Landlord Rights in New Mexico

By Tiffany Garden
New Mexico Sunset image by Carlos Queral from Fotolia.com

New Mexico has a section of laws called the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act. These laws provide legal definitions for many terms used in rental agreements and regulations for rental agreements. A New Mexico landlord's rights are established with these laws, along with methods of legal recourse during resident disputes.

Application

When a tenant submits a rental unit application, the landlord has the right to run a background check and credit report. The landlord is allowed to reject an application if the tenant has poor credit or there is criminal history reported on the background check. This is not considered a form of discrimination.

Security Deposits

Security deposits are used if an apartment is damaged or needs heavy cleaning after a renter moves out. This does not cover typical wear and tear, as New Mexico law considers that the landlord's responsibility. The landlord has the right to set any security deposit amount that he wishes. It usually works out to approximately one month's rent payment.

Right of Entry

The rental unit is the tenant's possession during the lease agreement, but the landlord retains a restricted right of entry in certain situations. New Mexico's landlord-tenant laws allow a landlord to enter with advance 24-hour notice and tenant permission for repairs, requested tenant services, emergency repairs, inspecting and showing the rental unit.

Termination

The landlord has the right to terminate the rental agreement under several circumstances. Periodic tenancies, such as month-to-month agreements, auto-renew at the end of each term. A landlord can stop the auto-renewing by delivering a termination notice. New Mexico requires the notice period to equal to the rental term.

Tenants in fixed term leases are protected against rental agreement terminations in most cases. There are a few situations where the landlord has the right to terminate: nonpayment of rent, failing to live up to the lease contract or causing problems that threaten health or safety. The landlord can terminate the lease agreement in three days for nonpayment and seven days for all other reasons.

Eviction

The landlord has the right to file for an eviction action if the tenant does not leave after his lease is terminated. The landlord can sue for possession of the rental unit and file for payment of back rent. Filing for an eviction order is the only way that a landlord can legally repossess his rental unit in New Mexico while the tenant lives there.