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.
|Hot/Cold Water, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Showers, Toilets, Trash Can
|Time Limit for Repairs
|Tenant Recourse Options
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.
|Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
|Mobile home parks
|Not specifically addressed
|If person in condo is renter, not owner
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.
|Provide windows and doors that are in good repair.
|Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks.
|Provide hot and cold running water.
|Provide working HVAC equipment.
|Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting.
|Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking
|Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet).
|Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services).
|Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe.
|Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe.
|Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean.
|Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials.
|Provide working smoke detectors
|Provide a mailbox.
|Provide working wiring for one telephone jack.
|Provide working kitchen appliances.
|Provide working carbon monoxide detector.
|Provide a working washer/dryer.
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.
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.