What states are landlord friendly?
All except CA and NY. But you’ll probably want to stay in the midwest; parks on the coasts tend to be very expensive and offer little upside. OH does have onerous lot setup requirements (long cement runners, etc.). Not too big a deal though - we are closing on our first Ohio park Thursday.
@Jefferson congratulation with the new acquisition. Thank you for information.
Hi All - I’m a traumatized (and recovering) New York City investor that is moving into MH to find better yields and more landlord-friendly markets.
Since it has been a few years since this topic was discussed, thought I would try to revive it. I would love to hear what you are all seeing - which states have landlord-friendly rules (e.g. Easy and fast evictions, no rent regulation or right of first refusals, minimal regulation/compliance requirements)?
I’ll start with my experience. New York (especially New York City) has become so incredibly progressive that it has become irrational. There is new legislation being passed, seemingly every few months, each time making it more difficult and even more expensive to become a landlord; there is rent regulation everywhere. In MH, I believe rent growth is capped 3%/year, though you can set rents for new leases on vacant sites at any rate you want. However, if rent only grows 3%/year, taxes and expenses are growing in the double digits (so available vacant units continue to escalate in price), and there is extremely limited supply (we has a housing shortage nearing 500k units needed through 2030), that only makes your tenants stickier and eliminates your ability to avail yourself to a vacancy reset to market.
And by the way, even if you think the laws are ok today, you need to understand the legislative conversations under way, because what was a fully free-market unit under today’s rules could be a completely regulated unit tomorrow. There is no such thing as grandfathering and countless court battles to try and counteract this progressive legislation have failed (all the way up to the Supreme Court).
Since I don’t yet own a park, I can only speak to the evictions/holdover processes with respect to apartments in NYC, but I assume it is comparable with MH. A typical eviction will take you minimum 6 months if you are properly organized and well-represented by counsel, AND your tenant does not fight. If the tenant fights, you are looking at two years. And in those two years, the tenant is living in the unit and you are not seeing a dime of rent. Most of the time, as a NYC landlord, it is cheaper to PAY the tenant to get out than it is to enforce your legal rights. Especially during Covid, there were tenants who were affluent, gainfully employed, living in the lap of luxury, and who decided to stop paying rent simply because they could, and nobody could do anything about it. And therein lies exactly how backwards New York has become.
In any case, I’m not saying 100% do not invest in New York - in times of craziness, there also is opportunity - yields in New York are higher than they have ever been in recent history, but make sure you pick your spots very carefully and fully understand all of the regulatory, compliance, and legal considerations.
Since I have a lot of real estate exposure in New York, I am trying to diversify markets and hedge against this New York risk. What is everyone else experiencing in their respective markets? Would love to hear both the good, the bad and the ugly. What states do you feel have been positive to do business in? Which ones have disappointed you? Any lessons learned that you would be willing to share?
There is a handful of particularly landlord friendly states google can throw down for you.
Thanks Barbra, I’m very familiar with the Googlepedia. I was more looking for color and experience along the lines of the post from @Jefferson above, which is specific to MH and very helpful, but unfortunately now 8+ years old.
In New York, a LOT has changed over that time period - it’s a whole different world, so I was looking for similar insights from the experienced MH investors on this forum who might be willing to share some helpful advice.
I only know WA becoming more landlord friendly because that’s my territory in King county.
Oregon has gone extremely tenant friendly. Cali is very tenant friendly.
If you want bang for the buck go mid west and central, the rules are more flex in Georgia, more tight in Florida. NY is very tenant friendly. Texas is landlord friendly.
Each county is different, speaking with local agency that would deal with MHP owners, like permitting and city ordinance offices are great places to start in cities you’re thinking about investing in
@BarbraM Thanks so much for the insights!
Also, check in with a local eviction Attorney. I am shocked at how some Judges like to legislate from the Bench.
ie We did everything according to State laws, but the Judge let the tenant stay or gave them 6 months of free rent to move. Liberal Judges can throw a wrench in the best-laid plans.
My parks are in Eastern Washington. Not too bad over there depending on the City. We are in Quincy, Riverside and Spokane Valley. The ERPP program has been a big help taking the back and forth frustration out of everything… my opinion any way.
I don’t think I could handle operating in King County… that would be rough.
Seriously yesss, like Lucy and the football.
It is a special, special place.
You have nice locations for yours. Spokane is up and coming so fast.
Have you looked at East Wenatchee? Small market but some nice perks, like the electrical power for the city being all hydroelectric I believe. Keeps the rates down to the lowest in the US from what I heard.
Love East Wenatchee. We own a mobile home on a double lot overlooking the Columbia directly across from Confluence. Brother and I plan to develop it into a duplex or four plex in the coming years. Haven’t looked at parks there as things have really exploded there in the last 10 years. I have a park in Riverside 90 minutes north and another park in Quincy to the south. My brother has a second home there so I crash at his place when visiting the parks and stuff. Lot of great memories there in my youth.
Great advice, 100% will do, thank you!
does anyone have experience in Kentucky?
is it a HUD state?
is it landlord friendly? dose it very by city?
thanks in advance
There are some great states for landlords. Some include Texas and Alabama because of their low taxes and laws that protect landlords. This article outlines some of the features of a landlord-friendly state and gives a few suggestions.
I operate in Pennsylvania and it is difficult enough here, I can’t imagine operating in New York, New Jersey or California. But, I’m sure there are plenty of savvy investors who make it work. I will just add that IMO, it’s not enough anymore to just look at the state, but look at the county and even the Township you are going to be investing. For every community I have purchased, I visit the local magistrate personally and introduce myself. I also ask around to find out as much information as you can in terms of tenant-landlord law and how it is upheld within the county you are investing.
I have talked to other operators within my state who have told me horror stories about Magistrates who have told them in closed door meetings that they will NOT evict their tenants and that it is their job to “work it out.” Personally, the stress of operating under those constraints would be too much for me.
Do you homework. You simply cannot risk not knowing this information before purchasing. If you know eviction will be necessary in order to reach your objectives for the property, you need to understand how your magistrate AND your county judges are going to respond.
Just this year, I had a resident appeal an eviction ruling. One year and $11,000 later he finally exited my community. Insanity.
You cannot afford to gloss over these details and in today’s climate.
Bring from NY we purchased in Ohio due to the laws. However, like everything it’s a trade off. NY has a cap of 3 percent rent increase for mobile home parks. As a landlord with residential properties NY doesn’t have the 3 percent cap on rent increases. The issue I see with Ohio is the difficulty in moving in homes. Additionally, the skillful labor is lacking in Ohio. Always recall, look at the total picture.
This is 100% true. We also operate in PA amongst several other states. You must understand how the LOCAL government operates inside and out before you buy the park - we learned this the hard way. They can make or break the deal if they are super difficult to deal with or if they’re simple and straightforward. We’ve seen both extremes.
If you want the truth…a little trick is…ask all of the contractors and other park owners or property owners how the city is to deal with X, Y, and Z. You’ll get the truth. This is part of our due diligence now. They’ll give you honest real world insight.