New Mexico Rental Laws

Written on August 20, 2014 by , updated on November 1, 2017

Join the Apartment Association of New MexicoThis article summarizes some key New Mexico landlord-tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

The Official State Statutes and other reputable municipal sources were used to research this information. All sources are cited appropriately.

With that said, landlord-tenant laws are always changing, and may even vary from county to county.  You have a responsibility to perform your own research and cautiously apply the laws to your unique situation.

If you have a legal question or concern, I only recommend contacting a licensed attorney referral service that is operated by a local or state bar association. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice.

Official Rules and Regulations

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: Statute allows landlords to demand “reasonable” deposits. For rental agreements of less than one year, landlord is not allowed to demand deposits that exceed one month’s rent. (§ 47-8-18(A))
  • Security Deposit Interest: For annual rental agreements that require a deposit of more than one month’s rent, landlords must pay annually to the tenant interest on the deposit equal to the passbook interest permitted to savings and loan associations by the federal home loan bank board. (§ 47-8-18(A)(1))
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute
  • Pet Deposits: No statute
  • Non-Refundable Fees: No statute
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 30 days from termination of tenancy or move-out, whichever is later (§ 47-8-18(D))
  • Permitted Uses of the Deposit: A security deposit may only be used for:
    • Payment of rent and utility costs owed; and
    • Damages landlord has suffered due to tenant’s noncompliance with either the rental agreement or statutory Tenant Obligations. (§ 47-8-18(C))
  • Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (§ 47-8-18(D))
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: No statute
  • Failure to Comply: If landlord fails to provide a written statement of deposit deductions and the remaining balance within 30 days of the end of a tenancy, landlord forfeits the right to withhold any portion of the deposit, forfeits the right to assert any counterclaim in any action brought to recover that deposit, becomes liable for court costs and reasonable attorney fees, and forfeits the right to sue for damages to the rental property. (§ 47-8-18(D))

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Is Due: As stated in the lease (§ 47-8-15(B))
  • Rent Increase Notice:  30-day written notice for month-to-month rental agreements, or the length of one rental period for agreements that are less than month-to-month. For fixed-term agreements, written notice of a rent increase must be given at least 30 days prior to the ending of the term. (§ 47-8-15(F))
  • Rent Grace Period: No statute
  • Late Fees: As stated in the lease, but the late fee for any given term must not exceed 10 percent of the total rent for that term, and landlord must give notice of the late fee charged no later than the last day of the following month after the default occurred. (§ 47-8-15(D))
  • Prepaid Rent: Prepaid rent may be required by a rental agreement. (§ 47-8-18(B))
  • Returned Check Fees: $25 (New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department)
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes, for violations of statutory Landlord Obligations, other than a failure or defect in an amenity, tenant may after seven days’ notice be entitled to rent abatement of one-third the daily, pro-rated rent for unremedied conditions that require repair, and 100 percent of the daily, pro-rated rent if the unit is actually uninhabitable. See statutes for additional provisions. (§ 47-8-27.1 and § 47-8-27.2)
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No statute
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes, the prevailing party in a lawsuit to enforce the terms and conditions of the rental agreement or any provisions of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act is entitled to reasonable attorney fees and court costs. (§ 47-8-48)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: The aggrieved party has a duty to mitigate damages. (§ 47-8-6(A))
  • Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is required as the lease simply expires.
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30-day written notice prior to the periodic rental date specified in the notice (§ 47-8-37(B))
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: Seven-day written notice with the termination date specified in the notice (§ 47-8-37(A))
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: No statute
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute
  • Notice of Termination for Nonpayment: Three-day written notice after rent is unpaid when due. Tenant may avoid termination by paying the full amount due prior to the expiration of the three-day notice. (§ 47-8-33)
  • Termination for Lease Violation: Seven-day written notice to remedy or quit. (§ 47-8-33A) If there is a second instance of noncompliance within six months of the first violation, landlord may deliver a seven-day unconditional quit notice. See statute for additional requirements. (§ 47-8-33B)
  • Required Notice before Entry: 24-hour notice required, except when landlord enters to perform repairs or services within seven days of tenant request, or when the owner is accompanied by a public official conducting an inspection or a cable television, electric, gas or telephone company representative. (§ 47-8-24(A)(1) and (2))
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes (§ 47-8-24(A))
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (§ 47-8-24(A))
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (§ 47-8-24(B))
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Yes, during any absence longer than seven days, landlord may enter the unit at times reasonably necessary. (§ 47-8-34(B))
  • Notice to Landlord of Extended Tenant Absence: Rental agreements may require the resident to notify landlord of any anticipated extended absence longer than seven days, no later than the first day of the extended absence. (§ 47-8-25)
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (§ 47-8-36)
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (§ 47-8-36(A)(4))

