New Mexico Landlord Tenant Rights
Renting a home can be stressful, whether you are the lessor or the lessee. Take the stress out of rentals with our below guide on New Mexico landlord tenant rights.
The landlord has certain responsibilities to the tenant. These include:
- Providing a safe and habitable living space
- Making requested repairs within a “reasonable” time (7 days)
- Providing water, air conditioning, heat and plumbing
- Providing garbage removal
- Elevators (in multi-unit buildings)
- Providing 24-hour notice of entry with a lawful purpose
Landlords are prohibited from taking any retaliatory actions against a tenant for exercising their right to habitable housing under New Mexico law.
The tenant also has responsibilities to the landlord. These include:
- Keeping the unit clean and in habitable condition
- Making minor repairs and general maintenance
- Keeping plumbing fixtures clean
- Not disturbing other tenants or neighbors
- Disposal of waste
- Complying with all building and housing codes
- Proper use of all facilities and appliances
Not negligently or deliberately destroying or damaging the rental unit
New Mexico law limits security deposits to the equivalent of 1 months’ rent for leases 1 year or less. For leases greater than 1 year, landlords can require a larger security deposit, however, the landlord is required to pay the tenant annual interest on the security deposit.
The security deposit, with interest, must be returned within 30 days after a tenant moves out of the rental unit. Tenants can bring legal action for damages if a landlord wrongfully withholds a security deposit. However, the security deposit can be withheld for the following reasons:
- Unpaid rent
- Damage caused by the tenant beyond normal wear and tear
- Unpaid utility bills
- Damages caused by tenant’s violation of the lease
Landlords must provide the tenant an itemized list of deductions against the security deposit.
Rent and Fees
New Mexico landlords can increase the rent for any amount without providing the tenant a justification. In addition, New Mexico law prohibits rent control ordinances from local jurisdictions. For week-to-week and month-to-month rental agreements, landlords are required to give notice equal to how frequently a tenant pays rent before making an increase to their rental payment. For fixed-term rental agreements, landlords are required to give at least 30-day notice prior to the end of the lease term.
Landlords can charge late fees for up to 10% of the total value of the late rent payment. There is no required grace period before a landlord can charge late fees but they must notify the tenant of a late fee by the end of the following month. There is a $25 limit on fees for returned checks.
Evictions can occur in New Mexico under the following circumstances:
- Nonpayment of rent – 3-day Notice to Pay required
- Lease violation – 7-day Notice to Cure or Quit required
- No lease or end of lease – a Notice to Quit provided by the landlord is required prior to eviction
- Week-to-week – 7-day notice
- Month-to-Month – 30-day notice
- Year-to-Year – 6-month notice
- Material Health/Safety violation – 7-day Notice to Comply required
- Illegal Acts – 3-day Notice to Quit required
A landlord cannot evict a tenant in retaliation or based on discriminatory reasons.
Tenants can end a lease early for the following listed reasons:
- Early termination clause
- Active military duty
- Landlord harassment
- Uninhabitable Unit
If a New Mexico tenant breaks the lease early, they may be required to pay the outstanding amount due on the lease agreement. However, landlords are required to assist in re-renting the unit. If a landlord does not make requested repairs within a reasonable time of a tenant’s request, a tenant may withhold their rent or terminate the lease. Before taking either action the tenant must provide a 7-day notice to the landlord and allow them that time to make the requested repairs.
Lease Termination Notice
If the lease is Week-to-Week, the tenant must give a 7-day termination notice. If the lease is Month-to-Month, the tenant must provide a 30-day notice. There is no specific timeframe provided for Year-to-Year leases.