New Mexico landlord tenant law and lease term

Over 30% of households in New Mexico live in rental properties according to Census ACS data. The rental market is strong and profitable. The state is somewhat landlord-friendly as there are no rent control laws and evictions may take less time than in other states.

All US states, including New Mexico, have a statewide Landlord-Tenant law in place. So, once a rental agreement is signed, both parties obtain certain rights and responsibilities. Whether you’re just getting started or are simply looking to learn more, here’s a basic guide to the New Mexico Landlord-Tenant laws.

Required Landlord Disclosures in New Mexico

You are required under New Mexico law to disclose certain information to your tenants. In Albuquerque, NM, landlords need to advise their tenant of the following before signing a lease:

Lead-Based Paint

Were the rental properties built before 1978? If so, according to landlord-tenant laws and federal laws, landlords must provide their tenants with information regarding lead paint concentration. If this is not done, the lease can be terminated. 

Authorized Agents

According to landlord-tenant laws, landlords must also provide their tenant with information regarding the names and addresses of all parties involved in the ownership and management of the property they rent.

New Mexico Tenant Rights & Responsibilities

Tenants in New Mexico Have the Right To the Following During Their Tenancy

  • Have requested repairs completed within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Continue living in their rented properties until the landlords have followed the proper procedure to evict them.
  • Receive notification before the landlord enters the rental properties. Specifically, New Mexico landlords must serve tenants notice at least 24 hours prior to entry.

New Mexico landlord tenant and security deposit law

  • Live in a rental that meets all the basic habitability codes, including access to potable water and functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Exercise any of their rights without retaliation. For example, a tenant may withhold rent payments if the landlord fails to complete important repairs, like a broken heater.
  • Be treated fairly without any form of discrimination based on their protected characteristics. There are 7 protected characteristics at the federal level: race, color, sex, religion, disability, familial status, and national origin.
    New Mexico State also adds extra protections. That is ancestry, spousal affiliation, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
  • Be served proper notice when the landlord is looking to make changes to the terms of the lease or rental agreement.
  • Have their security deposit returned minus damages.

Below are some common tenant responsibilities.

Tenants in New Mexico are required to:

  • Notify the landlord when looking to move out of the property they rent.
  • Notify the landlord when leaving the premises for an extended period.
  • Care for their rental unit in accordance with the New Mexico rental agreement.
  • Allow reasonable entry to the landlord for tasks including unit inspections.
  • Abide by all terms of the New Mexico rental agreement, including security deposit payments.
  • Pay rent and a security deposit when requested.
  • Keep noise levels down.

Landlord Responsibilities & Rights in New Mexico

New Mexico Landlords Have a Right To:

  • Be served proper notice from a tenant looking to vacate their rented premises.
  • Make changes to the terms of the written rental agreements so long as the tenant consents to them.

security deposits from New Mexico tenants

  • Be notified by their tenant of maintenance issues.
  • Process a lease termination and evict tenants if they commit a gross lease violation, refuse to cover unpaid rent or cause excessive damage that goes beyond that of normal wear and tear.
  • Receive proper notice from tenants looking to leave town for an extended period.
  • Have access to the unit to perform standard tasks such as showing the unit to a prospective renter or lender.
  • Ask for a security deposit.

Landlord-tenant laws state that landlords in New Mexico have the following responsibilities

A New Mexico Landlord Is Required To:

  • Abide by all terms of the lease or rental agreements.
  • Provide the renter with livable rental conditions in accordance with the New Mexico Warranty of Habitability.
  • Serve the tenant a proper notice before entering the rental unit.
  • Make all requested repairs within a reasonable time frame.
  • Follow the proper eviction procedure when getting rid of a problematic renter. All forms of self-help eviction are illegal in the state of New Mexico.

An Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in New Mexico

Landlord Entry in New Mexico

According to New Mexico law, landlords have a right to enter their rental property while the renters are living in it. Common reasons for doing so include:

  • reasons pursuant to a court order.
  • to make agreed repairs.
  • showing the unit to prospective tenants or lenders.

Before making the entry, however, you, as the landlord, are responsible for giving your New Mexico renter a notice of at least 24 hours. Your lease agreement can increase this amount of time, but cannot decrease it. 

The only exception to the notice requirement is in the event of an emergency.

Small Claims Court

Small claims courts hear most disputes involving tenants and landlords. Such disputes can include rent-related cases and security deposit returns.

New Mexico landlord tenant laws and security deposit

The dollar amount landlords may sue for in a New Mexico small claims court is limited to $10,000. Also, the statute of limitations for both oral and written contracts is 4 and 6 years, respectively.

Housing Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act is a law that prohibits housing-related discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics. New Mexico landlord-tenant law follows the FHA and prohibits discrimination against protected classes. 

Rent Increase Laws in New Mexico

New Mexico prohibits rent control at both the state and local levels. As such, landlords are permitted to charge whatever amount in rent amount they like for their leases.

That said, landlords are responsible for notifying their tenants prior to making a rent increase. This notice should be commensurate to how frequently your tenant makes rent payments as in the rental or lease agreement.

Security Deposits

New Mexico has a security deposit law which is contained within the statewide Landlord-Tenant law. Security deposit laws are important to abide by, not understanding deposit law can result in legal trouble. Landlords must abide by it when it comes to handling their tenants’ security deposit.

For example, for a rent period that is a year or less, the maximum security deposit amount landlords in New Mexico may ask for the tenant to pay should be equivalent to the cost of one month’s rent. If the security deposit is above this amount, landlords can find themselves in trouble. 

Bottom Line

Ensuring as a landlord, you abide by all state and city laws is critical to the success of your New Mexico rental property. Landlords should also ensure that they remain informed of lease termination policies, squatters’ rights, rent increase laws, and more.  However, staying up-to-date on legal amendments and handling legal matters can not only be complicated but is necessary in order to maintain a good landlord-tenant relationship!

Blue Door Realty can help! Our property management team is made up of industry experts who are extremely knowledgeable about New Mexico Landlord-Tenant Law. Contact us today for more information.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. Laws frequently change, and this post may not be updated at the time you read it.