New Mexico Resident Relations Act Law


Landlord Tenant – Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act – New Mexico

Related New Mexico Legal Forms

New Mexico
Chapter 47 Property
ARTICLE 8

Short title.

Sections 47-8-1 through 47-8-51 NMSA 1978 may be cited as the “Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act”.  Chap. 47, Art. 8, §47-8-1.

Purpose.

The purpose of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] is to simplify, clarify, modernize and revise the law governing the rental of dwelling units and the rights and obligations of owner and resident, and to encourage the owners and the residents to maintain and improve the quality of housing in New Mexico.   Chap. 47, Art. 8, §47-8-2.

Definitions.

As used in the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978]:

A. “abandonment” means absence of the resident from the dwelling, without notice to the owner, in excess of seven continuous days; providing such absence occurs only after rent for the dwelling unit is delinquent;
B. “action” includes recoupment, counterclaim, set-off, suit in equity and any other proceeding in which rights are determined, including an action for possession;
C. “amenity” means a facility appurtenance or area supplied by the owner and the absence of which would not materially affect the health and safety of the resident or the habitability of the dwelling unit;
D. “codes” includes building codes, housing codes, health and safety codes, sanitation codes and any law, ordinance or governmental regulation concerning fitness for habitation or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy or use of a dwelling unit;
E. “deposit” means an amount of currency or instrument delivered to the owner by the resident as a pledge to abide by terms and conditions of the rental agreement;
F. “dwelling unit” means a structure, mobile home or the part of a structure, including a hotel or motel, that is used as a home, residence or sleeping place by one person who maintains a household or by two or more persons who maintain a common household and includes a parcel of land leased by its owner for use as a site for the parking of a mobile home;
G. “eviction” means any action initiated by the owner to regain possession of a dwelling unit and use of the premises under terms of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act;
H. “fair rental value” is that value that is comparable to the value established in the market place;
I. “good faith” means honesty in fact in the conduct of the transaction concerned as evidenced by all surrounding circumstances;
J. “normal wear and tear” means deterioration that occurs based upon the use for which the rental unit is intended, without negligence, carelessness, accident, abuse or intentional damage of the premises, equipment or chattels of the owner by the residents or by any other person in the dwelling unit or on the premises with the resident’s consent; however, uncleanliness does not constitute normal wear and tear;
K. “organization” includes a corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency thereof, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, two or more persons having a joint or common interest or any other legal or commercial entity;
L. “owner” means one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested:

(1) all or part of the legal title to property, but shall not include the limited partner in an association regulated under the Uniform Limited Partnership Act [Chapter 54, Article 2 NMSA 1978]; or
(2) all or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to present use and enjoyment of the premises and agents thereof and includes a mortgagee in possession and the lessors, but shall not include a person or persons, jointly or severally, who as owner leases the entire premises to a lessee of vacant land for apartment use;

M. “person” includes an individual, corporation, entity or organization;
N. “premises” means facilities, facilities and appurtenances, areas and other facilities held out for use of the resident or whose use is promised to the resident coincidental with occupancy of a dwelling unit;
O. “rent” means payments in currency or in-kind under terms and conditions of the rental agreement for use of a dwelling unit or premises, to be made to the owner by the resident, but does not include deposits;
P. “rental agreement” means all agreements between an owner and resident and valid rules and regulations adopted under Section 47-8-23 NMSA 1978 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit or premises;
Q. “resident” means a person entitled under a rental agreement to occupy a dwelling unit in peaceful possession to the exclusion of others and includes the owner of a mobile home renting premises, other than a lot or parcel in a mobile home park, for use as a site for the location of the mobile home;
R. “roomer” means a person occupying a dwelling unit that lacks a major bathroom or kitchen facility in a structure where one or more major facilities are used in common by occupants of the dwelling units. As referred to in this subsection, “major facility”, in the case of a bathroom, means toilet and either a bath or shower and, in the case of a kitchen, means refrigerator, stove or sink;
S. “single family residence” means a structure maintained and used as a single dwelling unit. Notwithstanding that a dwelling unit shares one or more walls with another dwelling unit, it is a single family residence if it has direct access to a street or thoroughfare and shares neither heating facilities, hot water equipment nor any other essential facility or service with any other dwelling unit;
T. “substantial violation” means a violation of the rental agreement or rules and regulations by the resident or occurring with the resident’s consent that occurs in the dwelling unit, on the premises or within three hundred feet of the premises and that includes the following conduct, which shall be the sole grounds for a substantial violation:

(1) possession, use, sale, distribution or manufacture of a controlled substance, excluding misdemeanor possession and use;
(2) unlawful use of a deadly weapon;
(3) unlawful action causing serious physical harm to another person;
(4) sexual assault or sexual molestation of another person;
(5) entry into the dwelling unit or vehicle of another person without that person’s permission and with intent to commit theft or assault;
(6) theft or attempted theft of the property of another person by use or threatened use of force; or
(7) intentional or reckless damage to property in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000);

U. “term” is the period of occupancy specified in the rental agreement; and
V. “transient occupancy” means occupancy of a dwelling unit for which rent is paid on less than a weekly basis or where the resident has not manifested an intent to make the dwelling unit a residence or household.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-3.

