New Hampshire Landlord Tenant Laws
March 2, 2023
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|Required Disclosures |
Security deposit receipt
Rent and Fees
Application Fees: Permitted
Rent Control: N/A
Late Fee Limit: N/A
Grace Period Minimum: N/A
Amount Limit: 1 month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater
Return Within: 30 days
Permitted Times of Entry: N/A
|Fair Housing Protections |
Rent Demand Notice: 7-day pay-or-quit notice
Notice for Lease Violation: 30-day quit notice
Unconditional Notice to Quit: 7-day quit notice
New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Law
Understand the essential New Hampshire landlord tenant laws before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the New Hampshire state law code.
Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.
Security Deposit Receipt
Landlords must deliver a signed receipt of the security deposit, specifying where the deposit or bond will be held. A receipt is not necessary when the tenant writes a personal check, bank check, or check issued by a government/nonprofit agency for the security deposit.
Landlords must supply in a New Hampshire lease agreement a list of any conditions in the rental unit in need of repair or correction, within five days of occupancy.
Rent and Fees
- Rent Due Date: There is no statute in New Hampshire specifying when rent should be due.
- Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in New Hampshire.
- Rent Increases: There is no statewide rent control in New Hampshire.
- Late Fees: There is no statutory limit on late fees in New Hampshire. A standard rent late fee is around 5% of monthly rent.
- Grace Period: There is no mandatory grace period in New Hampshire.
- NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a fee limited to the face value of the check plus any court costs, service costs, and collection costs incurred by the landlord (NHRS § 544-B:1(I)).
- Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If the landlord fails to maintain the premises in a way that violates health or safety standards, the tenant may withhold rent. However, the tenant must give proper written notice to the landlord and wait 14 days for the correction (NHRS § 540:13-d(I)).
- Deposit Limit: 1 month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater (NHRS § 540-A:6(I)(a)).
- Interest: Landlords are required to pay interest on security deposits. The rate of interest should be equal to the rate paid on regular savings accounts in the New Hampshire bank, savings and loan association, or credit union in which it is deposited. The tenant may request the accrued interest on their security deposit every three years, 30 days before the expiration of that year’s tenancy (NHRS § 540-A:6(IV)(a, c)).
- Return Within: 30 days (NHRS § 540-A:7(I)).
- Deposit Location: Landlords are required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account, unmingled with personal funds (NHRS § 540-A:6(II)(a)).
- Withholding: Landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for damages, excluding reasonable wear and tear and repairs. Landlords must also provide tenants with a written, itemized list of damages for which the tenant is liable (NHRS § 540-A:7).
Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections
- Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). New Hampshire state law adds gender identity and marital status (NHRS § 354-A:10).
- New Hampshire landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial.
- Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in New Hampshire.
- New Hampshire landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property.
- Advanced Notice: Landlords in New Hampshire must give advanced notice and get the tenant’s prior consent to enter the property (NHRS § 540-A:3(IV-V)).
- Permitted Times: New Hampshire state law does not designate any time-of-day restrictions for entering (NHRS § 540-A:3(IV-V)).
- Emergency Entry: In case of emergency, landlords in New Hampshire may enter without advanced notice or consent (NHRS § 540-A:3(IV-V)).
- Rent Demand Notice: 7 days to pay or quit (NHRS § 540:2(II), 540:3(II), 540:9).
- Notice for Lease Violation: 30 days to quit (NHRS § 540:2(II), 540:3(II)).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit: 7 days to quit. According to eviction laws in New Hampshire, this notice applies when the tenant has done substantial damage to the premises, or the tenant’s behavior adversely affects the health or safety of other people (NHRS § 540:2(II), 540:3(II)).
Other Laws and Facts About New Hampshire
- The median rent rate in New Hampshire is $1,930.
- The median rent rate in Manchester is $1,750.
- Tenants in New Hampshire cannot defeat an eviction for nonpayment more than three times within a 12-month period (NHRS § 540:9(II)).