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New Hampshire Lease Agreements & Landlord-Tenant Law

New Hampshire is consistently voted as the best state to live in for good reason! New Hampshire has something for everyone. From the coastline to the mountains, no matter what activities you enjoy, you’ll find it in New Hampshire. It is also ranked among the top five states for education, has an excellent economy, and has a low crime rate. Because of these reasons, New Hampshire is a great state for those looking to relocate, and in turn, a great place to invest in rental properties.

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Laws that impact the rental market, landlords, and tenants are constantly being decided in states. Make sure you know what’s on your ballot – find New Hampshire voting information.

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New Hampshire Renters’ Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

  • Have 30 days to return security deposit
  • A 30-day notice required before raising rent
  • Must give a reasonable amount of notice before entering
  • Required to make repairs within 14 days

When it comes to New Hampshire rental laws, there are a few specifics landlords need to know:

  1. Security Deposit – Landlords can charge a security deposit equal to one month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater.
  2. Raising Rent – Landlords in New Hampshire may increase the rent to any amount for any reason with a 30-day notice.
  3. Notice of Entry – New Hampshire requires landlords to give reasonable notice before entering the property.
  4. Repairs – It is the landlord’s responsibility to keep the rental in safe and healthy living conditions. Landlords must make repairs within 14 days after being notified by the tenant. If the landlord fails to make repairs within this time frame, tenants may withhold rent.

  1. Overdue Rent – If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord must give them seven days’ notice to pay or quit. If the tenant fails to pay, the landlord may file for eviction.
  2. Terminating a Lease – If a tenant needs to terminate a month-to-month lease, they must give the landlord a 30-day notice.
  3. Tenant Responsibilities – Tenants are required to keep the property clean, not disturb neighbors, and make small repairs.
  4. Abandoned Property – If a tenant moves out and leaves personal property, the landlord must notify them and store the property for a minimum of seven days. After this time period, if the ex-tenant has not claimed it, the landlord may dispose of it how they see fit.

Rental Application Fees: New Hampshire doesn’t cap the price of rental applications.

Discrimination: New Hampshire adds protections against discrimination for age and marital status.

Criminal Background Check:

  • HUD (Federal) laws do not classify criminal backgrounds as a protected class, but making a decision to rent based off a criminal background alone could lead to a discrimination charge as it impacts certain protected groups of people disproportionately.
    • However, if the criminal background check revealed a crime for the manufacture and distribution of drugs, homicide and/or stalking, denying the application is allowed.
  • Landlords should have a consistent and equal policy or procedure in place to follow regarding criminal background checks so as not to discriminate against one class of people over another.
  • HUD states that a landlord cannot ask about arrest records, only convictions, as innocent people are commonly arrested though the situation may not have resulted in a conviction.
  • Some municipalities may have written their own laws expanding onto what you can and cannot ask regarding criminal backgrounds during the tenant screening process.

If a security deposit is collected, the landlord is required to give notice on the receipt of the tenant’s right to notify landlord of any condition requiring repair or correction within five days of taking occupancy.

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New Hampshire Lease Agreement Sample

There are three sections to a residential lease agreement. The first section outlines the custom details of the contract, such as who’s involved and for what address. Here’s an example New Hampshire lease agreement listing details found in Section 1:

New Hampshire lease agreement

New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ

Below are answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to landlord-tenant laws in New Hampshire:

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Can You Withhold Rent in New Hampshire?

Yes. Tenants may withhold rent if a landlord fails to make requested repairs.

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in New Hampshire?

Evicting a tenant in New Hampshire can take anywhere from one to two months, depending on the reason for eviction.

Is New Hampshire a Landlord-Friendly State?

New Hampshire is a somewhat landlord-friendly state because of the lack of rent control laws.

What is the Eviction Process in New Hampshire?

There are seven reasons a landlord may file for eviction in New Hampshire. The seven reasons include failure to pay rent, violation of the lease agreement, the end of the lease term, substantial property damage, failure to accept temporary relocation, failure to prepare the unit for remediation, and illegal activity. Depending on the violation, the landlord must give the tenant notice and anywhere from 7 to 30 days to cure their violation.

If the tenant fails to cure or quit, then the landlord may file a complaint with the court, which costs $125. After the complaint is filed, it will be served to the tenant.

After the tenant is served with the summons, the hearing will be scheduled within 10 days.

If the court rules in favor of the landlord, then a writ of possession will be issued at least five days later. The tenant will then need to move out, although the law doesn’t specify how long the tenant has.

How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give a Tenant to Move Out in New Hampshire?

Landlords must give a 30-day notice before asking a tenant to vacate the property.

Due Diligence and New Hampshire Rental Laws

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TurboTenant has utilized many municipal sources along with official state statutes in order to compile this information to the best of our ability. However, local laws are always in flux, and landlords and tenants alike should do their due diligence and consult legal help when it’s needed. We hope the following list can serve as a valuable resource and allow you to succeed as a landlord or tenant in New Hampshire. Be sure to take proper precautions when it comes to finding the top candidates for your unit by utilizing our online rental application and tenant screening services.

Disclaimer: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state, and federal laws, and consult legal counsel should questions arise.

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New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Law Resources

New Hampshire Fair Housing Resources

Other State Resources

New Hampshire Associations

New Hampshire City-Specific Housing Resources

Manchester

Nashua

Concord

Derry

Dover

Rochester

Salem

Federal Fair Housing Resources

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