Principles of law and equity.

Unless displaced by the provisions of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978], the principles of law and equity, including the law relating to capacity to contract, mutuality of obligations, equitable abatement, principal and agent, real property, public health, safety and fire prevention, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, bankruptcy or other validating or invalidating cause supplement its provisions.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-4.
7-8-5. General act.

The Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] being a general act is intended as a unified coverage of its subject matter, and no part of it is to be construed as impliedly repealed by subsequent legislation if that construction can reasonably be avoided.

Recovery of damages.

A.  The remedies provided by the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] shall be so administered that the aggrieved party may recover damages as provided in the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act. The aggrieved party has a duty to mitigate damages.
B.  Any right or obligation declared by the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act is enforceable by action unless the provision declaring it specifies a different and limited effect.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-6.

Provision for agreement.

A claim or right arising under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] or on a rental agreement may be settled by agreement.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-7.

Rights, obligations and remedies.

The Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] applies to, regulates and determines rights, obligations and remedies under a rental agreement, wherever made, for a dwelling unit located within this state.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-8.

Exemptions.

Unless created to avoid the application of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978], the following arrangements are exempted by that act:

A. residence at an institution, public or private, if incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric, counseling, religious, educational when room and board are an entity or similar service;
B. occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling unit or the property of which it is part, if the occupant is the purchaser or a person who succeeds to his interest;
C. occupancy by a member of a fraternal or social organization in the portion of a structure operated for the benefit of the organization;
D. transient occupancy in a hotel or motel;
E. occupancy by an employee of an owner pursuant to a written rental or employment agreement that specifies the employee’s right to occupancy is conditional upon employment in and about the premises; and
F. occupancy under a rental agreement covering premises used by the occupant primarily for agricultural purposes.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-9.

Judicial jurisdiction.

A.  The district or magistrate court of this state may exercise jurisdiction over any person with respect to any conduct in this state governed by the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] or with respect to any claim arising from a transaction subject to this act for a dwelling unit located within its jurisdictional boundaries. In addition to any other method provided by rule or by statute, personal jurisdiction over a person may be acquired in a civil action or proceeding instituted in the district or magistrate court by the service of process in the manner provided by this section.
B.  If a person is not a resident of this state or is a corporation not authorized to do business in this state and engages in any conduct in this state governed by the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act, or engages in a transaction subject to this act, he may designate an agent upon whom service of process may be made in this state. The agent shall be a resident of this state or a corporation authorized to do business in this state. The designation shall be in writing and shall be filed with the secretary of state. If no designation is made and filed or if process cannot be served in this state upon the designated agent, process may be served upon the secretary of state, but service upon him is not effective unless the plaintiff or petitioner immediately mails a copy of the process and pleading by registered or certified mail to the defendant or respondent at his last reasonably ascertainable address.  An affidavit of compliance with this section shall be filed with the clerk of the court on or before the return day of the process, if any, or within any further time the court allows.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-10.

Obligation of good faith.

Every duty under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] and every act which must be performed as a condition precedent to the exercise of a right or remedy under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance or enforcement.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-11.

Inequitable agreement provision.

A.  If the court, as a matter of law, finds that any provision of a rental agreement was inequitable when made, the court may limit the application of such inequitable provisions to avoid an inequitable result.
B.  If inequitability is put into issue by a party to the rental agreement, the parties to the rental agreement shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to present evidence as to the setting, purpose and effect of the rental agreement, or settlement, to aid the court in making determination.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-12.

Service of notice.

A.  A person has notice of a fact if:

(1) he has actual knowledge of it;
(2) he has received a notice or notification of it; or
(3) from all facts and circumstances known to him at the time in question he has reason to know that it exists.

B.  A person notifies or gives a notice or notification to another by taking steps reasonably calculated to inform the other in ordinary course, whether or not the other actually comes to know of it.
C.  A person receives a notice or notification:

(1) when it comes to his attention;
(2) where written notice to the owner is required, when it is mailed or otherwise delivered at the place of business of the owner through which the rental agreement was made or at any place held out by him as the place for receipt of the communication; or
(3) if written notice to the resident is required, when it is delivered in hand to the resident or mailed to him at the place held out by him as the place for receipt of the communication, or in the absence of such designation, to his last known place of residence.

D.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, notice to a resident for nonpayment of rent shall be effective only when hand delivered or mailed to the resident or posted on an exterior door of the dwelling unit.  In all other cases where written notice to the resident is required, even if there is a notice by posting, there must also be a mailing of the notice by first class mail or hand delivery of the notice to the resident.  The date of a posting shall be included in any notice posted, mailed or hand delivered, and shall constitute the effective date of the notice.  A posted notice shall be affixed to a door by taping all sides or placed in a fixture or receptacle designed for notices or mail.
E.  Notice, knowledge or a notice or notification received by the resident or person is effective for a particular transaction from the time it is brought to the attention of the resident or person conducting that transaction, and in any event from the time it would have been brought to the resident’s or person’s attention if the resident or person had exercised reasonable diligence.
F.  Where service of notice is required under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978], and the item is mailed but returned as undeliverable, or where the last known address is the vacated dwelling unit, the owner shall serve at least one additional notice if an alternative address has been provided to the owner by the resident.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-13.

