New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Law: An Overview
New Hampshire landlord-tenant law regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants in the state. The New Hampshire rental laws cover issues such as security deposits, lease agreements, and eviction procedures. In particular, the New Hampshire eviction laws set out the process that landlords must follow to evict a tenant, including notice requirements and court procedures. It is essential for both landlords and tenants in New Hampshire to be familiar with the state’s landlord-tenant laws to ensure that their rights and obligations are protected.
New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Law: FAQs
Let’s understand New Hampshire landlord-tenant law and regulations through the following –
Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
A landlord may establish a “No Smoking” policy by providing so in the lease.
Can I require my tenants to obtain renter’s insurance?
Landlords may require tenants to obtain rental insurance, and could make the failure to do so a breach of the lease.
May I charge a returned payment fee?
Landlords may assess a collection fee for a dishonored payment of no more than $25, unless otherwise authorized by written agreement with the tenant.
What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
At times landlords may try claiming deductions for items that are often characterized by the court as normal wear and tear. This situation may be prevented by realistically evaluating each deduction, providing proof of damage, as well as including repair receipts and pictures.
What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?
In New Hampshire, a landlord who owns more than 6 units can asses a security deposit of no more than one month’s rent or $100, whichever is larger.
- Upon receiving a deposit, the landlord is required to give the tenant a signed receipt stating the amount of the deposit and specifying the place where the deposit will be held. During the term of the lease, a landlord is also required to provide specific information regarding the deposit upon request.
- A landlord who holds a security deposit for a period of one year or longer shall pay interest on the deposit at a rate equal to the interest rate paid on regular savings accounts in the New Hampshire bank savings and loan association, or credit union in which it is deposited; commencing from the date the landlord receives the deposit.
- Tenants may request the accrued interest on a security deposit every 3 years ( 30 days before the expiration of that year’s tenancy). The landlord shall comply with the request within 15 days of the expiration of that year’s tenancy.
Please Note: A person who rents or leases a single-family residence or who rents or leases rental units in an owner-occupied building of 5 units or less, shall not be considered a “landlord” for the purposes of this subdivision (except for any individual unit in such building which is occupied by a person or persons 60 years of age or older).
How can I end a New Hampshire lease agreement?
30 Days notice is required by statute to end a lease agreement.
My tenant has moved out, what shall I do with their security deposit?
The security deposit and/or the balance, including an itemized list, must be returned to the tenant within 30 days.
Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?
A landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable. Additionally, a tenant may seek release from a rental agreement with the court when a landlord does not abide by the state’s landlord obligations.
How long does the eviction process take?
As with any legal matter, exact timing is almost impossible as it depends on many factors. Overall, with no complications, the eviction process usually takes approximately 4-5 weeks.
How do I tell if my tenant has “skipped” out of the apartment?
In New Hampshire there are specific procedures to follow and a notice to send out if you believe your tenant has abandoned the rental unit and lease agreement. The New Hampshire Tenant Abandonment Letter provides the proper notice and follows the requirements in these circumstances.
Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?
Landlords may not enter the leased premises without prior notice and consent, except in cases of emergency and to make repairs.
Aside from the lease agreement, are there any additional documents necessary?
If the leased premises was constructed prior to 1978, the landlord must provide all tenants with the Lead-Based Paint EPA Disclosure and the Lead-Based Paint EPA Pamphlet.
Is New Hampshire a landlord-friendly state?
New Hampshire is considered to be a relatively landlord-friendly state. The state laws do not impose many additional regulations or restrictions on landlords compared to other states. For example, New Hampshire does not have rent control laws, limits on security deposits, or strict eviction procedures. Landlords have more flexibility in setting rental terms, such as the amount of rent, the length of the lease, and the terms for renewing or ending the lease.
Moreover, the state does not have strict rules regarding the time frame for landlords to make repairs or how much notice landlords must give tenants before raising the rent or before entering a rental unit.
It’s important to note that, even though New Hampshire is considered a landlord-friendly state, landlords still must follow state and federal laws and regulations, such as the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability, among other things. Landlords are also required to keep their rental properties in a safe and habitable condition and must follow proper eviction procedures when a tenant violates the lease agreement or fails to pay rent.
What are tenant rights in New Hampshire?
