Landlord Friendly States – What to Look For

With appreciating values and a steady stream of income, purchasing real estate continues to be the ideal investment for growing wealth. Investing in landlord-friendly states should be a major consideration for investors searching for suitable properties. 

What are the criteria for being a landlord friendly state? The following are a few characteristics outlined in landlord and tenant law that would provide landlords with enough control to ensure that they can protect their properties and income potential. 

Characteristics of Landlord Friendly States

Evictions  

Landlords need a fair and fast eviction process. Delayed evictions can cause landlords to continuously lose money and experience property damage until unruly tenants are forced out. States with laws that have an easy eviction process and recognize that landlords are losing their bread and butter with non-compliant tenants should be more attractive locations to buy. 

Property Taxes  

States with higher tax rates will require landlords to pay more property taxes. Look for states with property tax rates at or below the national average. 

Rent Control

Some governments restrict the amount of rent increases that are allowable in a certain period. Although the intention is to prevent exorbitant rent that could leave tenants without a home, landlords should have enough room to recover inflation and cost increases for property maintenance such as utilities and taxes. This law may vary not only by state but also by the city and is worth researching.

Security Deposits

Landlords need security deposits if a tenant vacates the rental property without paying rent owing, the rental unit has property damage, or other tenant issues that cause landlords financial harm. Security deposits are a form of insurance, and any limits on the amount can add more risk for landlords. 

Other 

The rental market and local economy can affect the ability to be profitable. Locations with low unemployment and a growing economy are better investment areas to attract good tenants who can pay rent. 

Prospective buyers should consider their real estate purchasing options in the following list of landlord friendly states.

1. North Carolina

North Carolina currently has one of the hottest real estate markets. A low tax rate, bustling economy, and lower cost of living are a few reasons North Carolina is attractive for landlords to buy property. 

  • There is no limit to how much rent landlords can charge, and there is no rent control imposed in the state
  • Landlords can charge up to $15 or 5% of the rent in late fees (whichever is greater) for each late rental payment
  • Landlords can collect money for a pet deposit which doesn’t have to be refunded unless the lease permits it
  • With a lease termination, either due to an end date or a violation, as long as the landlord discontinues accepting rent, they can give the notice to have the tenant move out 
  • Landlords aren’t obligated to renew a lease or rental agreement
  • For nonpayment of rent, landlords can start the eviction process after giving tenants a ten-day notice 

2. Alabama

Alabama’s relatively quick eviction process and low property tax rates make the state an excellent location to scout out investment properties. 

  • Landlords only need to give tenants who stop paying rent a seven-day notice to pay before initiating the evictions process and 14 days’ notice for a lease violation
  • Landlords can charge non-refundable cleaning fees or pet fees, as well as late fees for late payment of rent
  • Alabama doesn’t have a state law for rent control, and rent can be increased after providing a 30-day notice
  • Alabama property tax rates are the second-lowest in the U.S., another reason it is an attractive rental market
  • The state of Alabama does not require landlords to have a rental license

3. Florida

Florida is a popular place to buy rental properties. With low supply and high demand, Florida has become one of the highest populations of renters in the country. Many of the laws favor landlords and are quite relaxed.

  • There are no statewide rent controls or limits
  • Late fees can be charged on late rent payments
  • There is no limit set on security deposits, and landlords can deduct payment for damages incurred by the tenant 
  • Only three days of written notice is required on nonpayment of rent before initiating the eviction process, and seven days of notice is required for intentional damage or lease violations
  • Landlords only need to provide 15 days’ notice before completing a rent increase
  • The property tax rate is still slightly below the national average

4. Georgia

Like Florida, Georgia’s landlord-tenant laws favor landlords because the eviction process for non-compliant tenants is more seamless.  

  • Landlords can charge late fees and ask for security deposits without any restrictions
  • There is no rent control in Georgia, so landlords are free to set their rates
  • Landlords must give tenants a seven-day notice to comply with the payment of rent before initiating an eviction and have the tenants removed from their property. Landlords can take physical possession of their property faster than in any other state.
  • Georgia’s property tax rates are lower than the national average

5. Arizona

Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states in the U.S., with a population surpassing 7 million. Its warm climate and low unemployment make it an ideal site to buy real estate. 

  • Arizona’s quick eviction process requires landlords to provide only five days’ notice to pay before filing for tenant eviction. 
  • Landlords can give an eviction notice after five days if failure to maintain the property continues and ten days notice for a lease violation
  • Landlords can file an Unconditional Quit Notice (or notice to quit) to tenants who have committed a crime on the premises or have an unreported criminal record
  • Arizona doesn’t have rent control, and there are no limits to the rent increases
  • Arizona has a low average property tax rate

6. Texas

One of the biggest reasons people move to Texas is that there is no state tax. However, there is still a property tax on the higher end since this is how the government generates revenue. But Texas still has many landlord friendly laws. 

  • Texas has no rent control laws, so there is no limit on what landlords can charge for rent
  • Like most other states, Texas doesn’t have to give tenants time to pay the rent if they have missed a payment. Instead, they can give them three days’ notice to move out 
  • There is no restriction on the amount of money they can ask for as a security deposit
  • Landlords can refuse to pay for repairs if the tenant has unpaid rent

7. Indiana

The main reason Indiana is a landlord friendly state is that the property prices are low compared to the rent tenants pay. For example, the median home price is below $200,000, but the median rent is just over $1,000 monthly.  

  • Landlords must give ten days’ notice to tenants for nonpayment of rent before going to court to evict the tenant
  • Landlords need not return the security deposit for 45 days which is one of the most prolonged holding periods, giving landlords adequate time to inspect the property after tenants have vacated
  • Indiana’s property tax rate is below the national average tax rate

8. Colorado

Colorado has relatively low property taxes and a favorable eviction process for landlords. 

  • Property taxes are among the five lowest rates in the country
  • Although landlords can only increase rent once per year, there is no limit on the increase in the amount of rent landlords can charge
  • Colorado’s eviction process is based on compliance demand notices which give the tenant 72 hours to decide if they want to pay the rent or leave the premises. When that 72 hours expires, tenants only have 48 hours to vacate the property
  • There is no legal limit on the amount of security deposit landlords can demand

9. Kentucky

With low property prices, the profit margin is worth the investment in real estate in Kentucky.

  • Landlords can charge late fees and security deposits with no specified limits to follow
  • Landlords can begin the eviction process after a seven-day notice to tenants
  • For lease violations, landlords must provide a 15-day notice to remedy the issue before they can terminate the lease and begin the eviction process
  • The property tax rate is lower than the U.S. national average

10. Illinois

Although Illinois has one of the higher property tax rates, it is still a landlord friendly state. With a reasonable eviction process and over 12 million residents in the state, good tenants will be more accessible.

  • Landlords must give ten days’ notice to non-paying tenants and ten days for lease violations before filing for eviction 
  • There are no limits on security deposits, and they have 45 days to return it

Summary

Although buying real estate across the U.S. is still a viable means of growing one’s wealth, investing in landlord friendly states can help better protect investments and make them more profitable. Lower property taxes, a quick and smooth eviction process, reasonable security deposits, and no rent control are characteristics of a landlord friendly state that will help investors protect and grow their assets. 

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