Terms and conditions of agreement.

The owner and resident may include in a rental agreement terms and conditions not prohibited by the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] or other rule of law including rent, term of the agreement or other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-14.

Payment of rent.

A.  The resident shall pay rent in accordance with the rental agreement. In the absence of an agreement, the resident shall pay as rent the fair rental value for the use of the premises and occupancy of the dwelling unit.
B.  Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties.  Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit. Unless otherwise agreed, periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each monthly period. The date of one month to the same date of the following month shall constitute a term of one month.
C.  Unless the rental agreement fixes a definite term, the residency is week-to-week in the case of a person who pays weekly rent and in all other cases month-to-month.
D.  If the rental agreement provides for the charging of a late fee, and if the resident does not pay rent in accordance with the rental agreement, the owner may charge the resident a late fee in an amount not to exceed ten percent of the total rent payment for each rental period that the resident is in default.  To assess a late fee, the owner shall provide notice of the late fee charged no later than the last day of the next rental period immediately following the period in which the default occurred.
E.  An owner may not assess a fee from the resident for occupancy of the dwelling unit by a reasonable number of guests for a reasonable length of time. This shall not preclude charges for use of premises or facilities other than the dwelling unit by guests.
F.  An owner may increase the rent payable by the resident in a month-to-month residency by providing written notice to the resident of the proposed increase at least thirty days prior to the periodic rental date specified in the rental agreement or, in the case of a fixed term residency, at least thirty days prior to the end of the term.  In the case of a periodic residency of less than one month, written notice shall be provided at least one rental period in advance of the first rental payment to be increased.
G.  Unless agreed upon in writing by the owner and the resident, a resident’s payment of rent may not be allocated to any deposits or damages.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-15.

Waiver of rights prohibited.

No rental agreement may provide that the resident or owner agrees to waive or to forego rights or remedies under the law.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-16.

Unlawful agreement provision.

If an owner deliberately uses a rental agreement containing provisions known by him to be prohibited by law, the resident may recover damages sustained by him resulting from application of the illegal provision and reasonable attorney’s fees.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-17.

Deposits.

A.  An owner is permitted to demand from the resident a reasonable deposit to be applied by the owner to recover damages, if any, caused to the premises by the resident during his term of residency.

(1) Under the terms of an annual rental agreement, if the owner demands or receives of the resident such a deposit in an amount greater than one month’s rent, the owner shall be required to pay to the resident annually an interest equal to the passbook interest permitted to savings and loan associations in this state by the federal home loan bank board on such deposit.
(2) Under the terms of a rental agreement of a duration less than one year, an owner shall not demand or receive from the resident such a deposit in an amount in excess of one month’s rent.

B.  It is not the intention of this section to include the last month’s prepaid rent, which may be required by the rental agreement as a deposit as defined in Subsection D [E] of Section 47-8-3 NMSA 1978.  Any deposit as defined in Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this section shall not be construed as prepaid rent.
C.  Upon termination of the residency, property or money held by the owner as deposits may be applied by the owner to the payment of rent and the amount of damages which the owner has suffered by reason of the resident’s noncompliance with the rental agreement or Section 47-8-22 NMSA 1978.  No deposit shall be retained to cover normal wear and tear.  In the event actual cause exists for retaining any portion of the deposit, the owner shall provide the resident with an itemized written list of the deductions from the deposit and the balance of the deposit, if any, within thirty days of the date of termination of the rental agreement or resident departure, whichever is later. The owner is deemed to have complied with this section by mailing the statement and any payment required to the last known address of the resident.  Nothing in this section shall preclude the owner from retaining portions of the deposit for nonpayment of rent or utilities, repair work or other legitimate damages.
D.  If the owner fails to provide the resident with a written statement of deductions from the deposit and the balance shown by the statement to be due, within thirty days of the termination of the tenancy, the owner:

(1) shall forfeit the right to withhold any portion of the deposit;
(2) shall forfeit the right to assert any counterclaim in any action brought to recover that deposit;
(3) shall be liable to the resident for court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees; and
(4) shall forfeit the right to assert an independent action against the resident for damages to the rental property.

E.  An owner who in bad faith retains a deposit in violation of this section is liable for a civil penalty in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) payable to the resident.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-18.

Owner disclosure.

A.  The owner or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on his behalf shall disclose to the resident in writing at or before the commencement of the residency the name, address and telephone number of:

(1) the person authorized to manage the premises; and
(2) an owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving and receipting for notices and demands.

