Landlord-Tenant Law For Every State

Here’s a big list with links to landlord-tenant statutes by state. Know your rights. Good for renters to bookmark in case you’re ever in a dispute with your landlord, or just because you’re a smart person who likes to have useful information relevant to your life on hand.

Delaware (PDF)
D.C. (PDF)
Idaho (Condos)
Illinois (scroll down to LANDLORD AND TENANT)
Kansas (DOC)
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee (DOC)
West Virginia
Wyoming (PDF)

(Photo: mq666)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ptkdude says:

    Well if Georgia is no longer a state, I’m not paying federal taxes anymore!

  2. vinco says:

    @ptkdude: Agreed. Can’t get Gamefly east coast shipping, Can’t get rain, Now this. What’s next? :p

  3. camman68 says:

    They only have the laws for 1 out of 105 Kansas counties. There are a lot of people in Sedgwick County but what about the other 80+%?

  4. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Are these landlord-tenant statues bigger or smaller than The Statue of

    Massachusetts, Kentucky, Virginia & one other aren’t states, they’re commonwealths.
    And if you can tell me WTF difference a commonwealth is as opposed to a state, then that and 2 bucks will get you a ride on the bus.

  5. nardo218 says:

    Pennsylvania please?

  6. Nelsormensch says:

    I realize that Wyoming might qualify as a state in only the barest of ways, but that is enough. Any love for my home state (which I have since left and possess zero desire to ever return to)?

  7. lukobe says:

    Not bad. Links to various Tenants Union websites (like my home state’s, []), would be cool, too, though…. there, you can actually get some help.

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: Wikipedia says ‘This designation, which has no constitutional impact, emphasizes that they have a “government based on the common consent of the people” as opposed to one legitimized through their earlier Royal Colony status that was derived from the King of Great Britain.’ Pennsylvania sure has some interesting titles! I think it would be cool to call oneself a prothonotary or work in orphan’s court.

  8. ParadigmABQ says:

    New Mexico please?

  9. humphrmi says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and damned if I can figure out what it means either.

  10. rolla says:

    nice…wish i had this during my renting years.

  11. sly100100 says:

    I think Vermont succeeded from the union just recently. LOL

  12. brodog2525 says:

    the title should instead be: Landlord-Tenant Law For Every State Except VERMONT

  13. drjayphd says:

    @sly100100: “Succeeded”? Well, then, what do they have to complain about?

  14. Pylon83 says:

    I thought the same thing, but if you look more closely, those are actually state statutes, not county ones. It’s simply the Sedgwick County site that is showing state statutes.

    However, everyone should remember that a lot of municipalities enact their own Landlord Tenant rules. Chicago has a very comprehensive one for the city proper. Also, Lawrence, Kansas (Douglas County) has a specific landlord-tenant ordinance as well. So this list may not even apply if your city has chosen to enact their own. If it’s a very heavy rental area, they likely have as the state statutes sometimes are a bit vague.

  15. spunky_redhead15 says:

    last time i checked, now unless this changed since, oh a few minutes ago…there are 50 states…so unless north dakota sceded from the union and i’m the last one to know (look, i know it’s cold and snowy here, but it’s really not THAT bad!)…you guys need to check your math.

  16. MonkeySwitch says:

    ugh.. all the ones for Alabama seem totally negative against the tenant. AND most of them talk about ‘grain or other crops!’

  17. pda_tech_guy says:

    Thanks for the bunch of dead links under California.

  18. rolla says:

    @pda_tech_guy: if you really need to find CA laws, go to

  19. forgottenpassword says:

    I am suprised at how many states have no laws regarding how much notice a landlord is supposed to give before entering your apartment (in a non-emergency situation). YEP! My landlord can just bust in whenever he pleases according to my state’s landlord/tenant laws (or lack thereof). []

  20. forgottenpassword says:


    Yeah, that seems to be the case for most of the “dirt poor” states of the south. I am in one.

  21. Pfluffy says:

    A good landlord will not only follow statute, he/she will also take into consideration the personal needs of the tenant. Most GOOD landlords want to keep the tenant happy to keep those rent checks coming in on time and keeping the rental unit in good condition and repair.

    But for every good landlord out there, there are even more bad tenants. Bad credit, irresponsible behavior, and retaliatory stunts all were things I had to deal with all the time as a landlord. If I chose not to renew the lease, the tenants made sure to leave the place with food on the ceiling or leave some sort of creative exercise in home destruction. One guy poured chlorine bleach directly on the carpet. I’ve seen body chalk outlines in the middle of the living room floor as a joke. As amusing as it was, it wasn’t funny to me. Also not funny are times when police break the door in to execute an arrest warrant for a tenant.

    Landlord tenant laws do recognize a tenant’s right to live in peace and enjoy quiet comfort, but the laws do also respect the landlord’s right to protect his/her investment. If one tenant causes unreasonable damage to a unit, that means that other more responsible tenants who also deserve to live in quiet comfort cannot live in that unit.

