New Hampshire Residential
Lease Agreement for
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New Hampshire Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In New Hampshire, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by New Hampshire landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a New Hampshire lease, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free New Hampshire lease template for download!
A New Hampshire lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease must adhere to New Hampshire’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every New Hampshire rental lease agreement. Keep in mind that these components primarily apply to residential leases in this state; a New Hampshire commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. In New Hampshire, there are no rent control laws. This means landlords can choose their own rental rates based on the current market. However, some cities or localities in New Hampshire may have their own laws that regulate or restrict the price of rent. Be sure that you’re aware of the laws for rent increases that apply in your region before finalizing your New Hampshire rental agreements.
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. New Hampshire does not have any statutory limits on late fees, nor is there a mandatory grace period in the state. However, most landlords use a standard rent late fee of 5% of rent. All New Hampshire lease agreements should include a clear description of the landlord’s late fee policy so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late on rent.
This section of the New Hampshire rental lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.
The maximum or limit for security deposits in New Hampshire is one month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater (NHRS § 540-A:6(I)(a)).
New Hampshire also has laws governing other aspects of security deposits. Firstly, landlords must keep deposits in a separate bank account, unmingled with the landlord’s personal funds (NHRS § 540-A:6(II)(a)). Additionally, landlords in this state must pay interest on security deposits to tenants, at a rate of typical savings accounts in at the New Hampshire bank. The tenant is allowed to request the accrued interest every three years, 30 days before the tenancy expires (NHRS § 540-A:6(IV)(a, c)).
Lastly, New Hampshire landlords must return security deposits (minus any deductions) within 30 days of the lease’s end (NHRS § 540-A:7(I)).
All New Hampshire rental lease agreements should include a complete description of the landlord’s security deposit policy, including the amount of the deposit, how/when it will be returned, and the conditions under which funds may be withheld from it.
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
- Security deposit receipt – Landlords in New Hampshire must provide tenants with a signed receipt for deposits specifying where the deposit is held.
- Move-in checklist — New Hampshire landlords must provide a list of conditions in the rental unit in need of repair within five days of move-in.
Landlord Right to Entry
In New Hampshire, there are specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Landlords in this state must provide advanced notice and get the tenant’s prior consent before entering an occupied unit for a non-emergency reason (NHRS § 540-A:3(IV-V)). There is no explicit notice requirement, but most landlords give at least 24 hours’ notice. Be sure to include the landlord’s right of entry in your New Hampshire lease agreement.
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every New Hampshire rental agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the New Hampshire rental agreement.
A New Hampshire residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in New Hampshire, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: seven-day notice to pay or quit for nonpayment, a 30-day notice to quit for lease violations, or a seven-day quit notice for severe damages or violations. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a New Hampshire sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
New Hampshire Lease Agreement Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a downloadable New Hampshire standard residential lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of New Hampshire state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of a New Hampshire residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a New Hampshire lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free New Hampshire lease agreement template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.