B.  The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current, and this section extends to and is enforceable against any successor, owner or manager.
C.  A person designated under Paragraph (2) of Subsection A of this section becomes an agent of each person who is an owner for the purpose of service of process and receiving and receipting for notices and demands.  A person designated under Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this section becomes an agent of each person who is an owner for the purpose of performing the obligations of the owner under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] and under the rental agreement.
D.  Failure of the owner to comply with this section shall relieve the resident from the obligation to provide notice to the owner as required by the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-19.

Obligations of owner.

A.  The owner shall:

(1) substantially comply with requirements of the applicable minimum housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
(2) make repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a safe condition as provided by applicable law and rules and regulations as provided in Section 47-8-23 NMSA 1978;
(3) keep common areas of the premises in a safe condition;
(4) maintain in good and safe working order and condition electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, if any, supplied or required to be supplied by him;
(5) provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal from the appropriate receptacle; and
(6) supply running water and a reasonable amount of hot water at all times and reasonable heat, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the resident and supplied by a direct public utility connection.

B.  If there exists a minimum housing code applicable to the premises, the owner’s maximum duty under this section shall be determined by Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this section. The obligations imposed by this section are not intended to change existing tort law in the state.
C.  The owner and resident of a single family residence may agree that the resident perform the owner’s duties specified in Paragraphs (5) and (6) of Subsection A of this section and also specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations and remodeling, but only if the transaction is in writing, for consideration, entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the owner.
D.  The owner and resident of a dwelling unit other than a single family residence may agree that the resident is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations or remodeling only if:

(1) the agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the owner and is set forth in a separate writing signed by the parties and supported by consideration; and
(2) the agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the owner to other residents in the premises.

E.  Notwithstanding any provision of this section, an owner may arrange with a resident to perform the obligations of the owner. Any such arrangement between the owner and the resident will not serve to diminish the owner’s obligations as set forth in this section, nor shall the failure of the resident to perform the obligations of the owner serve as a basis for eviction or in any way be considered a material breach by the resident of his obligations under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] or the rental agreement.
F.  In multi-unit housing, if there is separate utility metering for each unit, the resident shall receive a copy of the utility bill for his unit upon request made to the owner or his agent. If the unit is submetered, the resident shall then be entitled to receive a copy of the apartment’s utility bill. When utility bills for common areas are separately apportioned between units and the costs are passed on to the residents of each unit, each resident may, upon request, receive a copy of all utility bills being apportioned. The calculations used as the basis for apportioning the cost of utilities for common areas and submetered apartments shall be made available to any resident upon request. The portion of the common area cost that would be allocated to an empty unit if it were occupied shall not be allocated to the remaining residents. It is solely the owner’s responsibility to supply the items and information in this subsection to the resident upon request. The owner may charge an administrative fee not to exceed five dollars ($5.00) for each monthly request of the items in this subsection.
G.  The owner shall provide a written rental agreement to each resident prior to the beginning of occupancy.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-20.

Relief of owner liability.

A.  Unless otherwise agreed, upon termination of the owner’s interest in the dwelling unit, including but not limited to terminations of interest by sale, assignment, death, bankruptcy, appointment of receiver or otherwise, the owner is relieved of all liability under the rental agreement and of all obligations under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] as to events occurring subsequent to written notice to the resident of the termination of the owner’s interest. The successor in interest to the owner shall be liable for all obligations under the rental agreement or under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act. Upon receipt by the resident of written notice of the termination of the owner’s interest in the dwelling unit, the resident shall pay all future rental payments, when due, to the successor in interest to the owner.
B.  Unless otherwise agreed, a manager of premises that include a dwelling unit is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act as to events occurring after written notice to the resident of the termination of his management.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-21.

Obligations of resident.

The resident shall:

A. comply with obligations imposed upon residents by applicable minimum standards of housing codes materially affecting health or safety;
B. keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit, and, upon termination of the residency, place the dwelling unit in as clean condition, excepting ordinary wear and tear, as when residency commenced;
C. dispose from his dwelling unit all ashes, rubbish, garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner;
D. keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the resident as clean as their condition permits;
E. use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators, if any, in the premises;
F. not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so;
G. conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises;
H. abide by all bylaws, covenants, rules or regulations of any applicable condominium regime, cooperative housing agreement or neighborhood association not inconsistent with owner’s rights or duties; and
I. not knowingly commit or consent to any other person knowingly committing a substantial violation.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-22.

Application of rules or regulations.

An owner, from time to time, may adopt rules or regulations, however described, concerning the resident’s use and occupancy of the premises.  They are enforceable as provided in Section 47-8-33 NMSA 1978 against the resident only if:

A. their purpose is to promote the appearance, convenience, safety or welfare of the residents in the premises, preserve the owner’s property from abusive use or make a fair distribution of services and facilities held out for the residents generally;
B. they are reasonably related to the purpose for which they are adopted;
C. they apply to all residents in the premises in a fair manner;
D. they are sufficiently explicit in their prohibition, direction or limitation of the resident’s conduct to fairly inform him of what he must or must not do to comply;
E. they are not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the owner; and
F. the resident is presented with copies of existing rules and regulations at the time he enters into the rental agreement and is presented notice of amendments to the rules and regulations and rules and regulations adopted subsequent to the time he enters into the rental agreement.  A rule or regulation adopted after the resident enters into the rental agreement is enforceable against the resident if reasonable notice of its adoption is given to the resident and it does not work a substantial modification of his bargain.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-23.

