New Mexico Rental Laws

Written on August 20, 2014 by , updated on January 27, 2018

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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91 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Sabrina Rhinehart

    We rented a house that we didn’t know was I foreclosure. It’s going to auction in 2 days. Is it legal to rent when it’s in forecloselure. Do I continue paying rent? How soon do I have to be out if it sells. It’s an investor’s property and we are on a month to month lease. Any help would be appreciated

  • Janice Sartin

    My mother lives in a Senior Citizen trailer park and rents the space, the trailer belongs to her. They decided to convert the park to open to the community and no longer be for Senior Citizens. She has been there 10 years and is on a month to month lease. She turned in her notice to vacate but we need a longer packing time. Can she rescind the letter to vacate and give them more than 30 days notice? Thanks so very much. It is difficult moving your parents into a Senior living.

  • Wildflower55

    Ironically, the same thing happened to us. Now, it appears observing the children playing out in the street, and from the very young ages of some of the tenants, with noone 55+ also living in same residency, this is how many found out it is no longer a 55+ park. I guess all the other tenants found out by reading it off Facebook. Professionalism and greed at its very best! I only moved here because I was made to believe it was a Senior Park only for 55+. What a disapponting way to find out.

  • Brenda

    If partial rent is paid can landlord still charge the whole 10%?

  • Dora

    My upstairs tenant when walking makes loads of noise from a squeaky and I mean loud squeaky floor above me disturbing my sleep and studying and my life in general.
    The apartment lady said they could move me but I don’t have time for all this and its so inconveniencing. They said they fixed the floor up stairs hutbitbis nit fixed.

    Can I hire a lawyer for this?

    I need help.

  • Martha Ferguson

    I am on Disability and my landlord has made me go without heat and hot water for 20 days at a time. It is now spring and my unit is getting hot, in the mid 80º. I have asked for the air conditioner to be installed and was told it would not happen for 60 more days. Do I have any recourse?

  • Vmz

    We live in Deming nm in a small 2 b 1 b. Our landlord is overly kind always friendly talkative and even caring towards our children. Goes as far as to give us anything from food to clothing they think we might need or like. All this is fine but when it comes to the house needing anything fixed we are made to wait or it we have to make due. I don’t know the laws but my family is struggling with constant headaches due to a leak in our stove hose. I ventilated as best I can. And yes we have informed them several times. In another instance our bathroom plugged up we were litteraly swimming in waste for 2 months . No amount of cleaning can ever remove the smell or the damage the backup has created in our bathroom. What can we do can’t afford to.

  • Alice Jauregui

    Can I gave police officers permission to enter and search my paying son’s room when he is asleep?

  • Anthony & Tiana Anaya

    Living in an apartment for these false accusations and arguments will do so here at the location on 5501 Central Avenue Northwest 87105 apartment 11 they’ve been in regulation of cockroaches with men coming through the Department’s left and right things and not fix the right way with the right allegations on the apartments you have to be under code and not overbearing for these apartments for anybody to be living in. Cuz the allegations are or not code wise where they are movable to move seniors or anybody else in or anybody that has SSI Social Security… biohazard for anything that’s been here at these apartment complexes for seniors and others fear that are leaving so I can send them troll can also be relevant

  • Unknown

    We asked to transfer into a 2 bedroom from a 3 bedroom. We were approved for the 3 with a rent of 1,045 a month..those numbers changed over time with added fees that the manager added to all the tenants. We were denied the 2 bedroom because the owner of these apartments stated we do not make the qualified amount. I don’t understand how that is possible when the 3 is more than the 2! We lived in the 3 since 2016. And our income has increased. Is this right for the owner to deny this transfer?

  • Sharon Akins

    My parents have lived in the same place for over 30 years. Their home was foreclosed on and went to auction 10-12 years ago. Their new landlord bought it site unseen. He has harrassed them ever since about cleaning up the property, and they have complied even with their health issues. I have power of attorney for them and have written him several times but he won’t return communication. In October he caused my senior father so much stress that he (father) had a stoke. The doctors are worried about his rapid weight loss (160lbs in less than a year). The landlord ‘allow’ them to stay there paying $800 a month and makes sick jokes about whose going to die first. He won’t repair anything – took months for dishwasher replacement. AC needed!