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Name and Addresses: At the start of a tenancy, landlord or manager must disclose the name, address and telephone number of the person authorized to manage the premises as well as that of an owner of the premises or someone authorized to act on behalf of the owner for receiving legal notices and demands. (§ 47-8-19)
  • Copy of the Lease: Written rental agreement required to be given to each resident prior to move-in. (§ 47-8-20(G))
  • Domestic Violence Situations:
    • Protection from Termination: If a landlord attempts to evict a tenant for a violation and the tenant is a victim of domestic violence, the tenant may use that as a defense to stop the eviction. Evictions are not allowed if the incident that caused the landlord to attempt eviction was related to domestic violence and the tenant has filed for a temporary restraining order as a result of the incident or a previous incident. In all other cases where domestic violence is raised as a defense, the court may evict the tenant accused of the violation, while allowing the other tenants to remain in the unit. (§ 47-8-33(J))
  • Landlord’s Duties: (§ 47-8-20)
    • Compliance: Comply with the requirements of applicable minimum housing codes affecting health and safety;
    • Repairs: Make repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a safe condition;
    • Common Areas: Keep all common areas of the premises in a safe condition;
    • Maintenance: Maintain in good and safe working order and condition electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, if any, supplied or required to be supplied; and
    • Heat: Supply running water and a reasonable amount of hot water at all times and reasonable heat, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the resident and supplied by a direct public utility connection.
  • Tenant’s Duties: (§ 47-8-22)
    • Compliance: Comply with obligations imposed upon residents by applicable minimum standards of housing codes materially affecting health or safety;
    • Cleanliness: Keep that part of the premises that tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit, and, upon termination of the residency, place the unit in as clean condition, excepting ordinary wear and tear, as when residency commenced;
    • Trash: Dispose of all ashes, rubbish, garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner;
    • Plumbing: Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the resident as clean as their condition permits;
    • Appliances: Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises;
    • Damage: Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so;
    • Quiet Enjoyment: Conduct oneself and require other persons on the premises with tenant’s consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises
    • Rule Observance: Abide by all bylaws, covenants, rules or regulations of any applicable condominium regime, cooperative housing agreement or neighborhood association not inconsistent with owner’s rights or duties.
  • Retaliation: Landlord must not increase rent, decrease services, or threaten or attempt to evict a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a government agency, or has been involved in a tenant’s organization. Other actions are prohibited. Read § 47-8-39 for more information.
  • Lead Disclosure: Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.

Court Related:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License Required: No statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
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54 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Kayla Sparklin

    We recently moved to Albuquerque from WA state. When we moved in, everything seemed fine. We soon found out we were rented a roach-infested apartment. We have called several times and they have sent pest control twice. However, the roach situation is not getting any better. At first, they were only in the kitchen. They have invaded our bedrooms and bathrooms. We sleep and basically live in our living room because it’s the only area that rarely gets roach activity. We keep the lights on at all times in the living room hoping to persuade them to stay away. We’re essentially paying $850 a month to live in a box. I have kids and I’m worried continued spraying of the pesticides will harm them. We have no money to move. What can we do?

  • Jasmine R

    I have a renter that has been living in my home since 8/21/16 and they refuse to sign the agreement and have only gave us a deposit and half of months rent for September. They refuse to pay us the money and we have given them a court issued eviction notice. What can we do to get the money they owe for 1 1/2 months rent and them out of our home as soon as possible?

