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 written lease or rental agreement is signed, both parties obtain certain rights and responsibilities. Whether you’re just getting started as a landlord or are simply looking to learn more, here’s a basic guide to the New Mexico Landlord-Tenant law.

Required Landlord Disclosures in New Mexico

A a landlord, you are required under state law to disclose certain information to your tenants. In New Mexico, you need to advise your tenant of the following before signing a lease.

Lead-Based Paint

Was the rental built before 1978? If so, a landlord must provide their tenant with information regarding lead paint concentration.

Authorized Agents

According to landlord tenant laws, landlords must also provide tenants 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 premises until the landlord has followed the proper procedure to evict them.
  • Receive notification before the landlord enters the rented property. 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.

Below are some common tenant responsibilities.

Tenants 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 rental agreement.
  • Allow reasonable entry to the landlord for tasks including unit inspections.
  • Abide by all terms of the rental agreement, including security deposit payments.
  • Pay rent.
  • 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 agreement so long as the tenant consents to them.

security deposits from New Mexico tenants

  • Be notified of maintenance issues.
  • Process a lease termination and evict a tenant 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 a tenant looking to leave town for an extended period.
  • Enter the unit to perform standard tasks such as showing the unit to a prospective tenant or lenders.

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 tenant 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 tenant. All forms of self-help eviction are illegal in the state of New Mexico.

An Overview of New Mexico Landlord-Tenant Law

Landlord Entry

New Mexico 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 tenant 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.

Rent Increase

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

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

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 lease that is a year or less, the maximum security deposit amount landlords may ask for should be the equivalent to the cost of one month’s rent.

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.

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.