As per New Hampshire landlord-tenant law, tenants have the right to a safe and habitable living space, as outlined in the warranty of habitability. Landlords are required to make necessary repairs in a timely manner and maintain common areas. Tenants also have the right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of their rental unit. Landlords must provide proper notice before entering the rental unit, usually at least 24 hours in advance. Additionally, tenants cannot be evicted without a valid reason and proper legal process, such as non-payment of rent or violation of the lease agreement.
Tenants also have the right to withhold rent if necessary repairs are not made by the landlord and the right to sue the landlord for any damages caused by the landlord’s failure to maintain the unit. Tenants also have the right to terminate the lease if the landlord fails to comply with the warranty of habitability.
It’s important to note that, in New Hampshire, tenants are also responsible for keeping the rental unit in a clean and safe condition and for not causing damage to the unit or the property. Tenants must also comply with all terms of the lease agreement, such as paying rent on time and giving proper notice before vacating the unit.
How much notice does a landlord have to give in New Hampshire?
In New Hampshire, the amount of notice a landlord must give a tenant before ending a tenancy depends on the type of tenancy and the reason for the eviction.
For a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord must give the tenant 30 days’ notice before ending the tenancy, unless the lease agreement states otherwise.
For a fixed-term lease, the notice period is typically outlined in the lease agreement. If the lease agreement does not specify the notice period, the landlord must give the tenant notice equal to the time period between rent payments.
A seven-day notice is required for any eviction due to unpaid rent, property damage, or a threat to the health or safety of others. 30 days notice is required for eviction for any other reasons.
What is a landlord responsible for in New Hampshire?
In New Hampshire, landlords have certain responsibilities towards their tenants, which are outlined in state law. Some of the key responsibilities of landlords in New Hampshire include:
- Providing a safe and habitable living environment: Landlords must ensure that the rental property is safe, sanitary, and in compliance with all applicable housing codes and regulations.
- Maintaining the property: Landlords are responsible for keeping the rental property in good repair, including plumbing, heating, and electrical systems.
- Providing essential services: Landlords must provide essential services such as hot water, heat, and electricity to their tenants.
- Handling security deposits: Landlords must follow certain procedures when collecting and returning security deposits, including providing written notice of any deductions.
- Respecting tenants’ privacy: Landlords must respect their tenants’ privacy rights and provide reasonable notice before entering the rental property.
- Disclosing important information: Landlords must disclose important information about the rental property, such as lead paint hazards and any known defects or problems.
What is the most a landlord can raise the rent in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire does not have any statewide rent control laws that limit the amount by which a landlord can increase rent. Landlords are generally free to raise the rent by any amount as long as they provide proper notice to the tenant.
In the absence of rent control laws, tenants should review their leases carefully to understand their rights and obligations. If a tenant feels that a rent increase is unfair or unreasonable, they may try to negotiate with the landlord or seek legal advice from an attorney or a local tenant advocacy organization.
How long does a landlord have to fix something in New Hampshire?
In New Hampshire, a landlord has up to fourteen days to make repairs in accordance with the state’s Landlord and Tenant Act. The tenant must give the landlord written notice of any defect that requires repair. A tenant should also provide copies of receipts, canceled checks, or other proof they paid for the repair if they do it themselves.
If a tenant believes an emergency situation exists—such as a collapsed roof, sewer backup, or no heat or electricity—they can call their local health inspector and file a complaint against their landlord. The inspector will then order the repairs to be made within 48 hours.
In New Hampshire, how long does it take to evict a renter?
In New Hampshire, the eviction process can take several weeks to several months, depending on the circumstances of the case.
The eviction process typically begins with the landlord giving the tenant a written notice to quit, which specifies the reason for the eviction and gives the tenant a certain amount of time to vacate the premises. The amount of time given in the notice to quit varies depending on the reason for the eviction but is typically 7 to 30 days.
If the tenant does not vacate the premises after the notice to quit period expires, the landlord can file a lawsuit for eviction in the local court. The court will schedule a hearing, where both the landlord and the tenant can present evidence and arguments.
If the court finds in favor of the landlord, it will issue an order of eviction. The tenant may have a short period of time, usually 24 to 48 hours, to vacate the premises voluntarily. If the tenant does not vacate, the landlord can request a writ of possession from the court, which allows a sheriff or constable to physically remove the tenant and their belongings from the premises.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.