One of the first steps in real estate investing is determining a location. One factor worth noting are the housing laws that differ per state. Certain states have unique laws that either act in favor of the landlord or the tenant. These are referred to as landlord friendly or tenant friendly states.
Landlord Friendly States
These states have laws that are more lenient towards landlords in the instance of housing disputes. According to Nadia Blant of Rent Café, Southern states, which previously thrived primarily on agriculture, are commonly known for their laws that are aimed to protect land and landowners. States like Arkansas, Virginia, Louisiana and Florida have laws that often side in favor of the landlord with issues such as eviction, rent control and tenant rights.
Eviction: In landlord friendly states, the law offers little tolerance for tenants who fail to pay rent. The eviction process can be quick and does not require landlords to acknowledge or address the circumstance in which tenants withheld rent. Landlords are also allowed to terminate leases in as little as 5 days after a delinquent payment. This can leave tenants with a minimum of 10 days to vacate the property before they risk facing criminal charges.
Rent control: Landlord friendly states have no laws on rent control. In these states rent increases can go into effect in as little as 30 days. Rent can be increased yearly as taxes increase, and can also lead to increased amenities such as pet rent and utilities.
Tenant Rights: Landlord friendly states are known for having stricter control over tenant rights such as the return of security deposits. Landlords in these states have longer time spans to withhold a deposit, sometimes up to 60 days after tenant relocation. Landlords also have the ability to request rent from tenants despite broken appliances, and essential living amenities. Tenants are not legally permitted to withhold rent in select states; their only option is to seek legal council.
Tenant Friendly States
Blant also states that throughout history, Northern states have benefitted primarily from manufacturing and trade through the means of emigration and immigration. This caused some states to put laws in effect to protect the rights of the people that reside there. States like Vermont, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Washington have laws that often side in favor of tenants and provide them with more favorable outcomes in the instances of eviction, rent control and tenant rights.
Eviction: In some tenant friendly states renters are given 14-day notices in which they have time to gather rental fees and make a payment. Additionally, if items are left, tenants have up to 60 days to recover their belongings.
Rent Control: Tenant friendly states allow renters the ability to withhold rent when facing habitability issues. In cases with malfunctioning appliances such as heating units, hot water heaters and electricity, tenants are allowed to make repairs and deduct the cost from their monthly rent.
Tenant rights: Security deposits are typically returned in an average of 30 days with 14 being the minimum in some tenant friendly states. This is helpful to those who need the funds to place down payments on new properties.
Each state has unique laws that can either benefit or hinder those who live there. Whether you are looking to invest, rent or own a home you should always contact an experienced Realtor for guidance. To find the best property in the area that meets your needs contact one of the reliable, professional and responsive agents at Rent It Network at 813-864-9515.