Investing in residential property in a foreign country can run into disaster if you don't consider the system of landlord and tenant law and practice.

The Global Property Guide's landlord and tenant rating system

We use a five-point rating system to evaluate a country:

  • Strongly Pro-tenant
  • Pro-Tenant
  • Neutral
  • Pro-Landlord
  • Strongly Pro-landlord

The resulting rating is the Global Property Guide's view, and not necessarily that of the contributing law firm (in cases where we have asked law firms for contributions and input).

Landlord and tenant law: a regional comparison

Filter table by continent

* Click countries for in-depth coverage. Sort data by country name.

Country/City Strongly
Pro-Tenant Neutral Pro-Landlord Strongly
Argentina, Buenos Aires
Aruba, Bakval and Malmok et al
Australia, Sydney
Austria, Vienna
Bahrain, Almanamah
Barbados, St James
Belgium, Brussels
Belize, Ambergris Caye
Botswana, Gaboron
Brazil, Sao Paolo
Bulgaria, Sophia
Cambodia, Phnom Phen
Canada, Toronto
Cape Verde, Praia
Cayman Is., Grand Cayman
Chile, Santiago
China, Shanghai
Colombia, Bogota
Cook Islands
Costa Rica, San Jose
Croatia, Zagreb
Cyprus, Limassol
Czech Republic, Prague
Denmark, Copenhagen
Dominica, Roseau
Dom. Rep., Puerto Plata
Ecuador, Quito
Egypt, Cairo
El Salvador, San Salvador
Estonia, Tallinn
Finland, Helsinki
France, Paris
Fr. Polynesia, Tahiti
Gambia, Banju;
Germany, Berlin
Ghana, Accra
Greece, Athens
Grenada, St. George
Guadeloupe, Grande-Terre
Guam, Hagatna
Guatemala, Guatemala City
Honduras, Tegucigalpa
Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island
Hungary, Budapest
India, Mumbai
Indonesia, Jakarta
Iran, Tehrah
Ireland, Dublin
Italy, Rome
Jamaica, Kingston
Japan, Tokyo
Jordan, Amman
Kenya, Nairobi
Latvia, Riga
Lebanon, Beirut
Liechtenstein, Vaduz
Lithuania, Vilnius
Macedonia. Skopje
Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Malta, Valleta
Martinique, Fort-de-France
Mauritius, Port Lewis
Mexico, Mexico City
Moldova, Chisinau
Morocco, Marrakesh
Namibia, Windhoek
Netherlands, Amsterdam
Neth. Antilles, Bonaire
New Zealand, Auckland
Nicaragua, Managua
Nigeria, Lagos
Norway, Oslo
Oman, Muskat
Panama, Panama City
Paraguay, Asuncion
Peru, Lima
Philippines, Metro Manila
Poland, Warsaw
Portugal, Lisbon
Puerto Rico, San Juan
Qatar, Doha
Romania, Bucharest
Russia, Moscow
Senegal, Dakar
Seychelles, Victoria
Slovakia, Bratislava
Slovenia, Ljubljana
South Africa, Cape Town
South Korean, Seoul
Spain, Madrid
Sri lanka, Colombo
St. Kitts
St. Vincent
Sweden, Stockholm
Switzerland, Geneva
Taiwan, Taipei
Tanzania, Dar es Salaam
Thailand, Bangkok
Tunisia, Tunis
Turkey, Istanbul
Turks and Caicos Is., Providenciales
Uganda, Kampala
Ukraine, Kiev
UAE, Dubai
UK, London
US, New York
Uruguay, Montevideo
US VI, St. Croix
Venezuela, Caracas


What is the Global Property Guide's standard for neutrality?

'Neutral' means that (in fact) that the laws are slightly asymmetric. Modern consensus opinion believes it to be 'normal' for the person who lives in a dwelling to get some security of tenure. That's what we call 'neutral' – when the law is slightly bent towards the tenant.

Can you give an example of what you define as neutral?

A situation where the tenant can leave at three months' notice, but the landlord must wait to the end of the contract, is considered neutral between landlord and tenant, assuming

  • there is freedom to negotiate rent levels; and
  • there is no right for the tenant to stay at the end of the contract.

What do you define as pro-tenant?

When the tenant gets a right to remain after the end of the contract against the landlord's wishes

What do you define as strongly pro-tenant?

When the tenant gets a permanent tenure with the rent strongly regulated to favour the tenant

Are there any other factors that you consider?

Yes. Factors unrelated to the letter of the law (slow courts, armed landlords, bribery and dilatory tactics) may mean taht a pro-landlord law can work, in practice, in favour of the tenant (or vice versa). Our rating reflect this.

How we judge landlord and tenant relationships?

We look at the following factors to arrive at a judgment about the overall relationship:


  • Can rents be set freely by agreement between landlord and tenant?
  • Can subsequent rent adjustments be freely negotiated?
  • Can the rent be indexed to the cost-of-living or some other index? If so, what mechanism can be written into the contract?
  • If there is rent control, what are the provisions? What are the criteria used to determine rents?


  • Is the landlord allowed to collect security deposits? How about rental deposits (advance payment)?
  • Are there legal limits on the amount of deposits that can be collected? How much?
  • Should the landlord keep the deposit in an interest bearing account?
  • If there are no legal limits, what is the usual practice?

Duration of contract/Eviction

  • Are contracts required to be for any specified periods?
  • Is notice necessary for eviction at the end of a contract?
  • Is there a very big and basic different between time-delimited contracts and contracts for an indefinite period?
  • Can either landlord or tenant terminate before the end of a contract period?
  • What are the penalties for early termination of contracts?
  • What is the procedure for tenant eviction?

The effectiveness of the legal system

  • Does the court system work?
  • Is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) available for landlord-tenant disputes?
  • How long does it take to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent (assuming that the landlord is absolutely right)?


  • What laws cover Landlord and Tenant issues?


In most cases, our sources are leading law firms, who we have been asked to contribute articles for the Global Property Guide. In some cases, however, we have relied on our own précis of the reviews of European landlord and tenant laws published by the European University Institute of Florence.