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New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Laws

New Hampshire Landlord Tenant LawsThis article is intended to be an online resource for New Hampshire landlords.  We summarize key New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant laws that are most applicable to residential rental units.

This article is not qualified for legal advice.  Individuals seeking guidance need to work with a legal advisor who is qualified in the jurisdiction.  New Hampshire Landlord Tenant Laws and statutes may vary from county to county or city to city, this article provides state-level laws and statutes. 

Also, laws and statutes are subject to change and may cause sections of this article to be outdated.  We provide links to assist landlords and tenants to the state statute page for further research.

Click here if you are seeking renters insurance in New Hampshire.

 

Quick Facts for Real Estate Investors Considering New Hampshire

New Hampshire landlord-tenant laws are considered Landlord-friendly.

There are 1.4 million residents in New Hampshire.  Major metropolitan markets in New Hampshire are:

  1. Manchester: Estimated population of 112,525, which 35% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $1,133.

 

 

 

SECURITY DEPOSIT LAWS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

Does New Hampshire require security deposits? 

New Hampshire has laws for specific categories of landlords which are restricted and non-restricted properties.  Non-restricted properties are (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:1-a):

  • Single-family houses, if the owner does not own more than 3 single-family houses
  • Rental units in an owner-occupied building containing a total of 4 dwelling units or fewer
  • Single-family houses acquired by banks or other mortgagees through foreclosure

 

Restricted properties are all other properties rented for residential purposes.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:1-a)

 

Is a security deposit receipt required in New Hampshire? 

Receipts for security deposits are required unless the tenant paid by personal check, a bank check, or a check issued by a non-profit agency or government on behalf of the tenant.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:6(I)(c))

 

How much security deposit can a landlord charge in New Hampshire? 

New Hampshire sets a maximum of 1 month’s rent or $100; whichever is greater(N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:6(I)(a))

 

 

Storage Requirements for Security Deposits in New Hampshire: 

Landlords are not required to keep the security deposits in a separate account.  They can mingle all deposits in a single account held in trust.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:6 (II)(a) and (IV)(a))

 

 

Can security deposits be commingled with other assets in New Hampshire? 

Landlords can only commingle deposits with their personal funds with a bond from a New Hampshire company that equals the amount of the security deposit.  Landlords must post the bond with the clerk of the city or town where the rental unit resides.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:6 (II)(c))

 

Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in New Hampshire? 

Landlords do have to share the interest earned for leases held longer than one year.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:6(IV))

 

 

When must a landlord return the deposit by in New Hampshire? 

Landlords must return the security deposits within 30 days after the termination of the tenancy. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:7(I))

 

 

When can a landlord in New Hampshire withhold a security deposit?

At the end of a lease, the landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit.  However, landlords may withhold all or portions of a tenant’s security deposit for (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:7(II)):

 

  • Unpaid rent and/or fees
  • Damages from tenant’s noncompliance of the rental agreement or statutory Tenant Duties
  • Unpaid real estate taxes, if tenant responsibility

 

 

 

Nonrefundable fees: 

No Statute.

 

Pet Deposits and Additional Fees:

No Statute.

 

Require a written description / itemized list of damages and charges?

Landlords are required to provide a written and itemized list of damages. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:7(I))

 

What happens to New Hampshire landlords that fail to comply with returning the security deposit?

The landlord is liable to the tenant an amount equal to the twice of the amount of deposit, plus interest.  Less any payments made and any charges owing for damages, unpaid rent, or share of real estate taxes.  Landlord is not liable nor forfeit any rights if the tenant failed to notify the landlord of their new address.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RENTAL AGREEMENT LAWS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

Rental agreements required in New Hampshire:

Rental agreements are required for leases 12 months or longer.  We always recommend having a legal lease agreement to prevent future complications.

If you need a lease, Burbz offers an online New Hampshire rental lease agreement.

 

What are the required lease provisions in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire requires certain provisions to be included in the lease agreement.  Besides both the landlord and tenant names, the landlord should also list (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:1):

  • Rent Amount and Due Date.
  • Length of the lease agreement
  • Tenants name, address and phone number
  • Landlord’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
  • Tenant’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
  • Late Fees and Penalties
  • Signed record of the inventory and condition of the premises
  • Summary of the provisions of NRS 202.470
  • Information regarding the procedure for how a tenant may report a nuisance and violations of building, safety or health code regulations
  • Information regarding the right of the tenant to engage in the display of the flag of the United States
  • Occupancy by children or pets
  • Required deposits and the conditions for their refund
  • Inspection rights by the landlord
  • Other fees
  • Address of rental property
  • Landlords name, address and phone number
  • Security deposit amount and terms
  • Condition of occupancy
  • Adequate description of premises/property
  • Process for requesting maintenance and repairs
  • Subleasing policy
  • Pet policies
  • Cleaning Fees

 

Landlords cannot include (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:28):

  • No lease agreement shall contain any provision that requires the tenant to waive any of their rights under Chapter 540.

