New Mexico Renters Rights That Landlords Should Know
Under New Mexico law, renters are not required to pay any rent for days that pass until they move into a rental unit. If a unit is not available when promised, a renter has the right to give the landlord a written notice that the rental agreement has been terminated. This entitles a renter to a return of all prepaid rent and deposits. Renters also have the right to sue landlords in this situation for possession of the property and pursue damages if delivery does not happen in 7 days. Here are some of the other renters rights in New Mexico that landlords should know about.
1. There Is a Cap On Late Fees/Charges.
If a renter misses a rental payment, then New Mexico caps the maximum late fee that can be charged to 10% of the rent that is due for the most recent period. For a rental unit at $1,000 per month, this means the late fee cannot exceed $100.
2. Renters Have The Right To Have Appliances Maintained.
Landlords are not obligated to supply any appliances. This includes dishwashers, refrigerators, or air conditioning items. Only if a landlord does supply these items are they held responsible to maintain them.
3. There Is a Right To Receive Guests.
Landlords are not permitted to charge a guest fee to tenants who have a reasonable number of guests for a reasonable amount of time. The term “reasonable” is not defined by statutes, but a lease can dictate what defines a guest and what defines a reasonable amount of time.
4. Tenants With Disabilities Are Allowed Service Animals.
Renters that have a diagnosed disability which can be helped by a service animal are allowed to have their animal even in rental units that forbid pets. Service animals include therapeutic animals for people with a diagnosed mental disability.
5. The Return Of a Holding Deposit.
A landlord is allowed to charge a holding deposit to protect themselves against a tenant that does not move into a rental unit. They are not allowed to collect double rent. A holding deposit can either be returned to the tenant after move-in or applied to the rent that is owed for the first period.
These renters rights in New Mexico are just a brief summary of what is permitted or expected of landlords. For specific questions about your situation not covered here, be sure to check the NMSA statutes which govern your issue.
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