Right of entry.

A.  The resident shall, in accordance with provisions of the rental agreement and notice provisions as provided in this section, consent to the owner to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, prospective residents, workmen or contractors; provided that:

(1) unless otherwise agreed upon by the owner and resident, the owner may enter the resident’s dwelling unit pursuant to this subsection only after giving the resident twenty-four hours written notification of his intent to enter, the purpose for entry and the date and reasonable estimate of the time frame of the entry;
(2) this subsection is not applicable to entry by the owner to perform repairs or services within seven days of a request by the resident or when the owner is accompanied by a public official conducting an inspection or a cable television, electric, gas or telephone company representative; and
(3) where the resident gives reasonable prior notice and alternate times or dates for entry and it is practicable or will not result in economic detriment to the owner, then the owner shall attempt to reasonably accommodate the alternate time of entry.

B.  The owner may enter the dwelling unit without consent of the resident in case of an emergency.
C.  The owner shall not abuse the right of access.
D.  The owner has no other right of access except by court order, as permitted by this section if the resident has abandoned or surrendered the premises or if the resident has been absent from the premises more than seven days, as permitted in Section 47-8-34 NMSA 1978.
E.  If the resident refuses to allow lawful access, the owner may obtain injunctive relief to compel access or terminate the rental agreement.  In either case, the owner may recover damages.
F.  If the owner makes an unlawful entry, or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner, or makes repeated demands for entry that are otherwise lawful but that have the effect of unreasonably interfering with the resident’s quiet enjoyment of the dwelling unit, the resident may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct or terminate the rental agreement.  In either case, the resident may recover damages.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-24.

Use of dwelling unit limited.

Unless otherwise agreed, the resident shall occupy his dwelling unit only as a dwelling unit and in compliance with terms and conditions of the rental agreement. The rental agreement may require that the resident notify the owner of any anticipated extended absence from the premises in excess of seven days no later than the first day of the extended absence.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-25.

Delivery of possession.

A.  At the time specified in the rental agreement for the commencement of occupancy, the owner shall deliver possession of the premises to the resident in compliance with the rental agreement and Section 47-8-20 NMSA 1978. The owner may bring an action for possession against the resident or any person wrongfully in possession and may recover the damages provided in Subsection F of Section 47-8-33 NMSA 1978.
B.  If the owner fails to deliver possession of the premises to the prospective resident as provided in Subsection A of this section, one hundred percent of the rent abates until possession is delivered and the prospective resident may:

(1) upon written notice to the owner, terminate the rental agreement effective immediately. Upon termination the owner shall return all prepaid rent and deposits; or
(2) demand performance of the rental agreement by the owner and, if the prospective resident elects, maintain an action for possession of the premises against any person wrongfully withholding possession and recover the damages sustained by him and seek the remedies provided in Section 47-8-48 NMSA 1978.

C.  If the owner makes reasonable efforts to obtain possession of the premises and returns prepaid rents, deposits and fees within seven days of receiving a prospective resident’s notice of termination, the owner shall not be liable for damages under this section.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-26.

§47-8-27. Repealed.

Breach of agreement by owner and relief by resident.

A.  Upon the failure of the owner to perform his obligations as required by Section 47-8-20 NMSA 1978, the resident shall give written notice to the owner specifying the breach and:

(1) if there is a material noncompliance by the owner with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] materially affecting health and safety, the resident shall deliver a written notice to the owner specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach. The notice shall state that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than seven days after receipt of the notice if a reasonable attempt to remedy the breach is not made in seven days, and the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice.  If the owner makes a reasonable attempt to adequately remedy the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate.  If the rental agreement is terminated by the resident and possession restored to the owner, the owner shall return the balance, if any, of prepaid rent and deposit to which the resident is entitled pursuant to the rental agreement or Section 47-8-18 NMSA 1978; or
(2) the resident may be entitled to abatement of the rent as provided in Section 47-8-27.2 NMSA 1978.

