New Mexico HOA Laws

New Mexico HOA Laws

Last Updated: June 16, 2023 by Corrin Swintosky

Homeowners associations (HOAs) manage many planned communities in New Mexico. Various local, state, and federal regulations as well as governing documents oversee HOAs in New Mexico.

Who Regulates HOAs in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, HOAs are regulated by the New Mexico Homeowners Association Act found in Chapter 47 Article 16 of the New Mexico Statutes. This act governs lot owners in a development created by a recorded declaration.

An HOA is also regulated by its own governing documents. The governing documents typically include: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and other rules and regulations. However, all HOAs are different in what documents they may or may not include.

HOAs in New Mexico may be subject to applicable federal laws such as:

HOAs may be subject to certain state laws such as:

How to Find HOA Regulations in New Mexico

HOA governing documents are public records in New Mexico. HOAs are required to file with the office of the county clerk in each county where the HOA is located. To obtain these documents, visit the local county clerk’s office.

Additionally, the type of business records that are filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State can be viewed online by conducting a Business Search.

These records can include by-laws, Articles of Incorporation, and other reports. To view these records, anyone can submit a request form via email or mail to the New Mexico Secretary of State.

HOA Powers in New Mexico

In New Mexico, HOAs have the power to:

  • Levy reasonable fines
  • Collect payments for common assessments
  • Impose a lien for unpaid assessments
  • Foreclose on a home for unpaid liens
  • Suspend the use of the common areas

Moreover, an HOA’s governing documents can grant added powers such as restrictions on membership, parking, fencing, and exterior paint colors.

Can an HOA Impose Fines on a Homeowner in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, HOAs can impose fines for violation of its governing documents and unpaid assessments. Before imposing a fine, the HOA must give the homeowner a written notice and an opportunity to dispute the violation. The HOA’s governing documents will note the amount and types of fees.

An HOA cannot fine a homeowner for (or generally prohibit) any of the following:

  • Displaying flags so long as they are consistent with federal law
  • Installing solar energy devices
  • Installing satellite dishes and antennas

An HOA’s governing documents may include reasonable regulations and rules about the placement, manner, and display of flags, solar panels, and satellite dishes and antennas.

Can an HOA Take a Homeowner’s House in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, HOAs can foreclose on a homeowner’s house for unpaid liens from overdue assessments. Notice requirements and late periods are determined by the HOA’s governing documents.

There is no provision regarding if an HOA can evict tenants or homeowners. However, if the homeowner is leasing a tenant, the HOA may be able to evict the tenant. For example, an HOA may be able to evict a tenant if the lease was not properly authorized by the HOA.

In addition, the HOA may have other powers or restrictions regarding rental properties in its governing documents.

Can an HOA Enter a Homeowner’s Property in New Mexico?

No state statute in New Mexico governs HOAs entering a homeowner’s property. The powers of an HOA in entering a homeowner’s house will be listed in its governing documents.

Typically, an HOA may be able to enter a homeowner’s property due to an emergency, maintenance, or violation of any rules or regulations.

Except for emergencies, reasonable notice should be provided to the homeowner before the HOA is to enter the property. A reasonable timeline can range depending on the reason for entry between three days and a couple of weeks.

Where Do Homeowners File Complaints Against Their HOA in New Mexico?

The appropriate agency to file a complaint against an HOA depends on the type of complaint.

If a homeowner feels they are a victim of housing discrimination, they can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Urban Housing or file a private lawsuit in New Mexico state or federal court.

For complaints concerning HOA fees, a homeowner can file a complaint with the New Mexico Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, homeowners may also file in state or federal court within one year of the violation date.

A homeowner can bring all other complaints to state court in the appropriate jurisdiction by filing a claim.

Joining and Leaving an HOA in New Mexico

New Mexico state statutes do not have any explicit laws on joining or leaving an HOA. These clauses are outlined in the HOA’s governing documents.

Typically, there are two types of HOAs that govern members joining or leaving:

  • Mandatory HOAs. When a person buys a home, they automatically become a member required to abide by any HOA rules listed in the governing documents. This usually includes that a homeowner is not able to leave the HOA freely.
  • Voluntary HOAs. When a person buys a home, membership is a choice for each homeowner. If they choose to become a member, they may leave at any time by stopping their payments with the HOA.

To leave a mandatory HOA, a homeowner can sell their house or try to petition the HOA, court, or hire a private attorney to have their home removed. However, there is no guarantee the petition will be granted.

How to Dissolve an HOA in New Mexico

The process for dissolution of an HOA in New Mexico may be set forth in the HOA’s governing documents. If it is not, the HOA board must propose dissolution to HOA members at a meeting with proper notice of the meeting.

The HOA members need to vote at least ⅔ to adopt dissolution. If dissolution is adopted, the HOA must also propose a plan of distribution for its assets and debts to be approved in the same way as dissolution.

Once the plan has been executed, the HOA can file an Articles of Dissolution with the New Mexico Secretary of State. The New Mexico Secretary of State will issue a Certificate of Dissolution to the HOA as proof that the HOA has been fully dissolved.