56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
RELATING TO PROPERTY; LIMITING THE AMOUNT OF RENT INCREASE DURING A TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD; REQUIRING LANDLORDS TO MAINTAIN EVAPORATIVE COOLING IN GOOD AND SAFE WORKING ORDER; PROHIBITING OWNERS FROM ATTEMPTING TO REMOVE RESIDENTS BY INTERFERING WITH AIR CONDITIONING OR EVAPORATIVE COOLING SERVICES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 47-8-15 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1975, Chapter 38, Section 15, as amended) is amended to read:
"47-8-15. PAYMENT OF RENT.--
A. The resident shall pay rent in accordance with the rental agreement. In the absence of an agreement, the resident shall pay as rent the fair rental value for the use of the premises and occupancy of the dwelling unit.
B. Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit. Unless otherwise agreed, periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each monthly period. The date of one month to the same date of the following month shall constitute a term of one month.
C. Unless the rental agreement fixes a definite term, the residency is week-to-week in the case of a person who pays weekly rent and in all other cases month-to-month.
D. If the rental agreement provides for the charging of a late fee and if the resident does not pay rent in accordance with the rental agreement, the owner may charge the resident a late fee in an amount not to exceed ten percent of the total rent payment for each rental period that the resident is in default. To assess a late fee, the owner shall provide notice of the late fee charged no later than the last day of the next rental period immediately following the period in which the default occurred.
E. An owner may not assess a fee from the resident for occupancy of the dwelling unit by a reasonable number of guests for a reasonable length of time. This shall not preclude charges for use of premises or facilities other than the dwelling unit by guests.
F. An owner may increase the rent payable by the resident in a month-to-month residency, in accordance with the rent control provisions of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act, by providing written notice to the resident of the proposed increase at least thirty days prior to the periodic rental date specified in the rental agreement or, in the case of a fixed term residency, at least thirty days prior to the end of the term. In the case of a periodic residency of less than one month, written notice shall be provided at least one rental period in advance of the first rental payment to be increased.
G. Unless agreed upon in writing by the owner and the resident, a resident's payment of rent may not be allocated to any deposits or damages."
SECTION 2. Section 47-8-20 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1975, Chapter 38, Section 20, as amended) is amended to read:
"47-8-20. OBLIGATIONS OF OWNER.--
A. The owner shall:
(1) substantially comply with requirements of the applicable minimum housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
(2) make repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a safe condition as provided by applicable law and rules [and regulations] as provided in Section 47-8-23 NMSA 1978;
(3) keep common areas of the premises in a safe condition;
(4) maintain in good and safe working order and condition electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, evaporative cooling and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, if any, supplied or required to be supplied by [him] the owner;
(5) provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal from the appropriate receptacle; and
(6) supply running water and a reasonable amount of hot water at all times and reasonable heat, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the resident and supplied by a direct public utility connection.
B. If there exists a minimum housing code applicable to the premises, the owner's maximum duty [under] pursuant to this section shall be determined by Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this section. The obligations imposed by this section are not intended to change existing tort law in the state.
C. The owner and resident of a single family residence may agree that the resident perform the owner's duties specified in Paragraphs (5) and (6) of Subsection A of this section and also specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations and remodeling, but only if the transaction is in writing, for consideration, entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the owner.
D. The owner and resident of a dwelling unit other than a single family residence may agree that the resident is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations or remodeling only if:
(1) the agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the owner and is set forth in a separate writing signed by the parties and supported by consideration; and
(2) the agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the owner to other residents in the premises.
E. Notwithstanding any provision of this section, an owner may arrange with a resident to perform the obligations of the owner. Any such arrangement between the owner and the resident will not serve to diminish the owner's obligations as set forth in this section, nor shall the failure of the resident to perform the obligations of the owner serve as a basis for eviction or in any way be considered a material breach by the resident of [his] the resident's obligations [under] pursuant to the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act or the rental agreement.
