A summary of New Mexico Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.
Required Disclosures (by Landlords)
Contact Information: Landlord must disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises, and an owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving notices and demands. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-19)
Security Deposit Limit
Up to one month’s rent may be collected for a security deposit if the lease term is for less than one year. There is no limit for lease terms of one year or longer.
Deadline for Returning Security Deposit
A landlord has 30 days to return the deposit after the tenant moves out. If the deposit was more than one month’s rent and was used to secure an annual term or longer, an annual interest rate (equal to the passbook rate) must be paid to the tenant. If any deductions are taken, an itemized statement must be provided. Failing to return the security deposit or provide an itemized statement of deductions, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-19 (D) states the landlord:
(1) shall forfeit the right to withhold any portion of the deposit;
(2) shall forfeit the right to assert any counterclaim in any action brought to recover that deposit;
(3) shall be liable to the resident for court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees; and
(4) shall forfeit the right to assert an independent action against the resident for damages to the rental property.
Section E states that any landlord who “in bad faith retains a deposit in violation of this section is liable for a civil penalty in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) payable to the resident.”
Small Claims Lawsuits
Disputes not exceeding $10,000 may be filed in Metropolitan Court (for Bernalillo County) or Magistrate Court (for the rest of the New Mexico).
Late fee terms and conditions must be written into the lease and cannot exceed 10% of the rent specified per payment period (usually monthly). The landlord has up until the day before the next rent due date to notify the tenant about collecting the late fee for rent that is currently past due.
Month-to-month tenancies require at least a 30 day notice to make changes. Lease terms longer than one month must include language addressing specific increase terms or the rent may not be changed.
Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent
Rent withholding may occur according to N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-27.2 if a landlord is notified and does not fix a problem affecting the habitability of the unit or health and safety of its occupants.
Termination and Eviction
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(I) allows a 3 day unconditional notice to quit be used for any substantial violation of the lease
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(B) & (C) states that repeated violations of the rental agreement within 6 months can be cause for the use of a 7 day unconditional notice to quit.
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(A) requires a 7 day conditional notice to cure or quit any other circumstances for which a violation of the lease occurs.
Access to Property
24 hour advance notice must be given to access property.
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(j) Provides a defense against eviction for a victim of domestic violence.
N.M. Admin. Code tit. 40 §13-5 Allows a court grant exclusive possession of the household to the petitioner “during the period the order of protection is effective” OR it may order respondent to provide suitable alternative housing for the petitioner and any children that respondent has a legal obligation to support. The statute does not define “suitable alternative housing.”
New Mexico Lease Agreement
New Mexico Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes
New Mexico Stat. Ann. §§ 47-8-1 to 47-8-51.