The New Hampshire residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) conveys a landlord’s right to occupy their premises to a tenant for a monetary payment. Within the contract are stipulations that each party must adhere to in order to maintain a valid agreement.
New Hampshire Lease Agreement Disclosures
The following disclosures are required for all residential lease agreements in New Hampshire.
There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts or legal liabilities in New Hampshire.
Applicable to all rental units in New Hampshire that charge a security deposit.
New Hampshire landlords that intend to charge a security deposit are required to provide an inventory of the rental unit’s condition in the form of a move-in checklist. This checklist does not necessarily have to be attached to the rental agreement, but it does need to be inspected and agreed to by the prospective tenant within five days of occupancy.
The checklist should include any current damage or specific furnishings that are included (such as appliances or furniture) that must be returned in the same state they were upon move-in. It must also highlight any conditions that need to be remedied for the habituality of the dwelling.
Security Deposit Holdings Disclosure
Applicable to all rental units holding a security deposit not in the form of a check.
When charging and holding a security deposit (except as a check), a New Hampshire landlord must disclose the holding information to the tenant in the lease. This includes the location of the funds and the account number.
SECURITY DEPOSIT HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE. The security deposit of $____, highlighted in this lease, can be found at the following location:
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in New Hampshire to:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by New Hampshire law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
- Landlord Name & Address – to create a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord, it is recommended that New Hampshire landlords provide contact information within or alongside the lease for themselves or anyone authorized to act on behalf of the property.
- Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. New Hampshire law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke to not interfere with other tenants.
- Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. New Hampshire does not limit how high these fees can be, but they should be considered reasonable (often no more than 10% of rent) and reflect the actual expenses incurred by the landlord as a result of a late payment. They must also be charged only after the agreed upon due date for rent, dictated in the lease.
- Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
- Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to provide information on the protocol for handling a bed bug infestation. This addendum will notify the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention by promptly reporting any sign of infestation to the landlord.
- Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings begin to deteriorate.
- Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to a tenant’s negligence during the lease term.