New Mexico Landlord Tenant Laws
January 31, 2023
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|Required Disclosures |
Copy of rental agreement
Rent and Fees
Application Fees: Permitted
Rent Control: Banned
Late Fee Limit: 10% of monthly rent
Grace Period Minimum: 3 days
Amount Limit: Reasonable
Interest: Yes, if deposit exceeds one month’s rent
Return Within: 30 days
Notice: 24 hours
Permitted Times of Entry: Reasonable
|Fair Housing Protections |
Rent Demand Notice: 3-day pay-or-quit notice
Notice for Lease Violation: 7-day cure-or-quit notice
Notice for Repeat Violation: 7-day quit notice
Unconditional Notice to Quit: 3-day quit notice
New Mexico Landlord-Tenant Law
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.
Landlords must disclose to the tenant in writing the name, address, and phone number of the person authorized to manage the premises and the owner and/or person responsible for receiving notices.
Upon request, landlords must disclose the calculations used as a basis for apportioning the cost of utilities for common areas and sub-metered apartments.
Copy of Rental Agreement
The landlord or owner must provide a written rental agreement to each tenant prior to the start of the tenancy, as per New Mexico rental law.
Rent and Fees
- Rent Due Date: Unless otherwise specified in the lease agreement, rent is due at the dwelling unit at the beginning of each month (NMSA § 47-8-15(B)).
- Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in New Mexico.
- Rent Increases: Rent control is banned in New Mexico (NMSA § 47-8A-1).
- Late Fees: 10% of monthly rent (NMSA § 47-8-15(D)).
- Grace Period: There is no mandatory grace period in New Mexico.
- NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: There is no specified service fee for bad checks in New Mexico.
- Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If the landlord commits a material noncompliance with the rental agreement that affects health and safety, the tenant may give at least seven days’ notice and withhold one third of the pro-rata daily rent. If the unit is entirely uninhabitable, the tenant may withhold 100% of the rent until the landlord remedies the condition. Tenants in New Mexico are not permitted to repair and deduct (NMSA § 47-8-27.1, 47-8-27.2).
- Deposit Limit: Landlords in New Mexico may charge a reasonable amount for security deposits (NMSA § 47-8-18(A)). If the rental agreement lasts less than one year, the security deposit limit is one month’s rent (NMSA § 47-8-18(A)(2)).
- Interest: If the security deposit exceeds one month’s rent, the landlord must pay interest on the security deposit to the tenant each year. The interest should be equal to the passbook interest permitted to savings and loan associations in New Mexico by the federal home loan bank board (NMSA § 47-8-18(A)(1)).
- Return Within: 30 days (NMSA § 47-8-18(C)).
- Deposit Location: Landlords are not required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account.
- Withholding: The landlord may withhold funds from the security deposit for unpaid rent, unpaid utility bills, repair work, and other damages due to the tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement, not including normal wear and tear. The landlord must itemize these deductions and send the written list to the tenant with the remainder of the security deposit (NMSA § 47-8-18(C)).
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 Mexico state law adds ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, and pregnancy (NMSA § 28-1-7(G)).
- New Mexico 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 Mexico. However, credit bureaus in New Mexico may only report criminal convictions from seven years prior (NMSA § 56-3-6).
- New Mexico 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: 24 hours’ (NMSA § 47-8-24(A)(1)).
- Permitted Times: New Mexico state law does not designate any time-of-day restrictions for entering. However, the landlord should attempt to reasonably accommodate the tenant’s request for an alternate time or date. Additionally, landlords may enter a property for inspections, repairs, decorations, alterations, improvements, services, or showings (NMSA § 47-8-24(A)).
- Emergency Entry: In case of an emergency, the landlord may enter without advanced notice or consent (NMSA § 47-8-24(B)).
Evictions are complex legal processes often poorly understood by both parties. Before pursuing eviction in New Mexico, consider hiring an experienced real estate attorney and be sure to review the New Mexico eviction process in more detail.
- Rent Demand Notice: 3 days to pay or quit (NMSA § 47-8-33(D)).
- Notice for Lease Violation: 7 days to cure or quit (NMSA § 47-8-33(A)).
- Notice for Repeat Lease Violation: 7 days to quit. According to New Mexico eviction law, this violation of lease notice applies when there is a second lease violation within six months of the initial breach (NMSA § 47-8-33(B)).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit: 3 days to quit (NMSA § 47-8-33).
Other Laws and Facts about New Mexico
- The median rent rate in New Mexico is $1,595.
- The median rent rate in Albuquerque is $1,600.
- Like most states, New Mexico requires landlords to give 30 days’ notice to increase rent for fixed-term tenancies. The notice should be provided 30 days prior to the end of the leasing term (NMSA § 47-8-15(F)).