 

 

What are the rental agreement notice requirements in New Hampshire: 

Fixed-End or Year-to-Year: Must provide at least 30 day’s written notice for Year-to-Year leases.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:3(II))

Month-to-Month: Must provide at least 30 day’s written notice prior to a periodic rent due date. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:3(II))  Read our guide on Month-to-Month rent.

Week-to-Week: Must provide at least 30 day’s written notice prior to a periodic rent due date. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:3(II))

 

 

Rent Increase Notice:

Landlords must provide a 30 day written notice to increase the rent amount.   (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:2(IV))

 

Rent Grace Period for Residential:

New Hampshire does not have a grace period.  Landlord is allowed to begin the eviction process the day is delinquent.

 

 

Prepaid Rent:

Landlords are allowed to collect prepaid rent, no statute defining the limits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATE FEES AND LIMITS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Late Fees for Residential:

New Hampshire does not state any legal requirements for late fees.  Landlords can charge a reasonable late fee / penalty. Penalties and fees should be written into the lease agreement.

 

 

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE LEASE TERMINATIONS / NOTICES TO QUIT

 

In New Hampshire, lease agreements between landlords and tenants can be terminated.  Read our blog for landlords about handling early lease terminations.  Here are the cause and effects:

 

What is the Pay or Quit for Nonpayment requirement in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire requires the landlord to send a 7 day notice.  Tenants can remedy by paying all rent in arrear plus a $15.00 liquidated damages.  However, tenants cannot use this remedy more than 3 times in a 12-month period.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:9)

 

 

How many days must a landlord allow before terminating for a Lease Violation?

Landlords must provide a 30 day notice to remedy or cure the violation.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:3(II))

Landlords can provide a 7 day notice for substantial damage to the premises or behavior that adversely affects the health or safety or other tenants, landlord, or their representatives.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE LAWS ON REPAIRS

 

New Hampshire requires landlords to provide a habitable property for tenants to live and enjoy.  There are specific provisions defining how tenants can remedy repairs if the landlord fails to do so. 

How many days must the tenant give for non-emergency repairs? 

New Hampshire does not state any duration for notice.  Tenants should report any defects that violate housing or building codes if the landlord refuses to repair to the New Hampshire Division of Public Health in Concord.  (Consumer Sourcebook – Renting, Security Deposits, and Evictions)

 

Can tenants withhold rent for landlords’ failure to provide essential services (i.e. water, heat, etc.)?

New Hampshire allows the tenant the following options if the landlord fails to remedy a material failure. (Consumer Sourcebook – Renting, Security Deposits, and Evictions):

 

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE LANDLORD LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Landlords have an obligation to the tenants, which include:

  • Infested by pests and landlord does not conduct regular inspections
  • Defective plumbing or fault septic/sewage system
  • Unsafe electrical wiring
  • Wall or roof leak
  • Plaster from walls and ceilings are falling
  • Unsafe holes in floors, walls or ceilings
  • Porches, stairs or railings are not structurally sound
  • Trash and garbage in the common areas, if landlord responsibility for trash removal
  • Not enough water supply or hot water system does not work
  • Gas line leak or pilot lights are faulty
  • Heating systems not properly working

 

According to (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 48-A:14)

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE TENANT LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

There are no specific statutes stating tenant duties.  However, generally, tenants must dispose of all rubbish and garbage, refrain from unreasonable use of electrical, heating, and plumbing fixtures, meet all obligations lawfully by the code enforcement agency, refrain from willfully destroying or damaging the structure, take in additional occupants, rent or sublease without the owner’s consent.

 

 

 

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE EVICTION LAWS

 

Can landlords do a ‘self help’ eviction?

In New Hampshire, it is illegal for landlords to cause the tenant to quit the rental unit involuntarily.  The tenant may recover actual damages or up to $1,000.  If the ‘self help’ eviction was knowingly done in bad faith, the fine can be three times the damage.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 358-A:10)

Are landlords allowed to lockout tenants by changing locks?

