New Mexico Tenant Rights Laws

Whether you live in the heart of Albuquerque or way out in Columbus, you probably hope to avoid all of the pitfalls often associated with renting a home. However, if you do run into issues, New Mexico has a number of laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship in addition to federal and local laws. Read on to learn more about New Mexico's tenant rights laws.

Tenant Rights: Repairs, Security Deposits, and More

New Mexico's human rights laws protect you against discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics. And once your tenancy begins, your landlord must keep the unit in a habitable condition by complying with housing codes materially affecting health and safety, making repairs necessary to keep the premises safe, and other obligations.

Regarding your security deposit, you can't be charged more than one months' rent if the rental period is for less than one year. If it's over a year and the security deposit is more than one months' rent, your landlord must pay you annual interest on the amount. At the end of your tenancy, the landlord has 30 days to return your deposit along with a written list of deductions taken out.

These and other laws are designed to protect you within the landlord-tenant relationship. Therefore, it's also good to know that your landlord may not retaliate against you by raising the rent or evicting you simply because you requested repairs or complained about code violations.

New Mexico Tenant Rights Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of New Mexico state laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship, including links to key statutes.

Statutes

Security Deposits

  • Limit: No more than one months’ rent for rental agreements of less than one year
  • Must return all or part of the security deposit and itemized, written list of deductions within 30 days of termination of rental agreement or tenant's departure, whichever is later
  • Part or all may be used for:
    • Damages beyond normal wear and tear
    • Unpaid rent or utility bills
    • Damages from breach of rental agreement

Paying Rent

  • May not raise rent during lease term (e.g. 1 year lease) unless lease allows; 30 days' notice for month-to-month tenancy or before end of fixed-term lease

Living Conditions

  • With 24 hours' notice (exceptions apply), landlord may enter unit for certain reasons including:
    • To make necessary or agreed repairs
    • Inspection
    • Supply necessary or agreed services
    • Exhibit unit to prospective purchasers or residents
    • Emergency (no notice or consent required)
  • Landlord must comply with minimum housing codes materially affecting health and safety; keep premises in safe condition; maintain plumbing, heating, air conditioning etc.
  • Landlord and tenant may agree to other repair and maintenance terms under certain conditions

Discrimination

  • No discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation, or physical or mental handicap (exceptions apply)

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Landlord must give notice to terminate the tenancy:
    • Month-to-month: 30 days
    • Week-to-week: seven days
    • Eviction: three days for failure to pay rent; seven days for noncompliance with rental agreement
  • Eviction: court order required

Retaliation

  • Landlord may not retaliate against tenant for exercising tenant rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New Mexico Tenant Rights Laws: Related Resources

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