  • Wildflower55

    I have been a tenant in what used to be a Senior Mobile Home park since 2011. Without giving any prior notice to current Seniors residing in this mhp, for years. It has now been turned into a family oriented park. I, apparently according to this current landlord, responsible for removing an extended fence added on by previous tenants to keep cats in this space without roaming park. Ive so far been given 3 violations, (according to landlord. In reality Ive bgotten 2 taped to my door/gate). Am I responsible as a disabled 63 yr old woman responsible wirh removing this extended fence that is attached to 3 sides of fencing around the space/yard? I didnot put up the fence, yet im being held responsible to remove it. Is it my kegal responsibility

  • Mauro Jaramillo

    I’m a senior that wants to move back into the house I own, but have tenants that my deceased wife rented on a lease part of the house. How do I go about evicting them?

  • Chloe

    We live in a 2bd 1 ba apt our apt has been infested with bed bugs our neighbors apt is infested the lanlord refuses to do anything about it what can we do??

  • michael galassi

    Is there certain things landlords must disclose before you rent one of their properties. We have been living in our rental for the past 3 months and just met our neighbor next door. They were surprised that we moved in due to this house was a meth house and the police arrested the previous renters. Was this something that was supposed to be told to us and if so what should we do?

    • Erin Marie McDowell

      I believe my family and I are in a meth house. A well trusted, long standing resident of the neighborhood told me. I have been so sick, to a life threatening point. Everyone is getting sick.

  • Jan

    I currently have tenants and a purchase agreement with a potential buyer for 10/15/18.

    The tenants have a fixed lease until 12/31/2020. I understand the lease goes with the house purchase and the tentants don’t need to leave in 10/15/18.

    Question 1: Do they pay partial rent to me for October and who pays the other part.
    Question 2: Can I do an amended lease for new deposit, lower rent, release of doing home repairs, yard maintenance at their expense for the tentants and if purchased give to new landlord before the closing?
    Question 3: How do I get removal of an inoperable vehicle in the garage which is a violation of the tentants lease?
    Question 4: How do I get the tentants to repair pet damages since they didn’t pay pet deposit.

  • Barbara Leiber-Klotz

    Hi there,

    We have 2 vacation rentals, both in buildings with other vacation rentals, in Taos Ski Valley and Angel Fire.

    Our HOA states that we are “required” to have a land line in our vacation rental for our short-term guests in one of the buildings (Taos Ski Valley).

    Is this a NM law?

    Thanks for your help.

  • Gregorio Montanio

    I live in Albuquerque, Bern.county, in the trailer park I live, I rent a space, can the new owners charge for water and trash?, as I own my trailer, and have lived in this park 5 years and have never paid for these services, or does the landowner have to pay ?

  • Jordan Morgan

    I rented my first apartment about 4 months ago. When I was shown the complex I assumed I was renting the room shown to me, when I went to sign my lease the Realitor told me i was going to be renting a different room. Me assuming that the floor plas were the same I signed it anyways. Turns out they were still “renovating” the room. I proceeded to give them a month before paying the first month. After the month was over I paid the rent and moved in.

    As I entered the room to move in I noticed uneven wood floors, No stove, leaky kitchen sink and shower, no counters, the refrigerator doesn’t have its own breaker and is plugged in with the microwave, plugs fall out of outlets and the smoke detector doesnt work, ect.

    I need help.

    • Sallie Silva

      Been in my apartment two months. Had gas leaks in stove, water heater and furnace. Gas company red tagged. We’ve had no hot water, no stove and no heat. Five days today. Is there anything I can do.? I want out.!!!

  • Sallie Silva

    Been in my apartment two months. Had gas leaks in stove, water heater and furnace. Gas company red tagged. We’ve had no hot water, no stove and no heat. Five days today. Is there anything I can do.? I want out.!!!

  • Debra Gallegos

    I have a house that I rent out without a lease. They gave me a $200 deposit and have been there for 6 months. I heard from a friend that they were moving out just 4 days before they actually moved. Do I have to return their deposit?

  • Sandy Almeida

    I rented to a lady who was in an abusive relationship with the provision that her ex is not allowed on the property. She started dating him again and asked if he could move in after the holidays and i told her no and he is not allowed on the property at all. She moved him in last week but doesn’t know that I know. I have pics of his vehicle at the house throughout the nights of this last week. Can I give her a 3 day unconditional quit notice or do I have to give her a notice to remedy. The main reason I allowed her to rent the place was so she could get her and her children away from him, and she agreed to the stipulation of him not being allowed on the property if/when she moved in.

  • MoiraEalger

    Question: can someone who is buying property, rent to another person?

  • Dotty

    What do I do about a tenant who brought in an inoperable vehicle? Makes the whole trailer park look bad. Also refuses to maintain the premises.

  • Kevin

    Is it legal for a landlord or maintenance man to take picture of my property with out consent in an inspection?

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