The landlord cannot change or remove the doors or locks. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:3(II))

Are landlords allowed to turn off utilities?

Landlords cannot turn off utilities. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:3(I))

 

Do landlords have to make a reasonable attempt to mitigate damages when re-renting the rental unit?

No Statute.

 

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE LAWS ON RETALIATION

 

New Hampshire laws state a landlord cannot terminate a lease, refuse a lease renewal or raise rents when:

  • Tenant submitted, or threatened to, a complaint to the government agency for building or health code violation
  • Tenant has in goof faith complained to the landlord of a violation
  • Tenant has organized or joined a tenants’ union, or similar organization

 

New Hampshire defines a period of 6 months after an event that would result in retaliating actions.  Except in cases in which the tenant owes the landlord the equivalent of one week’s rent or more.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:13-a) and (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:13-b)

 

 

 

 

LAWS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

 

Victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking are allowed to terminate the rental agreement by providing a written 30 day notice.  Upon request, the victim must provide proof with written verification.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-2(VII))

 

Landlords must replace or re-key locks if requested by the tenant, at the tenant’s expense.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-2(VII)(b))

If you are a victim, please search The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence site for a helpline:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

 

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE LAWS FOR LOCKS AND LANDLORDS

New Hampshire does not have any statewide laws regarding locks for landlords.  The tenant cannot remove, replace or add a lock without the written permission from the landlord.  If the tenant does with permission, they must provide the landlord with a key. 

 

 

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE PET LAWS & PET POLICIES

New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Laws does not have any specific pet laws.  Landlords are legally allowed to create their own pet policies and requirements.  Including tolerance for breeds, size, types, and more.  Read our guide to pet policies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO LANDLORDS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE NEED A RENTAL LICENSE?

 

According to New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Laws, landlords do not need a rental license in New Hampshire.

Landlords and owners of residential rental property do not need to register the property.  Local cities may have different requirements, we recommend you research the local city-specific laws. Baltimore in particular has regulations for licensing.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTICE OF ENTRY LAWS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Do landlords in New Hampshire have to provide notice of entry? 

New Hampshire does not require the landlord to provide a set notice, except that they can enter at a reasonable time after notice which is adequate under the circumstances.  Burbz generally recommends at least 24 hours of notice to be safe.

  • Non-emergency maintenance and repairs
  • Improvements to property
  • Inspections
  • Showing prospective tenants, contractors, mortgagees, or buyers.

 

When can a landlord enter without notice:

Landlords may enter due to an emergency.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:3(V))

 

 

Can landlords enter for non-emergency maintenance and repairs?

Yes, with proper notice and performed at reasonable hours. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:3(V))

 

 

Can landlords enter for showings?

Yes, with proper notice. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:3(V))

 

 

 

Can landlords enter for emergencies without notice?

Yes. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:3(V))

 

 

Can landlords enter during Tenant’s extended absence?

No Statute.

 

 

Can landlords enter for pesticide?

Yes, no tenant can refuse entry for bed bugs, insects or rodent infestations.  Landlords can enter for an infestation-related emergency if notice was first received within 72 hours.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:3(V))

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE SUBLEASE AND ASSIGNMENT PROVISIONS

Landlords should include a clause in the lease agreement to prevent subleasing.  Otherwise, the tenant may sublet the rental unit.

 

 

 

 

TENANT ABANDONED PROPERTY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Laws state a landlord must store personal property.  Tenants have 7 days after being notified and can recover personal property without payment of rent or storage fees.  Upon expiration of 7 days, the landlord may dispose of personal property without notifying the tenant.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540-A:3(VII))

 

 

 

 

REQUIRED RENTAL AGREEMENT DISCLOSURES FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE LEASES

 

New Hampshire Landlord-Tenant Laws requires the following be included with all Rental Agreement Disclosures:

 

Lead Paint Disclosure:  Yes.  Federal law requires every landlord to disclose known information on lead-based paint and hazards.  Landlords must provide this EPA-approved pamphlet.

 

 

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE RELATED COURT INFO & LINKS

 

New Hampshire Small Claims Court Limits:

$7,500 is the limit for small claims court. (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 503:1)

 

 

New Hampshire Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims:

No.  All eviction cases are heard at the district court.  (N.H. Rev. Stat §§ 540:13)

New Hampshire Judicial Branch

New Hampshire Attorney General

New Hampshire Bar Association

New Hampshire Legal Aid

New Hampshire Legal Assistance

New Hampshire Public Law

 

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