New Mexico Security Deposit Laws

New Mexico 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.”