State Rules and Regulations for New Hampshire Rental Properties and Landlords
In New Hampshire, a lease can be either written or oral. According to New Hampshire law (RSA Tit. III Ch. 48-A), this agreements grants certain rights to the tenants, such as the right to a habitable dwelling and the right to seek out housing without discrimination, among others.
Landlords also have certain rights, such as the right to collect rent in a timely manner and to be reimbursed for damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
New Hampshire Official Rules and Regulations
- N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540 – Actions Against Tenants
- N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 508 – Limitation of Actions
- N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 205-A – Regulations of Manufactured Housing Parks
- Attorney General’s Consumer Sourcebook on Renting, Security Deposits, and Evictions
New Hampshire Security Deposit Limit and Return
- Maximum Security Deposit. Yes. A landlord is permitted to charge a tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent for a security deposit or $100, whichever is greater. If the tenant and landlord share the rental property, New Hampshire does not impose a statutory limit on the amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit. NH Rev Stat §§ 540-A:5 to 540-A:8; 540-B:10.
- Security Deposit Interest: A landlord is required to pay interest on any and all security deposits held for a year or longer. NH Rev Stat §§ 540-A:5 to 540-A:8; 540-B:10.
- Return of Security Deposit: A landlord is required to return a tenant’s security deposit within 30 days after the tenant has vacated the rental property. If the landlord and tenant share the rental property and the security deposit is greater than 30 days’ rent, the landlord must provide a written agreement which specifies the time-frame in which the security deposit must be returned. If the landlord fails to provide a written agreement, the deadline for the security deposit to be returned is 20 days after the tenant vacates the rental property. NH Rev Stat §§ 540-A:5 to 540-A:8; 540-B:10.
- Receipt: A landlord must provide the tenant with a receipt that states the amount of the security deposit and the name of the financial institution where the deposit is being held (unless the tenant has paid with a check). NH Rev Stat §§ 540-A:5 to 540-A:8; 540-B:10.
- Exceptions to Security Deposit Laws: All laws related to security deposits do not apply to landlords who lease a single-family residence and own no other rental property. The security deposit laws also do not apply to landlords who lease property in an owner-occupied building of five or fewer units (with the exception of rental units in the premises who are occupied by a person 60 years of age or older). NH Rev Stat §§ 540-A:5 to 540-A:8; 540-B:10.
Lease, Rent & Fees Under New Hampshire Law
- Rent Is Due: Rent payable upon demand, unless otherwise different in a contract. Check your lease terms. (§§ 540:1)
- Rent Increase Notice: 30 days (§§ 540:2(IV))
- Rent Grace Period: No statute. Check your lease terms.
- Late Fees: No statute. Check your lease terms.
- Application Fees: No statute.
- Prepaid Rent: No statute
- Returned Check Fees: Issuer must pay the amount of the check, together with all costs and protest fees within 14 days after having received notice that payment was refused. If payment is not made in full within 14 days, it could be considered a felony. (§§ 638:4(III) and (IV))
- Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): If landlord tries to evict for nonpayment of rent and the premises are in violation of health and safety codes materially affecting habitability, tenant may block the eviction by proving that, while not in arrears in rent, notice of the violation was given and the landlord failed to correct the violations within 14 days. Other stipulations apply, read §§ 540:13(d) for more information.
- Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No statute
- Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes (§§ 358-A:10)
- Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: No statute
- Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute
Evictions in New Hampshire
New Hampshire landlords are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of rent – If a New Hampshire tenant fails to pay rent then the landlord may issue a 7-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. If the tenants still fail to pay, then the landlord may file a Summons and Complaint with a local court.
- Lease violation – If a lease violation occurs, then a tenant is entitled to receive a 30-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. If these terms are not met within the notice period, then the landlord may pursue formal eviction.
- Illegal acts – New Hampshire law does not establish illegal acts as justification for eviction. Nevertheless, language in almost all lease agreements have provisions for evictable illegal offenses. It’s customary for landlords to issue a 7-Day Notice to Quit.
At-will tenants are entitled to at least 30 days’ notice before being evicted. It is illegal to evict tenants as a form of retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Notices and Entry Under New Hampshire Law
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: 30 days (§§ 540:3(II))
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Yearly Lease with No End Date: 30 days (§§ 540:3(II))
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30 days (§§ 540:3(II))
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: 30 days (§§ 540:3(II))
- Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: No statute
- Notice of Termination of Lease for Nonpayment: 7 days. (§§ 540:3(II)) Tenant may remedy the situation by paying rent in full within 7 days, plus $15 and other damages, but may not use this action more than three times in a 12-month period. (§§ 540:9)
- Termination for Lease Violation: 30 days (§§ 540:3(II))
- Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute
- Required Notice before Entry: Whatever is adequate under the circumstances. (§§ 540-A:3(V)) I recommend giving at least 24 hours notice.
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Allowed (§§ 540-A:3(V))
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Allowed (§§ 540-A:3(V))
- Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Allowed (§§ 540-A:3(IV))
- Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute
- Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute
- Lockouts Allowed: No (§§ 540-A:3(II))
- Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (§§ 540-A:3(I))
- Penalty for Self-Help Eviction: $1000 or actual damages, whichever is greater. If self-help eviction was a willful or knowing violation, the fine could be three times (3x) the damages. (§§ 358-A:10)
Mandatory Disclosures in New Hampshire
New Hampshire landlords must give only one mandatory disclosure:
- Lead-based paint. Landlords that own properties built before 1978 must provide information about concentrations of lead paint.
- Business License Required: No statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority. For example, Manchester requires all residential rental property to have a Certificate of Compliance in accordance with the housing code.
- Registration Requirements: An owner, within 30 days of becoming the owner, must file a statement with the town or city clerk, the name and contact information of a person within the state who is authorized to accept service of process for any legal proceeding brought against the owner relating to the restricted property. Such person authorized to accept service may be the owner of the premises. (§§ 540:1(b))
- New Hampshire Small Claims Court
- New Hampshire State Courts
- New Hampshire State Courts (Alternative Dispute Resolution)
- New Hampshire Supreme Court
- New Hampshire Attorney General
- New Hampshire Bar Association
- New Hampshire Bar Association – Attorney Referral Service
- New Hampshire Attorney General– Consumer Sourcebook, Landlord Tenant Law
- New Hampshire Courts – Landlord Tenant Procedure
- US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development: Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections: New Hampshire