A lease or a rental agreement in the state of New Hampshire can either be verbal or written. Both tenants and landlords obtain certain rights and responsibilities after signing.
As a landlord, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the New Hampshire landlord-tenant law in order to run have a successful rental property. The following is an overview of the state’s landlord-tenant law.
New Hampshire Landlord Tenant Rights: Required Disclosures
New Hampshire landlord-tenant law only requires landlords to make one disclosure to prospective tenants: for rental properties built prior to 1978, you must let your tenant know of any use of lead-based paint and any known lead-based paint hazards in the unit.
NH Tenant Rights & Responsibilities
Once the new tenant signs the lease or rental agreement, you must consider NH renters rights:
- A right to be notified of changes made to the agreement
- A right to live in a safe and habitable rental property. Each state has specific health and safety codes that a rental property must meet in order to be deemed habitable. New Hampshire isn’t an exception.
- A right to have requested repairs done within a reasonable period of time. If you don’t, your tenant may be able to withhold rent until you are able to.
- A right to live in privacy. Your tenant has a right to live in their rented premises in quiet and peace, away from unnecessary disruptions. While the law doesn’t specify the amount of notice landlords must serve their tenants prior to entering, it’s good practice to give tenants at least 24-hours’ notice prior to entry.
- A right to be served receipts for rent or security deposits
- A right to seek out housing without being discriminated upon. New Hampshire Fair Housing Laws prohibit any form of discrimination against tenants if they belong to a protected class.
- A right to remain in the unit until the landlord has followed the proper eviction procedure to evict them from the home.
When it comes to a tenant’s responsibilities, they must:
- Provide the landlord proper notice before vacating the unit. Just like most states, tenants in New Hampshire must provide their landlords a notice of at least 30 days prior to moving out.
- Abide by all terms of the lease agreement. For instance, making timely rent payments, caring for the unit, and notifying the landlord about maintenance issues.
- Keep noise levels down. Tenants, too, have a responsibility to respect the peace and quiet of their neighbors. So, throwing large, noisy parties every other weekend may be a gross violation of the agreement.
- Inform the landlord of needed repairs. This must be done in writing.
- Let the landlord know when they are going to be away for an extended period of time
- Take care of the property as per the lease or rental agreement
- Make timely rent payments as per the lease or rental agreement
NH Rental Laws
Landlords in New Hampshire have the right to:
- Demand a security deposit prior to allowing a tenant to sign the lease
- Be served proper notice from a tenant looking to vacate the unit
- Make changes to the terms of the lease agreement so long as they serve proper notice
- Let the landlord know when they are going to be out of town for an extended period of time
- Enforce the terms of the lease. For example, imposing a late fee when the tenant pays rent late.
- Terminate the lease agreement in the event the tenant violates the terms. For instance, causes excessive property damage or stops paying rent.
The following are basic landlord responsibilities in the state of New Hampshire. As a landlord, you must:
- Maintain the peace and quiet
- Make requested repairs promptly depending on their urgency
- Follow the proper eviction procedure when evicting a tenant for gross violation of the lease or rental agreement
- Comply with all habitability codes required in the state of New Hampshire
- Give proper notice when looking to make changes to the terms of the lease agreement
- Abide by all terms of the lease or rental agreement
- Provide all amenities promised in the lease agreement. Examples of essential amenities that landlords in New Hampshire are responsible for include water, gas lines, electrical wiring and outlets, and pest inspection and abatement
NH Landlord Tenant Law: an Overview
1. Evictions in New Hampshire
As a landlord, you have a right to evict your tenant for violating the terms of the agreement. Common reasons for lease violations include nonpayment of rent, illegal acts, and unauthorized activities such as keeping a pet when there is a no-pet policy.
Retaliatory or discriminatory evictions are illegal.
2. Security Deposits
Landlords have a right to require a security deposit from their tenant. That being said, there are many rules that you must follow in regards to a tenant’s security deposit. For example, there is a cap on how much deposit you can ask a tenant. New Hampshire limits the security deposit to a maximum of one month’s rent.
You must also store your tenant’s security deposit in a particular way. That is, in an account in a bank or financial institution that does business in the state of New Hampshire.
3. Rent Increases
There is no rent control law in the state of New Hampshire. This means that you are free to charge what you want.
But before increasing the rent on a tenant, you must provide them a notice of at least 30 days.
4. Housing Discrimination
The Fair Housing Act prohibits all forms of housing discrimination. Protected characteristics in New Hampshire include race, color, disability, religion, national origin, familial status, age, marital status and sexual orientation.
It’s vital to have an understanding of New Hampshire’s landlord-tenant laws when becoming a landlord. This will make your rental experience much smoother and save you from any unnecessary conflicts. However, it can be overwhelming to learn all the details of these laws. Consider hiring an experienced property manager like Keyrenter Property Management. We’d be happy to speak to you about our services!
Disclaimer: This blog isn’t a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. Laws frequently change, and this post might not be updated at the time you read it. Get in touch with Keyrenter Property Management for any questions regarding this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.