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New Hampshire Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

Leases and rental agreements are legally binding contracts that define the relationship between landlords and tenants, which are governed by state laws. These laws protect the interests of both landlords and tenants by outlining the rights and responsibilities of each party, ideally in a way that evens the playing field. Leases address such terms as security deposits, whether pets are allowed, the date on which rent is due, and so forth.

State rental laws typically place limits on the amount of deposit a landlord may require, how soon that deposit must be returned after a lease is terminated, and other rules. Additionally, both state and federal laws prohibit discrimination against tenants and prospective tenants.

New Hampshire Lease and Rental Agreement Laws at a Glance

In the absence of a written contract, property rentals in New Hampshire are considered at-will, with rent payable on demand. Deposits may not be more than one month's rent, and must be returned within 30 days of the lease termination.

The following table lists additional details about New Hampshire lease and rental agreement laws. See FindLaw's Rental and Lease Agreements section for more articles.

Code Section 540:1; 540-A:6, 7; 354-A:1, 15
Terms of Leases Every tenancy shall be deemed to be at-will and rent payable on demand absent contrary contract shown
Lawful Reasons for Lease Termination by Landlord
  • Neglect or refusal to pay rent due and in arrears, upon demand.
  • Substantial damage to the premises by the tenant, members of his household, or guests.
  • Failure of the tenant to comply with a material term of the lease.
  • Behavior of the tenant or members of his family which adversely affects the health or safety of the other tenants or the landlord or his representatives, or failure of the tenant to accept suitable temporary relocation due to lead-based paint hazard abatement.
  • Other good cause.
  • The dwelling unit contains a lead exposure-hazard which the owner will abate by:
    (1) Methods other than interim controls or encapsulation;
    (2) Any other method which can reasonably be expected to take more than 30 days to perform; or
    (3) Removing the dwelling unit from the residential rental market.
  • Willful failure by the tenant to prepare the unit for remediation of an infestation of insects or rodents, including bed bugs, after receipt of reasonable written notice of the required preparations and reasonable time to complete them.
Deposits Limit 1 month rent or $100, whichever is greater. Interest on deposit required and must be returned to tenant if he holds the deposit for one year or longer; deposit must be returned within 30 days
Discrimination No discrimination on basis of age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, physical/mental disability, national origin, familial status; retirement communities exempted
Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted? No

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation, decisions from higher courts, and other means. You should contact a New Hampshire landlord-tenant law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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