serve a 5-day notice for failing to pay rent and 10 days for any lease violation repeated on more than one occasion. Local governments are also prohibited from enacting rent control and mandatory inclusionary zoning, which are policies intended to promote fair housing.
Finally, landlords can legally increase the rent on their property after a 30-day notice period.
8. West Virginia
West Virginia is one of the best states for landlords in 2024. Homeowners in West Virginia pay the lowest annual property tax liability of all 50 states, at just $812. The state is a Dillon rule state with no rent control nor preemptions, meaning landlords can set their own rental rates and evict tenants without interference from local governments.
There is no law restricting security deposits and landlords have 65 days to return a deposit. Evicting a tenant in West Virginia can take anywhere from one to three months, depending on the type of eviction and whether a jury trial or removal to circuit court is requested.
Indiana is a great place to own real estate, because it is very landlord friendly. The state has very low property taxes and does not require any license to be a landlord. Tenants who owe rent must be given a 10-day notice to pay up. If they fail to do so within that time, the landlord may begin the eviction process.
Landlords are allowed to give a reasonable notice for lease violations. However, tenants are allowed to fix the issue to avoid eviction. In Indiana, a landlord can evict a tenant without giving prior notice if the tenant commits waste (i.e., damages the rental unit). The tenant must move out immediately, and does not have the option to fix the problem.
Florida is one of the most landlord-friendly states in America. Landlords can evict tenants after giving them a 3-day notice for nonpayment of rent, and they can terminate leases after giving tenants 15 days’ notice.
In Florida, an eviction can be completed in two to three weeks. However, it can take longer if the reason for the eviction is contested by the tenant. The state also preempts local rent control ordinances.
Top 10 Least Landlord Friendly States in 2024
We’ve seen some of the best states for landlords, so here are the states that are most tenant friendly in 2024.
Vermont is one of the least landlord friendly states of 2024. The state’s property tax rate of 1.82% is the fourth highest in the US. If a landlord fails to make repairs, tenants may pay for the repairs themselves and deduct the cost from their rent payments or withhold rent altogether.
Eviction for unpaid rent must follow a 14-day written notice from the landlord. Landlords must give a 60-day notice before evicting tenants whose lease has expired. Evicting a tenant in Vermont can take four to seven months, and may even take longer if the tenant requests a jury trial.
3. New York
New York has some of the most restrictive policies concerning landlords and investors, making it one of the least landlord friendly states for investors today.
In June of 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, which alters previous residential landlord-tenant law in New York. It includes caps on security deposits and rights to a receipt, as well as protections in case of eviction.
Property taxes in New York vary widely by county. The statewide average is 1.69%, according to SmartAsset. The highest property taxes are in Suffolk County at 2.37% while homeowners in NYC pay only 0.88%.
4. Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, property taxes are higher than the national average. The effective property tax rate in Rhode Island is 1.43%.
In Rhode Island, a landlord can begin eviction proceedings only after rent is 20 days past due. The landlord must provide tenants with a 5-day notice to pay rent or vacate the premises after rent has been 15 days past due. After that time, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit if the tenant has not complied with either request.
In Rhode Island, tenants may repair and deduct or withhold rent until essential repairs are complete.
Massachusetts is another one of the least landlord friendly states in the nation. It has high home prices and high property taxes, making it difficult for landlords to turn a profit.
Under Massachusetts law, a landlord must give a tenant 14 days notice before filing an eviction lawsuit for nonpayment of rent. However, the landlord cannot charge late fees or interest on the unpaid rent until 30 days have passed.
An eviction can take 1 to 4 months but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction and whether the eviction is contested. When a tenant is facing eviction from a landlord, that tenant may request a stay of execution from the court. This means that the eviction will be postponed for a maximum of 12 months if the tenant is over 60 or has a disability as defined by state law; in all other cases, it can be postponed for up to six months.
California has a comparatively low effective property tax rate of 0.73%, but it is one of the least landlord friendly states due to its statewide rent control measures. As a landlord, you must notify your tenant of your intent to enter their rented premises at least 24 hours in advance as per California state law.
In California, landlords are prohibited from self-help evictions or attempting to evict a tenant in retaliation for the tenant’s exercise of certain legal rights. If found liable, landlords can pay the tenant actual damages sustained and punitive damages in an amount not less than $100 or no more than $2,000 for each retaliatory act. Landlords may also be required to pay reasonable attorneys’ fees.
7. New Jersey
New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the country, with an average homeowner paying $12,061 per year. In addition, there are many rent control policies that affect how landlords charge and increase rent for their properties.
If a tenant has not paid rent, and the landlord obtains a judgment for eviction from a judicial officer, the tenant must pay the full amount of rent owed within three business days in order to prevent eviction. Even if the judicial officer rules in favor of the landlord, as long as tenants pay all past-due rent in full, landlords are required to accept payment and stop the eviction process.
8. Washington D.C
Washington D.C. has the second highest property prices in the country, and it also has statewide rent control. Landlords must give a 30-day notice to tenants before asking them to move out, even if they are engaged in illegal activity.
Washington D.C. landlords must also give tenants at least 48 hours advance notice before entering the property, and evicting a tenant can take between 1 and 8 months depending on the reason for eviction.
Oregon is one of the least landlord-friendly states in the country. In 2019, it became the first state to impose statewide rent control. If a rental unit is older than 15 years, the landlord cannot raise rent by more than 7% per year. In the case that the landlord wants to increase rent, they must provide at least 30 days’ notice before doing so. In monthly tenancies, landlords cannot increase rent within the first year of a lease. After this period has passed, landlords must send written notice 90 days before raising rent.
In the case of nonpayment of rent, the landlord must first give the tenant a notice to pay rent or vacate within 72 hours. However, they must wait 8 days after rent is past due to issue this notice.
10. New Hampshire
Should You Only Invest in Landlord Friendly States?
In the end, landlord-friendliness shouldn’t be the only factor influencing your investment decision, but it should influence your choice to a certain degree since you cannot change the location of your real estate investment.
Investing in one of the most landlord friendly states can save you a lot of hassle and money. Yet rental property in a landlord friendly state with few potential buyers will not make you as much money as property in a tenant-friendly state with an active housing market. So, demand is an important factor to consider in choosing your investment location.
Also, it’s possible to have a landlord friendly city within a tenant friendly state as well as the reverse. Therefore, in addition to state property laws, check out local laws as well.
In conclusion, while it is true that you can find profitable real estate anywhere in the United States, certain states have real estate policies that make them better suited to protecting your investment. Investing in landlord friendly states will make your journey as a property owner much smoother, hassle-free, and profitable. If you’re an investor looking to grow an out-of-state real estate investing portfolio, then you should sign up to Realwealth to get access to opportunities and carefully selected investments.
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