This is a summary of New Mexico Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the New Mexico Statutes and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about New Mexico landlord-tenant laws, New Mexico eviction laws, and New Mexico 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.

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Rules and Regulations Governing New Mexico Landlord-Tenant Laws

New Mexico Lease Terms Provisions

Security Deposits

  • What is the maximum allowable security deposit?

For rental agreements of a duration of less than one year, the deposit is limited to one month’s rent. Otherwise, there is no specific limit on security deposits in New Mexico, but the deposit must be reasonable. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-18(A))

  • Are security deposits required to earn interest?

Yes, but only for annual rental agreements where the deposit is greater than one month’s rent.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-18(A)(1))

  • Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account? 

No. There is no New Mexico law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account. 

  • Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?

No. There is no New Mexico 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.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-18(C))

  • Can landlords withhold security deposits?

Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover accrued rent and to repair any damages to the property caused by tenants’ failures to comply with their duties (see Tenant’s Duties).  (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-18(C))

  • Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?

Yes. Landlords must provide tenants with an itemized written list of the deductions from the deposit.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-18(C))

  • Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?

No. There is no New Mexico law requiring landlords to issue receipts for security deposits.

  • Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?

No. There is no New Mexico law specifying record-keeping requirements.

  • What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?

The 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, is be liable to the resident for court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees, forfeits the right to assert an independent action against the resident for damages to the rental property. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-18(D))

Rent

  • Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)

No. There are no rent control laws in New Mexico.

  • When is rent due?

Rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by the landlord and tenant. Unless they agree to a different arrangement, rent is due at the beginning of the month and will be paid in equal monthly installments. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-15(B))

  • Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?

No. There is no New Mexico law requiring a certain payment method for rent.

Fees

  • Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?

Yes. Landlords can charge late fees up to 10% of the total rent for the rental period that is paid late.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-15(D))

  • Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?

No. There is no New Mexico law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.

  • Can landlords charge application fees?

Yes. There is no New Mexico law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

New Mexico Landlord-Tenant Relations

Notices

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases?

Yes. An owner may increase the rent payable by the resident in a month-to-month residency by providing written notice to the resident of the proposed increase at least thirty days.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-15(F))

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?

No. There is no New Mexico 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?

No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease.

  • What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic tenancy?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 7 days written notice. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-37(A))

  • What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic tenancy?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 30 days written notice.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-37(B))

  • Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?

There is no statute in New Mexico law covering this issue. 

Entry Provisions

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
    • To inspect the premises. 
    • To make necessary or agreed to repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements.
    • To supply necessary or agreed services. 
    • To show the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-24(A))
  • What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?

The landlord must provide 24 hours’ notice. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-24(A)(1))

Landlord’s Duties  (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-20(A))

  • Landlords must comply with applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
  • Landlords must make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a habitable condition.
  • Landlords must keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
  • Landlords must maintain in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord.
  • Landlords must provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for the removal of garbage and arrange for their removal.
  • Landlords must supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat.

Tenant’s Duties (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-22)

  • Tenants must comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
  • Tenants must keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permits.
  • Tenants must dispose of all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste cleanly and safely.
  • Tenants must keep all plumbing fixtures as clean as their condition permits.
  • Tenants must use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises in a reasonable manner;
  • Tenants must not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises; or knowingly permit any person to do so.
  • Tenants and their guests must conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • Tenants must 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.
  • Tenants must not knowingly commit or consent to any other person knowingly committing a substantial violation.

Required Landlord Disclosures

  • Landlords are required to disclose in writing the names and business addresses of: 
    • the person authorized to manage the premises.
    • the owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for service of process and receiving notices. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-19(A))
  • 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.

New Mexico Renters’ Rights

  • What are New Mexico renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)

If a landlord’s failure to comply with the rental agreement or 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 7 days of receiving notice,  the lease will terminate. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-27.1(A))

  • Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?

Yes. If there is a violation of the landlord’s duties other than a failure or defect in an amenity, the renter may deliver a written notice to the landlord identifying the issue(s). If the landlord does not remedy the breach within 7 days of receiving notice,  the tenant may deduct one-third of the pro-rata daily rent for each day from the date the resident notified the owner of the conditions needing repair, through the day the conditions in the notice are remedied or one hundred percent of the rent for each day from the date the resident notified the owner of the conditions needing repair until the date the breach is cured if the dwelling is uninhabitable and the resident does not inhabit the dwelling unit as a result of the condition. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-27.2(A))

  • What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their New Mexico renter’s rights?

New Mexico law prohibits landlords from increasing rent, decreasing services, or bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession if the tenant engages in protected activity such as complaining to a governmental agency, exercising the tenant’s rights, or organizing or joining a tenant’s union or similar organization. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-39(A))

New Mexico Eviction Laws

  • What notice do New Mexico eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
    • For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must give a 3-day notice to pay before starting the eviction process. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(D))
  • For evictions based on violations of the lease terms or a breach in the tenant’s duties, the landlord must give a 7-day notice to cure the breach before starting the eviction process. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(A))
  • For evictions based on illegal activity, landlords must give a 3-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(I))
  • For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide the notice required to end the tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-37(C))
  • Do New Mexico 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 Mexico prohibits self-help eviction methods. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-36)

COVID-19 Changes to New Mexico Landlord-Tenant Laws

  • The CDC has passed a national eviction ban through December 31, 2020, that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants  who meet the following criteria for nonpayment:
    • Have used their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent.
    • Expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return).
    • Are unable to pay their full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of income or employment, or extraordinary medical bills.
    • If evicted, will have no other housing options.
  • The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires landlords to provide a 30-day notice to tenants before eviction. However, the CARES Act only applies to properties that are supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the United States Treasury (Low Income Housing Tax Credit), and properties with federally-backed mortgages, such as FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

Related Links

Government 

Legal Aid

Attorney Referral Services

Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations

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