If you're a renter who has at one point found yourself without hot water or battling a million mice in your apartment, you've probably furiously googled something like "can I sue my landlord for being a negligent jerk" at least once or twice. Tenant/Landlord rights can be incredibly confusing for those of us without a law degree, and in some places those laws are designed to favor one party over the over. RentCafe recently put together a report on the most renter friendly states (legislature wise) in the country.
By looking at landlord-tenant laws across the states, excluding rent price and rent price regulations, RentCafe was able to get a general sense of which states leaned more heavily in favor of renters. They assigned a number value to the states based on 10 common aspects of renter/rentee relationships like security deposits and repair and deduct policies and those with the highest scores were determined to offer the most protection or support for renters.
Vermont is the most renter friendly state in the country, while Arkansas is the least. Vermont's requirement that landlords give a long lead time for eviction notices and rent increases, along with the ability of tenants to withhold rent over habitability issues, make it particularly pro-renter.
Along with figuring out regional patterns and highlighting states that lack some pretty basic protections for renters, they dug up some unexpected facts about landlord-tenant laws:
In Wisconsin, if the landlord auctions or sells abandoned tenant property, the proceeds must be given to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, which uses the money to help feed the homeless.
Hop on over to RentCafe to explore a graphic that breaks it down by state, and for more information.