This is a summary of New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the New Hampshire Revised Statutes, and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about New Hampshire landlord-tenant laws, New Hampshire eviction laws, and New Hampshire renters’ rights.
However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.
Rules and Regulations Governing New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Laws
- N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540 – Actions Against Tenants
- N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 508 – Limitation of Actions
- N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 205-A – Regulations of Manufactured Housing Parks
New Hampshire Lease Terms Provisions
- These security deposit rules do not apply to a person who rents or leases a single-family residence and owns no other rental property or who rents or leases rental units in an owner-occupied building of 5 units or less, except for any individual unit in such building which is occupied by a person or persons 60 years of age or older. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:5(I))
- What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
The security deposit cannot exceed the greater of one month’s rent or $100.(N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:6(I)(a))
- Are security deposits required to earn interest?
Yes, if the landlord holds a security deposit for one year or longer. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:6(IV)(a))
- Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account?
Yes. Security deposits cannot be mingled with the landlord’s personal funds. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:6(II)(a))
- Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?
No. There is no New Hampshire law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- How long do landlords have to return security deposits?
30 days. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:7(I))
- Can landlords withhold security deposits?
Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover unpaid rent and real estate taxes and to repair any damages to the property. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:7)
- Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?
Yes. the landlord must provide a written itemized list, detailing the amount withheld and the reasons for withholding. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:7)
- Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?
Yes, with limitations. The landlord must provide the tenant with a signed receipt stating the amount of the deposit and specifying the place where the deposit or bond for the deposit will be held. However, no receipt is required when the tenant pays a security deposit with a personal check, a bank check, or a check issued by a government or nonprofit agency on behalf of the tenant. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:6(I)(b)-(c))
- Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?
Yes. For any deductions based on repairs, landlords must provide the tenant with satisfactory evidence that repair necessary to correct these damages has been or will be completed, such as receipts for purchased repair materials and labor estimates, bills, or invoices indicating the actual or estimated cost. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:7(I))
- What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?
The landlord will be liable to the tenant in damages in an amount equal to twice the sum of the amount of the security deposit plus any interest due, less any payments made and any charges owing for damages, unpaid rent, or share of real estate taxes. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:8(I)(b))
- Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)
No. There are no rent control laws in New Hampshire.
- When is rent due?
Rent is payable upon demand unless a different contract is shown. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:1)
- Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?
No. There is no New Hampshire law requiring a certain payment method for rent.
- Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?
Yes. There is no New Hampshire law forbidding late fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?
No. There is no New Hampshire law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.
- Can landlords charge application fees?
Yes. There is no New Hampshire law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Relations
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?
Yes. Landlords must provide the tenant with written notice of the amount and effective date of the rent increase at least 30 days before the effective date of the increase. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:2(IV))
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?
No. There is no New Hampshire law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.
- What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease or periodic tenancy?
30 days. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:3(II))
- Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?
There is no statute in New Hampshire law covering this issue.
- When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
- To make necessary repairs. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540A:3(V))
- To perform other reasonable and lawful functions commonly associated with the ownership of rental property. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540A:3(V))
- To evaluate whether bedbugs are present. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540A:3(V-b))
- What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?
Landlords must provide notice that is adequate under the circumstances and only enter at a reasonable time. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540A:3(V))
- When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?
- In case of an emergency. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540A:3(IV))
- Landlords must not maintain rented premises in a condition in which:
- The premises are infested by insects and rodents where the landlord is not conducting a periodic inspection and eradication program.
- The premises are infested by bed bugs and the landlord is not conducting a periodic inspection and remediation program.
- There is defective internal plumbing or a back-up of sewage caused by a faulty septic or sewage system.
- There are exposed wires, improper connectors, defective switches or outlets, or other conditions that create a danger of electrical shock or fire.
- The roof or walls leak consistently.
- The plaster is falling or has fallen from the walls or ceilings.
- The floors, walls, or ceilings contain substantial holes that seriously reduce their function or render them dangerous to the inhabitants.
- The porches, stairs, or railings are not structurally sound.