B.  The rights provided under this section do not arise if the condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the resident, a member of his family or other person on the premises with his consent.  If the noncompliance with the rental agreement or with Section 47-8-20 NMSA 1978 results solely from circumstances beyond the owner’s control, the resident is entitled only to those remedies set forth in Paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection and is not entitled to an action for damages or injunctive relief against the owner.
C.  The resident may also recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any material noncompliance by the owner with the rental agreement or the provisions of Section 47-8-20 NMSA 1978.  The remedy provided in this subsection is in addition to any right of the resident arising under Subsection A of this section.
D.  If the resident proceeds under Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this section, he shall not proceed under Paragraph (2) of Subsection A of this section in the same rental period for the same violation.  If the resident proceeds under Paragraph (2) of Subsection A of this section, he shall not proceed under Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this section in the same rental period for the same violation.  A resident may, however, proceed under another paragraph of Subsection A of this section for a subsequent violation or the same violation that occurs in subsequent rental periods.
E.  When the last day for remedying any breach pursuant to the written notice required under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act occurs on a weekend or federal holiday, the period to remedy shall be extended until the next day that is not a weekend or federal holiday.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-27.1.

Abatement.

A.  If there is a violation of Subsection A of Section 47-8-20 NMSA 1978, other than a failure or defect in an amenity, the resident shall give written notice to the owner of the conditions needing repair. If the owner does not remedy the conditions set out in the notice within seven days of the notice, the resident is entitled to abate rent as set forth below:

(1) one-third of the pro-rata daily rent for each day from the date the resident notified the owner of the conditions needing repair, through the day the conditions in the notice are remedied. If the conditions complained of continue to exist without remedy through any portion of a subsequent rental period, the resident may abate at the same rate for each day that the conditions are not remedied; and
(2) one hundred percent of the rent for each day from the date the resident notified the owner of the conditions needing repair until the date the breach is cured if the dwelling is uninhabitable and the resident does not inhabit the dwelling unit as a result of the condition.

B.  For each rental period in which there is a violation under Subsection A of this section, the resident may abate the rent or may choose an alternate remedy in accordance with the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978]. The choice of one remedy shall not preclude the use of an alternate remedy for the same violation in a subsequent rental period.
C.  If the resident’s rent is subsidized in whole or in part by a government agency, the abatement limitation of one month’s rent shall mean the total monthly rent paid for the dwelling and not the portion of the rent that the resident alone pays. Where there is a third party payor, either the payor or the resident may authorize the remedy and may abate rent payments as provided in this section.
D.  Nothing in this section shall limit a court in its discretion to apply equitable abatement.
E.  Nothing in this section shall entitle the resident to abate rent for the unavailability of an amenity.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-27.2.

47-8-28. Repealed.

47-8-29. Repealed.

Action for counterclaim for resident.

A.  In an action for possession based upon nonpayment of rent or in an action for rent where the resident is in possession, the resident may counterclaim for any amount which he may recover under the rental agreement or the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978], providing that the resident shall be responsible for payment to the owner of the rent specified in the rental agreement during his period of possession. Judgment shall be entered in accordance with the facts of the case.
B.  If the defense or counterclaim by the resident is without merit and is not raised in good faith, the owner may recover reasonable attorney’s fees and his court costs.
C.  If the action or reply to the counterclaim is without merit and is not in good faith, the resident may recover reasonable attorney’s fees and his court costs.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-30.

Resident rights following fire or casualty.

A.  If the dwelling unit or premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that enjoyment of the dwelling unit is substantially impaired, the resident may:

(1) vacate the premises and notify the owner in writing within seven days thereafter of his intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of vacating; or
(2) if continued occupancy is lawful, vacate any part of the dwelling unit rendered unusable by the fire or casualty, in which case the resident’s liability for rent is reduced in proportion to the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit.

B.  If the rental agreement is terminated, the owner shall return the balance, if any, [of] prepaid rent and deposits recoverable under Section 18 [47-8-18 NMSA 1978] of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act. Accounting for rent, in the event of termination or apportionment, is to occur as of the date of the vacation.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the resident is responsible for damage caused by his negligence.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-31.

§47-8-32. Repealed.

Breach of agreement by resident and relief by owner.

A.  Except as provided in the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978], if there is noncompliance with Section 47-8-22 NMSA 1978 materially affecting health and safety or upon the initial material noncompliance by the resident with the rental agreement or any separate agreement, the owner shall deliver a written notice to the resident specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach, including the dates and specific facts describing the nature of the alleged breach, and stating that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than seven days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in seven days.
B.  Upon the second material noncompliance with the rental agreement or any separate agreement by the resident, within six months of the initial breach, the owner shall deliver a written notice to the resident specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach, including the dates and specific facts describing the nature of the alleged breach, and stating that the rental agreement shall terminate upon a date not less than seven days after receipt of the notice. If the subsequent breach occurs more than six months after the initial breach, it shall constitute an initial breach for purposes of applying the provisions of this section.
C.  The initial notice provided in this section shall state that the rental agreement will terminate upon the second material noncompliance with the rental agreement or any separate agreement by the resident, within six months of the initial breach. To be effective, any notice pursuant to this subsection shall be given within thirty days of the breach or knowledge thereof.
D.  If rent is unpaid when due and the resident fails to pay rent within three days after written notice from the owner of nonpayment and his intention to terminate the rental agreement, the owner may terminate the rental agreement and the resident shall immediately deliver possession of the dwelling unit; provided that tender of the full amount due, in the manner stated in the notice, prior to the expiration of the three-day notice shall bar any action for nonpayment of rent.
E.  In any court action for possession for nonpayment of rent or other charges where the resident disputes the amount owed because:

(1) the resident has abated rent pursuant to Section 47-8-27.2 or 47-8-4 NMSA 1978; or
(2) the owner has allocated rent paid by the resident as payment for damages to the premises, then, if the owner is the prevailing party, the court shall enter a writ of restitution conditioned upon the right of the resident to remedy within three days of entry of judgment. If the resident has satisfied the judgment within three days, the writ shall be dismissed. If the resident has not satisfied the judgment within three days, the owner may execute upon the writ without further order of the court.

