Warranty of Habitability in New Mexico

Last Updated: June 5, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In New Mexico, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by NM Stat § 47-8-20. 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 Hot/Cold Water, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Showers, Toilets, Trash Can
Time Limit for Repairs 7 Days
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: Yes, 33% or 100% per day
  • Repair & Deduct: No Statute

Applicable Dwelling Types in New Mexico

The implied warranty of habitability in New Mexico 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 specifically addressed
Condos If person in condo is renter, not owner
Hotels/Motels Yes

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 Mexico

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in New Mexico, 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. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. Yes
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Yes
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Yes
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
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 Not addressed
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. No
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Not addressed
Provide a working washer/dryer. No

Landlords in New Mexico must comply with the minimum housing code requirements that materially affect the health and safety of tenants. Landlords are required to make repairs and keep the premises in a safe condition.  In some instances, a landlord and tenant may agree, in writing, that the tenant may complete certain maintenance tasks and repairs.

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Landlords are not required to provide appliances, but if they do, they must be in good working order.

In addition to the basic landlord responsibilities set out above, local housing codes also impose duties on landlords that tenants may enforce. Check your local housing code to know specific landlord responsibilities.

Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in New Mexico

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in New Mexico, 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 Mexico

New Mexico tenants must request repairs by providing the landlord written notice about the issue. The landlord must do repairs within seven days. The tenant has to choose whether they want to break the lease or abate (withhold part of) rent if the landlord doesn’t do timely repairs.

If the chosen remedy is rent abatement, all the tenant needs to do is request repairs in writing and wait seven days.  If the tenant wants to break the lease, this intention has to be stated in the repair request.

An example of language a tenant might use to state this intention is: “If the issue isn’t fixed, the renter may exercise his right to cancel the rental agreement seven or more days from today.

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

New Mexico 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 seven 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 abate (partially withhold) rent. In either case, the renter can also ask a court to order repairs or compensation. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in New Mexico

It’s illegal for New Mexico landlords to retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction against tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions in the past six months:

  • Complaining to the landlord or the government about failure to maintain the property.
  • Participating in a tenant organization.
  • Pursuing rights or remedies given by New Mexico’s landlord-tenant law.
  • Being involved in a lawsuit against the landlord that relates to the rental property.
  • Abating (withholding) some or all of the rent according to the proper legal procedure.

The law allows an exception when the landlord can prove a non-retaliatory, good-faith reason for the alleged retaliatory action. For example, a landlord who raises rent proportionately in response to a large increase in property tax is not retaliating, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.