New Mexico Landlord-Tenant Law

The Land of Enchantment is the perfect nickname for the state of New Mexico. From the diverse culture, warm climate, and unique landscape, New Mexico can be home to anyone from any background. New Mexico is also one of the more affordable states, with housing costing 5% lower than the national average. For this reason, New Mexico is a great place to invest in rental properties.


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 Mexico voting information.

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New Mexico Renters’ Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

  • Must return security deposit within 30 days
  • Must provide 24-hour notice before entering
  • Disclose whether they will charge non-refundable fees
  • Make repairs within seven days of being notified

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

  1. Security Deposits – Landlords may only charge up to one month of rent as a security deposit and must return it to the tenant within 30 days of the move-out date.
  2. Notice of Entry – Landlords must provide tenants with a 24-hour notice before entering the property unless it is an emergency.
  3. Disclosures – In New Mexico, landlords must disclose certain information. This includes if they will charge any nonrefundable fees, shared utilities, and the smoking policy.
  4. Repairs – Landlords must make repairs within seven days of being notified by the tenant. If they do not, tenants may withhold rent.
  5. Rent – New Mexico prohibits rent control on state and local levels, so landlords may charge whatever they deem reasonable for rent. There are also no limits for raising rent, but they must notify month-to-month tenants at least 30 days before the new rent takes effect.

New Mexico Landlords’ Rights and Tenant Responsibilities

  • Late fees are limited to 10% of the monthly rent
  • Renters must claim abandoned property within 30 days of moving out
  • Tenants are responsible for keeping the space clean and habitable
  • Not required to provide written notice of terminating a fixed lease

  1. Late Fees – If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, landlords may charge a late fee. This late fee cannot exceed 10% of the monthly rent. Landlords may also charge a $25 fee for bounced checks.
  2. Abandoned Property – If a tenant leaves personal belongings after moving out, the landlord must store them for 30 days and send the tenant a written notice. If the tenant fails to claim the property and it is worth less than $100, the landlord may dispose of the property however they see fit. If the items are worth more than $100, the landlord may sell or keep the property.
  3. Tenants Responsibilities – Beyond paying rent on time, tenants must also keep the property clean and safe. If damages occur outside of normal wear and tear, it is the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the property.
  4. Lease Termination – In New Mexico, tenants are not required to provide written notice of terminating a fixed lease. For a week-to-week lease, they are required to give a seven-day written notice. For a month-to-month lease, they are required to give a 30-day notice.

Rental Application Fees

There are no additional rental application fee laws in New Mexico.

Criminal Background Check

New Mexico criminal background checks can only go back seven years.

Security Deposit

Landlord can charge up to one month’s rent for lease term of one year or shorter. There is no limit on the amount of a security deposit charge for longer term leases as long as it’s reasonable.

Late Fees

If a landlord wants to charge a late fee in New Mexico, it must be stated in the lease agreement. There is no grace period requirement, and landlords can charge up to a 10% late fee on any rent due.


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New Mexico Lease Agreement Example

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 Mexico lease agreement listing details found in Section 1:

new mexico lease agreement

New Mexico Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ

Below are brief answers for some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to landlord-tenant law in New Mexico.

Can You Withhold Rent in New Mexico?

Yes, if the landlord fails to make repairs within seven days of being notified.

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

If a tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord must give them a written notice and three days to make the payment. For a lease violation, the landlord must issue a seven-day notice. For illegal acts, they are required to give a three-day notice.

Is New Mexico a Landlord-Friendly State?

New Mexico is a somewhat landlord-friendly state. New Mexico has no limits for what landlords may charge for rent and may file for eviction sooner than in other states.

What is the Eviction Process in New Mexico?

There are three reasons a landlord may file for eviction in New Mexico. The three reasons include failure to pay rent, violation of the lease agreement, and illegal acts. For failure to pay rent or illegal acts, the landlord must give a three-day notice to cure before they can file for eviction.

For a violation of the lease, they are required to give a seven-day notice to cure before being able to file for eviction. After the eviction is filed and served, a court date is set anywhere from seven to ten days later. If the judge rules for eviction, then a writ of restitution will be served within a few hours to a few days. The entire eviction process in New Mexico can take anywhere from two to seven weeks.

Can a landlord require renters insurance in New Mexico?

Yes, a landlord or property manager can require renters insurance in New Mexico.

Due Diligence and New Mexico Rental Laws


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 be sure to 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 Mexico. 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 Mexico Landlord-Tenant Law Resources

New Mexico Fair Housing Resources

Other State Resources

New Mexico Associations

New Mexico City-Specific Housing Resources


Las Cruces

Rio Rancho

Santa Fe



South Valley

Federal Fair Housing Resources

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