F.  Except as provided in the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act, the owner may recover damages and obtain injunctive or other relief for any noncompliance by the resident with the rental agreement or this section or Section 47-8-22 NMSA 1978.
G.  In a judicial action to enforce a remedy for which prior written notice is required, relief may be granted based only upon the grounds set forth in the written notice served; provided, however, that this shall not bar a defendant from raising any and all defenses or counterclaims for which written notice is not otherwise required by the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act.
H.  When the last day for remedying any breach pursuant to written notice required under the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act occurs on a weekend or federal holiday, the period to remedy shall be extended until the next day that is not a weekend or federal holiday.
I.  If the resident knowingly commits or consents to another person in the dwelling unit or on the premises knowingly committing a substantial violation, the owner shall deliver a written notice to the resident specifying the time, place and nature of the act constituting the substantial violation and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than three days after receipt of the notice.
J.  In any action for possession under Subsection I of this section, it shall be a defense that the resident is a victim of domestic violence. If the resident has filed for or secured a temporary domestic violence restraining order as a result of the incident that is the basis for the termination notice or as a result of a prior incident, the writ of restitution shall not issue. In all other cases where domestic violence is raised as a defense, the court shall have the discretion to evict the resident accused of the violation, while allowing the tenancy of the remainder of the residents to continue undisturbed.
K.  In any action for possession under Subsection I of this section, it shall be a defense that the resident did not know of, and could not have reasonably known of or prevented, the commission of a substantial violation by any other person in the dwelling unit or on the premises.
L.  In an action for possession under Subsection I of this section, it shall be a defense that the resident took reasonable and lawful actions in defense of himself, others or his property.
M.  In any action for possession under Subsection I of this section, if the court finds that the action was frivolous or brought in bad faith, the petitioner shall be subject to a civil penalty equal to two times the amount of the monthly rent, plus damages and costs.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-33.

Notice of extended absence.

A.  If the rental agreement requires the resident to give notice to the owner of an anticipated extended absence in excess of seven days as required in Subsection A of Section 3 [47-8-3 NMSA 1978] of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act and the resident willfully fails to do so, the owner may recover damages from the resident.
B.  During any absence of the resident in excess of seven days, the owner may enter the dwelling unit at times reasonably necessary.
C.  If the resident abandons the dwelling unit as defined in Subsection A of Section 3 of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act, the owner shall be entitled to take immediate possession of the dwelling unit. The owner shall, in such cases, be responsible for the removing and storing of the personal property for such periods as are provided by law. Upon abandonment, the owner may make reasonable efforts to rent the dwelling unit and premises at a fair rental. If the owner rents the dwelling unit for a term beginning prior to the expiration of the rental agreement, it is deemed to be terminated as of the date the new tenancy begins.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-34.

Disposition of property left on the premises.

A.  Where the rental agreement terminates by abandonment pursuant to Section 47-8-34 NMSA 1978:

(1) the owner shall store all personal property of the resident left on the premises for not less than thirty days;
(2) the owner shall serve the resident with written notice stating the owner’s intent to dispose of the personal property on a date not less than thirty days from the date of the notice. The notice shall also contain a telephone number and address where the resident can reasonably contact the owner to retrieve the property prior to the disposition date in the notice;
(3) the notice of intent to dispose of personal property shall be personally delivered to the resident or be sent by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the resident at his last known address.  If the notice is returned as undeliverable, or where the resident’s last known address is the vacated dwelling unit, the owner shall also serve at least one notice to such other address as has been provided to the owner by the resident, including the address of the resident’s place of employment, or of a family member or emergency contact for which the owner has a record;
(4) the resident may contact the owner to retrieve the property at any time prior to the date specified in the notice for disposition of the property;
(5) the owner shall provide reasonable access and adequate opportunities for the resident to retrieve all of the property stored prior to any disposition; and
(6) if the resident does not claim or make attempt to retrieve the stored personal property prior to the date specified in the notice of disposition of the property, the owner may dispose of the stored personal property.

