Warranty of Habitability in New Hampshire

Last Updated: June 1, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In New Hampshire a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by N.H. Rev. Stats. § 48-A:14. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities Roof/Walls, Hot/Cold Water, Heat, Plumbing, Electrical, Gas, Trash Can, Stairs/Railings, Floors, Smoke Detector
Time Limit for Repairs 14 Days
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: Yes
  • Repair & Deduct: No Statute

Applicable Dwelling Types in New Hampshire

The implied warranty of habitability in New Hampshire does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs No
RV parks No
Mobile home parks Not addressed
Condos Only if person in condo is renter, not owner
Hotels/Motels No

Additionally, rental agreements are not allowed to include any provisions that waive the tenant’s right to live in a habitable residence.

Landlord Responsibilities in New Hampshire

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in New Hampshire, as indicated below.

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Yes
Provide hot and cold running water. Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. Heat only
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Yes
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Not addressed
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Yes
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Yes
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Yes
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Yes
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Yes, if required
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Not addressed
Provide a working washer/dryer. Not addressed

If a landlord leases a dwelling unit that is in a municipality that has not adopted ordinances or codes the landlord must maintain these minimum housing standards listed above.

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The premises must have a heating system that is in good working condition and should supply a minimum temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.


If bedbugs are discovered in a rental unit, through no fault of the tenant, the landlord is required to pay to treat the rental unit.

If a landlord does not treat the unit, the tenant may withhold rent until the unit is treated, or pursue legal action.

Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in New Hampshire

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in New Hampshire, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

Requesting Repairs in New Hampshire

New Hampshire renters have the right to repairs for issues that affect health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. To exercise their right, the renter must start by notifying the landlord of the issue in writing. The landlord gets 14 days after notice to fix the issue.

If the issue isn’t fixed within the legally required time, the renter can end the rental agreement, or ask a court to order repairs or compensation. The renter isn’t allowed to repair and deduct, or withhold rent without court authorization.

Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in New Hampshire

New Hampshire renters have the right to repairs for a variety of potential issues, including things that impact health and safety. To exercise their right, renters have to give the landlord written notice about the issue that needs fixing and wait 14 days for the landlord to do repairs.

If the issue isn’t fixed by the landlord in a timely way, the renter could end the rental agreement or get a court order for repairs or compensation. However, the renter usually can’t repair and deduct, or withhold rent. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in New Hampshire

It’s illegal for New Hampshire landlords to retaliate by evicting, increasing rent, or otherwise substantially changing the terms of the rental agreement against tenants who owe no more than one week’s rent and have taken one of the following protected actions:

  • Complaining to the landlord or the government about failure to maintain the property.
  • Court actions relating to property maintenance.
  • Meeting or gathering with other tenants for any lawful purpose.

The law presumes retaliatory intention from the landlord for six months after the landlord completes repairs, receives written notice about needed repairs, or becomes aware of tenants meeting or gathering for a lawful purpose.