    Right to inspection — the landlord busting in whenever he/she feels like it… Unless your landlord is a psychopath, your landlord will only need to come in to treat for bugs or make scheduled repairs or put out a fire. And generally when your lease is about to expire, the landlord will schedule an inspection of the premises to determine if they should renew the lease or if there are any problems on either side that need to be resolved before the lease expires and the tenant moves out. Usually, if the law does not require the landlord to give notice, the lease will generally address how much notice you will be given to enter your home. READ THE LEASE CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU SIGN IT!!! If you enjoy leaving your dirty underwear on the living room floor, lounge around naked 24/7, or run a meth lab out of your kitchen, you may want to ask about the landlord or management company’s policies about entering your home BEFORE you sign the lease.

    And the part about crops… Farmers lease land all the time to raise all kinds of food. I lease my pasture for hay. Other people in the area lease their acreage to cattle farmers. If you think it’s tough to buy your own home, which is one reason why many people rent, think about how difficult it is to make a decent living to buy large enough tracts of land suitable for farming with the necessary equipment just to squeak by. Imagine having your lease run out or your landlord selling the land out from underneath you before you can harvest your crop. You could easily be bankrupted. The landlord can be held liable for things the tenant does on the property, so I want to know if my Hay Man is really growing hay and not illegal plants.

    Know your rights afforded to you by statute, but also carefully read your lease. If you don’t know your rights first and read that lease BEFORE you sign it, you could wind up being a victim of psycho landlord. Nobody deserves that.

  22. Ben Popken says:

    Ok I was a little tired when I first put this together but I’m pretty sure we have all the states now.

  23. nightsweat says:

    Check your local municipality as well, especially if you live in a county or city that has “home rule”. For example, Chicago has a much more favorable set of rules for tenants than Illinois does.

  24. Raanne says:

    damn – no guam – my sister is having some issues with her landlord in Guam.

  25. sleepydumbdude says:

    My friend has a psycho landlord. The lady comes to inspect the apartment every two weeks or less. She knocks once then unlocks the door 20-30 seconds later. It sucks when she is in the shower because she doesn’t hear it and comes out to find people in her apartment.
    I told her I’m not sure if its legal and to check her lease which I doubt she has done. She constantly has to check her stuff to see if its missing because a landlord and two staff members are constantly coming in while she is gone.
    This is in Indiana.
    My landlord won’t come in my apartment if I’m not there even if I give them permission. I have a few things I need fixed and am never home when they can come.

  26. kJeff says:

    When I first moved up to Boston. I moved in with my partner. It was a 3 family house, friend of my partner’s family.

    We went away on a 10 day vacation and came back to an eviction notice, they said they needed a place for their daughter to stay because she was having financial difficulties. We later (years) found out that they had been snooping around the apartment when we were gone. My thought is that they found 1 bed for 2 guys and freaked out… Couldn’t stand the thought of the gays invading their home, so they created a reason to get rid of us.

    It’s all for the best really… who wants to live in a situation like that. We have a way better place now with attentive landlords that aren’t nosy.

    I also had a bad situation down in Richmond, VA with a landlord that had a self-renewing lease that required 90 days notice. I sent a letter with my rent in time, but the office was closed on the 90th day, so they auto-renewed my lease and didn’t give me a copy for 2 months from there (in the meantime I’d found a new place because in my mind the lease was ending). They ended up taking us to court on the basis that we only gave them 89 days notice… The judge called the landlords shady for doing this and apologized to me, but he had to find in their favor. On the way out of the court, the landlord said to call her to make arrangements to pay the amount they were granted. The next day they filed for a judgement and garnished the money from my checking account (the judge had only given them 2 weeks rent, so it wasn’t too much). They were into some seriously bad business… I hope in the end it was worth all the bad press I gave them.

  27. prentissbo says:

    Alabama’s law was recently updated and can be found here. [] under title 35 chapter 9A.

  28. jefino says:

    @humphrmi: A quick google search reveals “There is no difference between a commonwealth and a state in the U.S. To Locke, Hobbes, and other 17th-century writers the term “commonwealth” meant an organized political community — what we today call a “state.” Officially Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, and Massachusetts are all commonwealths. When Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, and Massachusetts became part of the United States, they merely took the old form of state in their title.”

  29. Beerad says:

    @kJeff: Can I just ask what happened with that Boston situation? Were you under a lease, or was it (as it sounds like) a more informal arrangement that would have been awkward to protest? Eviction on the grounds that “my daughter wants to live in this apartment” doesn’t really pass legal muster.

  30. OnlyTheBritishFly says:

    I was going to send this link to a friend that is having some landlord issues, but the Montana listing links to Missouri! Little help?

  31. Trai_Dep says:

    Hey, Consumerist and Ben –

    This is some kinda awesome reference project. Well done and a great service to us!

  32. pda_tech_guy says:


    No, I just wanted to be an ass.

  33. RandomHookup says:

    @Beerad: Sounds a lot like a “tenacy at will”. The landlord can’t usually terminate a lease without a cause, but if you are month-to-month or at the end of your lease, the landlord doesn’t need a reason.

    IANAL, yada yada.