B.  Where the rental agreement terminates by the resident’s voluntary surrender of the premises, the owner shall store any personal property on the premises for a minimum of fourteen days from the date of surrender of the premises.  The owner shall provide reasonable access to the resident for the purpose of the resident obtaining possession of the personal property stored. If after fourteen days from surrender of the premises, the resident has not retrieved all the stored personal property, the owner may dispose of the stored personal property.
C. Where the rental agreement terminates by a writ of restitution, the owner shall have no obligation to store any personal property left on the premises after three days following execution of writ of restitution, unless otherwise agreed by the owner and resident.  The owner may thereafter dispose of the personal property in any manner without further notice or liability.
D.  Where the property has a market value of less than one hundred dollars ($100), the owner has the right to dispose of the property in any manner.
E.  Where the property has a market value of more than one hundred dollars ($100), the owner may:

(1) sell the personal property under any provisions herein, and the proceeds of the sale, if in excess of money due and owing to the owner, shall be mailed to the resident at his last known address along with an itemized statement of the amounts received and amounts allocated to other costs, within fifteen days of the sale; or
(2) retain the property for his own use or the use of others, in which case the owner shall credit the account of the resident for the fair market value of the property against any money due and owing to the owner, and any value in excess of money due and owing shall be mailed to the resident at his last known address along with an itemized statement of the value allocated to the property and the amount allocated to costs within fifteen days of the retention of the property.

F.  If the last known address is the dwelling unit, the owner shall also mail at least one copy of the accounting and notice of the sums for distribution, to the other address, if provided to the owner by the resident, such as, place of employment, family members, or emergency contact on record with the owner.
G.  An owner may charge the resident reasonable storage fees for any time that the owner provided storage for the resident’s personal property and the prevailing rate of moving fees.  The owner may require payment of storage and moving costs prior to the release of the property.
H.  The owner may not hold the property for any other debts claimed due or owning or for judgments for which an application for writ of execution has not previously been filed. The owner may not retain exempt property where an application for a writ of execution has been granted.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-34.1.

Claim for rent and damages.

If the rental agreement is terminated, the owner is entitled to possession and may have a claim for rent and a separate claim for damages for breach of the rental agreement and reasonable attorney’s fees as provided in Subsection C of Section 33 [47-8-33 NMSA 1978] of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-35.

Unlawful removal and diminution of services prohibited.

A.  Except in case of abandonment, surrender or as otherwise permitted in the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978], an owner or any person acting on behalf of the owner shall not knowingly exclude the resident, remove, threaten or attempt to remove or dispossess a resident from the dwelling unit without a court order by:

(1) fraud;
(2) plugging, changing, adding or removing any lock or latching device;
(3) blocking any entrance into the dwelling unit;
(4) interfering with services or normal and necessary utilities to the unit pursuant to Section 47-8-32 NMSA 1978, including but not limited to electricity, gas, hot or cold water, plumbing, heat or telephone service, provided that this section shall not impose a duty upon the owner to make utility payments or otherwise prevent utility interruptions resulting from nonpayment of utility charges by the resident;
(5) removing the resident’s personal property from the dwelling unit or its premises;
(6) removing or incapacitating appliances or fixtures, except for making necessary and legitimate repairs; or
(7) any willful act rendering a dwelling unit or any personal property located in the dwelling unit or on the premises inaccessible or uninhabitable.

B. The provisions of Subsection A of this section shall not apply if an owner temporarily interferes with possession while making legitimate repairs or inspections as provided for in the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act.
C.  If an owner commits any of the acts stated in Subsection A of this section, the resident may:

(1) abate one hundred percent of the rent for each day in which the resident is denied possession of the premises for any portion of the day or each day where the owner caused termination or diminishment of any service for any portion of the day;
(2) be entitled to civil penalties as provided in Subsection B of Section 47-8-48 NMSA 1978;
(3) seek restitution of the premises pursuant to Sections 47-8-41 and Section 47-8-42 NMSA 1978 or terminate the rental agreement; and
(4) be entitled to damages.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-36.

Landlord lien.

A.  There shall be no landlord’s lien arising out of the rental of a dwelling unit to which the Uniform Owner-Resident [Relations] Act [47-8-1 to 47-8-51 NMSA 1978] applies.
B.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit the owner from levy and execution on a judgment arising out of a claim for rent or damages.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-36.1.

Notice of termination and damages.

A.  The owner or the resident may terminate a week-to-week residency by a written notice given to the other at least seven days prior to the termination date specified in the notice.
B.  The owner or the resident may terminate a month-to-month residency by a written notice given to the other at least thirty days prior to the periodic rental date specified in the notice.
C.  If the resident remains in possession without the owner’s consent after expiration of the term of the rental agreement or its termination, the owner may bring an action for possession and if the resident’s holdover is willful and not in good faith the owner, in addition, may recover the damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney’s fees. If the owner consents to the resident’s continued occupancy, Subsection C of Section 15 [47-8-15 NMSA 1978] of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act applies.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-37.

Injunctive relief.

A.  If the resident refuses to allow lawful access, the owner may obtain injunctive relief to compel access or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the owner may recover damages, reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.
B.  If the owner makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful but which have the effect of unreasonably harassing the resident, the resident may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the resident may recover damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.  Title 47, Art. 8, §47-8-38.

Owner

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