  • kelly

    Tenant move out 2 years ago, still owed $400 rent. Signed letter to pay, never did.
    Landlord has tried to contact tenant by phone many times as do not know were live to send by mail
    and no respond back from tenant.
    Shed was left on property, so after 2 years landlord sold, now tenant called to get shed back.
    What is the law in New Mexico?

  • JAMES

    Tenant move out 2 years ago, still owed $400 rent. Signed letter to pay, never did.
    Landlord has tried to contact tenant by phone many times as do not know were live to send by mail
    and no respond back from tenant.
    Shed was left on property, so after 2 years landlord sold, now tenant called to get shed back.
    What is the law in New Mexico?

  • Laura

    What does a reasonable amount of hot water mean? I do not have hot water, I only have Luke warm in my apartment. Landlord said maybe I’m taking showers when everyone else is? That shouldn’t be a problem in a apartment complex should it? I’ve never had this problem before.

  • Heather

    Please help!!! How long is someone a guest in your home before they become a tenant? I live in nm and i let someone stay with me for a few days till she could get a ride back to california it has been 7 days i asked her to leave and she wont shes not on my lease and the cops said it is 48 hrs then she is considered a tenant which i know is not true can someone show me the statute on how long they can stay before i would have to ask the court for a eviction?

  • Karen Garcia

    By law are the tenants of New Mexico allowed a 3 to 5 day grace period to pay the rent? because I’m currently renting at the Taylor Ranch Luxury Apts

  • Mercedes

    I just bought property there is a tenant in one of the structures under a verbal agreement month to month I think not sure previous owner has left the notice to vacate to me and I don’t I have the 30 days grace period I would normally give because its just fair I have 2 weeks to get her out and us in what rights do I have without violating hers

  • Desiree Rutherford

    Been in this house one month and the bill was ovet 300 dollars for electric contacted the electric company and they stated to me that there is several high bill complaints from these properties .. And the landlord is aware of this … They told me we used 3300 kwts for one month and there is only 2 people living there ..and we are not the only one can anythi g be done so this doesn’t happen to other tenants. .i think this is wrong no one can award a 300 bill evwry month

  • Rosie Rodriguez

    Hello,

    I have a question. What is the New Mexico Occupancy limits/standards for a one bedroom, 2 bedroom and there bedroom.

  • Dennis Paul

    HI, Could you tell me if I will need a file a Non resident return for 2016. If I just a property purchased in July 2016 and rented out from August for the remainder of the year. My expenses towards the rental property were more when compared to the actual income received. Also I have a 1099Misc received for the same. Do I have to file a NM return for 2016 just coz I have the 1099Misc received and to track the losses.?

  • Sherri

    My son and a friend moved into her grandfather’s mobile home after he passed away last summer on the request of the family to kind of watch over the place. All they were required to pay was a monthly fee to the property owner where the mobile home sits. The family (specifically the friend’s aunt) is requesting they move out because the aunt wants to move the mobile home to some other location. My son and friend want to move out but need some time to find another place to live. The aunt and her husband go into the house whenever they feel like it. No one knows who the mobile home belongs to. My son and his friend have been paying the utilities including cable and the monthly fee for rental. Does my son and his friend have any rights?

  • Theresa Dickinson

    My husband and Ihave a rental agreement with a couple and have had since 2012. They are very good tenants. Last summer in June they left to SEATTLE, Wa for doctor appointments which took several months. They were introduced to a couple from Pennsylvania to house set as they did not have a place to live. It was to be a month or they found their own apartment. It is now April and our tenants have asked them to leave as they have become verballly and emotionally abusive and do not help with any part of the upkeep of the home. They refuse, do I as the landlorddo the legal paperwork or does my tenant? Or is it both of us? Thanks.

  • Andrea Crespin

    I am on a lease with someone else who continuously breaks the rules of the lease. Smoking in the house mainly, which was part of the lease we signed. Several other violations as well. Do I have any options other than when lease is up, not signing again. She doesn’t work, she has no credit. I let her on lease with me so she could build get credit. This house is perfect for my dogs, and i don’t want to leave. The property manager knew in the beginning that i would accept responsibility for payment of rent. I put up the deposit and first months rent. It’s just not working out. Abby suggestions ?

