In New Mexico, the relationship between landlords and tenants is guided and governed by the New Mexico landlord-tenant laws. With a proper understanding of these laws, both landlords and renters should be able to settle any landlord-tenant issues easily.
This guide to New Mexico landlord-tenant laws will get you started.
New Mexico Landlord Entry Laws
In New Mexico tenants have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their home. This means that the landlord must notify the tenant prior to their entry. Specifically, the notice should be at least 24 hours prior to the entry.
The notice should state the reason for the entry as well as when it will take place. Also, the timing should be reasonable. Say, between 8: 00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. during weekdays, and between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. during the weekends.
Prior notice isn’t required in case of emergency or property abandonment.
Small Claims Lawsuits
A small claims court is a specialized tribunal created by statute, with specific duties and powers. It is quick, informal and inexpensive.
Only cases demanding a maximum of $10,000 may be presented before this court. In New Mexico, the small claims court is located in Bernalillo County.
New Mexico Laws on Security Deposits
Landlords in New Mexico can collect a security deposit from tenants. The deposit helps cushion them against damage caused by the renter’s improper use of the rental property. In addition, the landlord may also use it to cover outstanding rent or utility costs.
The amount of security deposit a landlord can ask a renter depends on the length of the lease agreement. If the lease is less than one year, then the deposit must be equivalent to the rent of one month.
If the lease is one year or more, then the landlord has two options. One, to collect a deposit equivalent to the rent of one month. Or, collect a security deposit exceeding the rent of one month but put the deposit in an interest-bearing account. The interest accrued must be paid to the renter annually.
Once the tenant moves out, the landlord has 30 days to return their deposit. If the landlord wrongfully withholds a tenant’s deposit, penalties will be given. The court may award the tenant the amount withheld plus the costs of litigation.
Renters Rights & Responsibilities in New Mexico
- Damage: The renter shall not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, or remove any part of the rental unit.
- Rule Observance: The renter shall abide by all the rules and regulations stipulated under the lease.
- Quiet Enjoyment: The tenant shall conduct him/herself in a manner that allows other residents to enjoy their homes peacefully.
- Appliances: All appliances in a reasonable and safe manner.
- Cleanliness: The premises should be kept in a sanitary condition at all times.
- Compliance: The tenant must comply to all NM rental laws and housing codes as regards safety and health.
Landlord Responsibilities in New Mexico
- Common Areas: The landlord should keep common areas clean and in a safe condition at all times.
- Repairs and Maintenance: The landlord should ensure the property adheres to habitability laws.
- Compliance: All healthy and safety codes should be followed by the landlord.
Required Landlord Disclosures Under New Mexico Rental Laws
Under New Mexico landlord-tenant law, landlords must disclose certain information to tenants. To begin with, the landlord must disclose the name of the person authorized to manage the rental unit. This is for the purpose of receiving the renter’s demands and notices.
The landlord must also issue the tenant with a copy of the NM lease agreement once they move in. The lease should contain all the points of agreement between the parties.
New Mexico Fair Housing Rights
Tenants in New Mexico are protected by the Federal Fair Housing Act. The act protects renters against discrimination based on several protected characteristics.
These characteristics include sex, religion, race, gender, national origin, familial status, disability, color, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, and ancestry.
New Mexico Termination and Eviction Laws
Evictions in New Mexico are regulated by state statutes. To evict a renter, the landlord must follow the due course of the law. Failure to do this and the eviction process may be invalidated.
For non-payment of rent, the landlord must issue the renter with a 3-Day Notice. The notice should inform the renter that he or she has three days to either pay the rent or leave. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(D))
For lease violations, the landlord must issue the tenant with a 7-Day Notice. The notice should inform the tenant that he or she has seven days to fix the violation or move out. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(A)).
Failure by the renter to act on these notices and within the notice period will allow the landlord to file an eviction lawsuit in court.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn more about New Mexico rental laws. If you have any specific questions, seek the services of a professional property management company. Alternatively, you just may hire the services of a competent attorney.