10 States with the Best Landlords in 2016

10 States with the Best Landlords

Being a great landlord involves hard work: finding and screening quality tenants, signing a rental agreement, collecting rent, and managing maintenance problems is a lot to handle.

In addition to day-to-day tasks, landlords are subjected to strict state laws. These laws can create many obstacles for landlords and strictly penalize them for any missteps.

And despite best efforts to find the highest quality tenants, most landlords deal with problematic tenants at some point in their career.

The inevitability of tenant-related headaches, not to mention the stress of financial risk, makes being a good landlord challenging at times. Especially when the responsibility only falls on your shoulders- a truth for many of the DIY landlords that we cater to here at Rentalutions.

We surveyed our 20,000 landlords in all 50 states to find out which states have the best landlords.

Best Landlords in the US Infographic

One common factor that brings together landlords in our top 10 states is they use written rental agreements. In addition to this, most landlords in our top 10 states:

  • Provide adequate notice of entry
  • Change the locks for every new tenant
  • Understand and follow their state’s laws
  • Have fewer evictions and legal disputes

Ultimately, landlords in these states are succeeding by following rules, communicating well, and following best practice.

So far, we’re revealing which states rank in spots six through ten. Stay tuned for the top five states.

So where are the best landlords in America?

10. New York

New York State Flag

For notice of entry, 88% of New York landlords provide at least 24 hours, 25% of which provide at least 48 hours.

75% of New York landlords are changing the locks in between tenants.

Only 37% of New York landlords have been to court, likely because a whopping 75% are familiar with state and local laws.

We noticed some important trends when observing the data from all 50 states. Interestingly, all of our New York landlords collect both a security deposit and a move-in fee. Move-in fees are becoming more common in order to cover new tenant fees that are irrecuperable (repainting, cleaning, etc).

Moreover, these statistics prove that move-in fees are not replacing security deposits. This trend is also true for our Illinois landlords.

9. Arizona

Arizona State Flag

Arizona landlords are doing a great job providing ample notice of entry: 40% provide 48 hours notice and 60% provide 24 hours notice.

80% are changing their property’s locks for every new tenant.

Arizona’s landlords are feeling confident- all of them reported they are familiar with their state and local laws. And like Washington’s landlords, none of them reported having been to court or evicting a tenant.

8. North Carolina

North Carolina Ranks #8 Best Landlords

Every respondent to our survey in North Carolina said they provide at least 24 hours notice to tenants before entering the unit. And 55% of North Carolina landlords change their locks between each new tenant.

Providing notice of entry and changing locks are two indicators that the majority of North Carolina landlords understand what rules to follow. This makes sense because when we asked how familiar they are with state laws, 33% of them replied, “Yes, I’ve read every law.” Another 45% agreed they are familiar with their state laws.

Furthermore, landlords in North Carolina are less likely to have tenant-related disputes. 67% have never evicted a tenant or been to court with a tenant. If landlords understand laws and are following rules, then this makes sense they have minimized their risk enough to lower the amount of court disputes.

7. Virginia

Virginia State Flag

In Virginia, 57% of the landlords provide 48 hours notice of entry and 43% provide 24 hours.

Every time landlords have a new tenant, 72% of them are changing the locks.

Like Arizona, all of our landlords in Virginia indicated they are very familiar with their state laws.

86% have never evicted a tenant and 72% have never been to court. About half of all Virginia landlord-tenant court cases ended in the landlord winning and the other 50% of the cases ended in a landlord-tenant settlement.

6. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State Flag

63% of Pennsylvania landlords provide 48 hours notice, while 37% provide 24 hours notice, which means 100% of our landlords in Pennsylvania provide at least 24 hours notice.

Pennsylvania comes in second place after Ohio when it comes to changing locks: 75% of Pennsylvania landlords change the locks every time they have a new tenant.

88% are familiar with their state laws, which matches the percentage that have never been to court, and 75% have never evicted a tenant.


So far, we’ve listed which states have landlords that ranked in spots ten through six. Stay tuned for the top five states with the best landlords.

The statistics we listed for each state demonstrate that landlords in these states are making the right decisions to keep their tenants happy, and ultimately, drive higher profits. The decision to follow laws, provide ample notice of entry, and change locks help these landlords save money down the road by avoiding costly legal battles and keep their rental business in good shape.

Our statistics reveal that great landlords do the following:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Keep their tenants safe
  • Work with tenants to make the rental experience positive
  • Make smart, practical business decisions

Beyond determining which states have rockstar landlords, we also determined a few other interesting facts. For instance, our data proves the main reason why security deposits are not fully refunded is property damage. The second most common reason is unpaid rent. As one landlord wrote on our survey, there are three kinds of tenants: the good, the no-pay, and the destroyer.

We also found that a high percentage of landlords desire a better way to know their state laws. Thankfully, we’re working on a solution- we’re producing 50 State Guides, which will break down complex laws into easy-to-understand information and tips. Stay tuned for more on our State Guides in the coming months.

Want to become one of the best landlords in America? Sign up today.

And weigh in on the conversation: let us know what makes a great landlord and tips for how you manage day-to-day landlord tasks.

Originally published at Rentalutions.