- There is an accumulation of garbage or rubbish in common areas resulting from the failure of the landlord to remove or provide a sufficient number of receptacles for storage before removal unless the tenant has agreed to be responsible for removal under the rental agreement and the landlord has removed all garbage at the beginning of the tenancy.
- There is an inadequate supply of water or whatever equipment that is available to heat water is not properly operating.
- There are leaks in any gas lines or leaks or defective pilot lights in any appliances furnished by the landlord.
- The premises do not have heating facilities that are properly installed, safely maintained, and in good working condition, or are not capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and toilet rooms located therein, to a temperature of at least an average of 65 degrees F.; or, when the landlord supplies heat in consideration for the rent, the premises are not maintained at a minimum average room temperature of 65 degrees F. in all habitable rooms. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 48-A:14)
- Landlords must not willfully violate a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of his or her tenancy. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:2)
- Landlord must investigate a tenant’s report of an infestation of insects, including bed bugs, or rodents in the premises within 7 days of such notice from the tenant or a municipal health or housing code authority, and take reasonable measures to remediate an infestation. (N.H. Rev. Stat. § 540-A:3(V-a)).
Tenant must not willfully damage the landlord’s property or prevent completion of necessary repairs or willfully deny tenants their right to quiet enjoyment of their tenancies (N.H. Rev. Stat. § 540-A:2).
Required Landlord Disclosures
- Before renting pre-1978 property, 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. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65).
New Hampshire Renters’ Rights
- Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?
Yes. If a landlord’s failure to comply with their legal duties materially affects health and safety, the renter may deliver a written notice to the landlord identifying the issue(s). If the landlord does not remedy the breach within 14 days of receiving notice, the tenant may withhold rent and use the lack of habitability as a defense if the landlord files for eviction. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:13-d(I))
- What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their New Hampshire renter’s rights?
New Hampshire law prohibits landlords from terminating or refusing to renew a lease if the tenant has complained to a governmental agency or has become involved in a tenant’s union or similar organization. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:13-a); (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:13-b)
New Hampshire Eviction Laws
- What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under New Hampshire eviction laws?
- Nonpayment of rent (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:2(II)(a))
- Substantial property damage (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:2(II)(b))
- Material violation of lease terms / rental agreement (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:2(II)(c))
- 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 (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:2(II)(d))
- Failure to accept temporary relocation for lead paint remediation (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:2(II)(d))
- Failure to prepare the rental unit for or the treatment of rodents/insects (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:2(II)(g))
- The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy) (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:3(II))
- What notice do New Hampshire eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
- For evictions based on non-payment of rent, substantial property damage, failure to accept temporary relocation, behavior that threatens health or safety, the landlord must give a 7-day notice of termination before starting the eviction process. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:3(II))
- For all other evictions, landlords must give a 30-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540:3(II))
- Do New Hampshire eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities?
No. New Hampshire law prohibits self-help evictions. (N.H. Rev. Stat § 540-A:3)
COVID-19 Changes to New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Laws
- The CDC’s national eviction ban was effective through August 26, 2021, and is no longer in place.
- The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is no longer effective.
- New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides help in the case of eviction.
Squatter’s rights in New Hampshire
Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.
New Hampshire has no specific laws recognizing squatters.
The squatter must possess the property for 20 years before obtaining adverse possession (N. H. Rev. Stat. § 508:2).
- New Hampshire Judicial Branch
- New Hampshire Attorney General
- New Hampshire Insurance Department
- New Hampshire Division of Economic Development
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – New Hampshire
Attorney Referral Services
Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations
- New Hampshire Realtors
- Greater Manchester/Nashua Board of Realtors
- Granite State South Board of Realtors
- Lakes Region Board of Realtors
- Monadnock Region Board of Realtors
- Seacoast Board of Realtors
- Strafford County Board of Realtors
- Sunapee Region Board of Realtors
- White Mountain Board of Realtors
- Durham Landlord Association
- New Hampshire Real Estate Investors Association