  • Andrea Crespin

    I am on a lease with someone else who continuously breaks the rules of the lease. Smoking in the house mainly, which was part of the lease we signed. Several other violations as well. Do I have any options other than when lease is up, not signing again. She doesn’t work, she has no credit. I let her on lease with me so she could build get credit. This house is perfect for my dogs, and i don’t want to leave. The property manager knew in the beginning that i would accept responsibility for payment of rent. I put up the deposit and first months rent. It’s just not working out. Any suggestions ?

  • Joshua Mossman

    We just moved into a new place less than two months ago. The property sold to a new owner and now the new owner has given us 48 hours notice to decide if we want to continue living there or not. If we elect to continue living there, we have to pay him first/last/deposit all over again as he says the old contract is now null and void due to the sale. Is this right? Does anyone have any familiarity with this?

  • Theresa

    I live in New Mexico. I found out that our neighbors are renting their home as a Vacation Rental. Can they rent their home if it is in a Residentual area. It bothers me and my family because strangers are constantly next door. Some times at least 12 to 15 people are their the children are running around wild making lots of noise, especally on the weekends. I moved to this area for peace and quite. What are my rights? Our dogs are contantly barking with the noise next door.

    • Joshua Mossman

      I am not a pro in this field but I had a guest (I manage a hotel in SFe) one time who owned a home here and basically had the same question. Only she wanted to rent out her home as a vacation unit. I did a lot of research for her and whilst I am not a pro, I believe the info got her on the right track.

      -City, county, and state codes all differ, especially here in Santa Fe when it comes to rental terms of your private home.

      -HOA’s are usually strict on this sort of stuff, do you have an HOA? Check with them and file complaint if so. They can levy fines, etc.

      -A permit/registration with the city/county may be required if it is in a defined residential area.

      -In SFe for short term rentals, a notice is required to neighbors within 200ft.

  • Chad K

    I recently move to Roswell from Arizona I spoke with the landlord before I left Arizona about renting my home when everything was ready for me to move I left Arizona and went to the realtor office and while I was signing the papers she then told me that my house was previously rented for adults with special needs and that the floors or peed on multiple times by the old tenants she said that she painted the walls and clean the carpets but the house still smells like urine I had no choice but to sign the papers since I just moved out here from my job and had nowhere else to go thinking I can get the smell out she said if this helper says she will clean but she has yet to do that I feel this home is unsanitary is there anything I can doI recently move to Roswell from Arizona I spoke with the landlord before I left Arizona about renting my home when everything was ready for me to move I left Arizona and went to the realtor office and while I was signing the papers she then told me that my house was previously rented for adults with special needs and that the floors or peed on multiple times by the old tenants she said that she painted the walls and clean the carpets but the house still smells like urine I had no choice but to sign the papers since I just moved out here from my job and had nowhere else to go thinking I can get the smell out she said if this helper says she will clean but she has yet to do that I feel this home is unsanitary is there anything I can do

  • S. Bailey

    HELP!
    I am renting a house I just moved into a few months ago. I am on a 1yr. Lease. Just before we moved in we noticed 1 of the 2 bathroom’s sink was busted, broke all the way in half. They told us a hot cup of coffee caused it and they just glued it back together . [this rental is through a realitor] the day we came to do our walk through the first thing the realtor said was we needed to hurry because she had another appointment. I asked about cracks in the wall she answered it was normal wear and tear and that the house was as is. Since then I have noticed cracks everywhere now the other bathroom sink is cracking and I noticed cracks in the tub area, it just goes on. Now my fear is, is this house sinking? Are we safe what should I do?

  • Baron mason

    I was looking for a apartment and fond one.the manager there had me sign a lease,before my co-signer was approved.just days before I was to move in, the apartment complex called me and told me my co-signer was denided and I could not move in.Then told me that the contract was still binding,and my co-signer had to pay the total amount rent of the lease,which was for 1yr.Is that contract bineding,when thay dined me rental acupency?

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