F. In multi-unit housing, if there is separate utility metering for each unit, the resident shall receive a copy of the utility bill for [his] the resident's unit upon request made to the owner or [his] the owner's agent. If the unit is submetered, the resident shall then be entitled to receive a copy of the apartment's utility bill. When utility bills for common areas are separately apportioned between units and the costs are passed on to the residents of each unit, each resident may, upon request, receive a copy of all utility bills being apportioned. The calculations used as the basis for apportioning the cost of utilities for common areas and submetered apartments shall be made available to [any] a resident upon request. The portion of the common area cost that would be allocated to an empty unit if it were occupied shall not be allocated to the remaining residents. It is solely the owner's responsibility to supply the items and information in this subsection to the resident upon request. The owner may charge an administrative fee not to exceed five dollars ($5.00) for each monthly request of the items in this subsection.
G. The owner shall provide a written rental agreement to each resident prior to the beginning of occupancy."
SECTION 3. Section 47-8-36 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1975, Chapter 38, Section 36, as amended) is amended to read:
"47-8-36. UNLAWFUL REMOVAL AND DIMINUTION OF SERVICES PROHIBITED.--
A. Except in case of abandonment, surrender or as otherwise permitted in the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act, an owner or any person acting on behalf of the owner shall not knowingly exclude the resident or remove, threaten or attempt to remove or dispossess [a] the resident from the dwelling unit without a court order by:
(2) plugging, changing, adding or removing any lock or latching device;
(3) blocking any entrance into the dwelling unit;
(4) interfering with services or normal and necessary utilities to the unit [pursuant to Section 47-8-32 NMSA 1978], including [but not limited to] electricity, gas, hot or cold water, plumbing, air conditioning, evaporative cooling, heat or telephone service; provided that this section shall not impose a duty upon the owner to make utility payments or otherwise prevent utility interruptions resulting from nonpayment of utility charges by the resident;
(5) removing the resident's personal property from the dwelling unit or its premises;
(6) removing or incapacitating appliances or fixtures, except for making necessary and legitimate repairs; or
(7) any willful act rendering a dwelling unit or any personal property located in the dwelling unit or on the premises inaccessible or uninhabitable.
B. The provisions of Subsection A of this section shall not apply if an owner temporarily interferes with possession while making legitimate repairs or inspections as provided for in the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act.
C. If an owner commits any of the acts stated in Subsection A of this section, the resident may:
(1) abate one hundred percent of the rent for each day in which the resident is denied possession of the premises for any portion of the day or each day where the owner caused termination or diminishment of any service for any portion of the day;
(2) be entitled to civil penalties as provided in Subsection B of Section 47-8-48 NMSA 1978;
(3) seek restitution of the premises pursuant to Sections 47-8-41 and [Section] 47-8-42 NMSA 1978 or terminate the rental agreement; and
(4) be entitled to damages."
SECTION 4. A new section of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] RENT CONTROL.--
A. Except as provided in Subsection C of this section, an owner of residential real property may not, over the course of a twelve-month period, increase a resident's rent:
(1) five percent plus any percentage increase in the consumer price index for the previous year; provided that if information on the percentage increase in the consumer price index for the previous year is not available, the percentage increase in the consumer price index for the last year when information is available shall be used; or
(2) ten percent, if the sum of five percent and the percentage increase in the consumer price index for the previous year is more than ten percent.
B. A resident of residential real property subject to this section shall not enter into a sublease that results in a total rent for the premises that exceeds the allowable rental rate authorized by Subsection A of this section.
C. The provisions of this section do not apply to a dwelling unit that:
(1) has reduced rent as part of a federal, state or local program or subsidy for that dwelling unit; or
(2) is rented by the week.
D. As used in this section:
(1) "consumer price index" means the consumer price index, not seasonally adjusted, for all urban consumers, United States city average for all items, or its successor index, as published by the United States department of labor for a twelve-month period ending December 31; and
(2) "resident's rent" means the gross per month rental amount excluding any rent discounts, incentives, concessions or credits offered by the owner of the dwelling unit of residential real property and accepted by the resident."