New Hampshire Rental Lease Agreements
The New Hampshire Rental Lease Agreements are contracts with a range of stipulations regarding the lease of a residential property that a landlord and tenant agree to comply with. Stipulations may cover any number of areas, but at minimum will address fundamental areas such as when rent is due, the payment of utilities, and any relevant penalties.
In New Hampshire, it is a requirement that rental agreements that are more than one (1) year in duration must be written. As such, it is critical that landlords and tenants specify any and all provisions they agree to in a state-specific lease agreement.
Types of Agreements
Commercial Lease Agreement – An agreement that establishes legal obligations between a commercial tenant seeking a property for their business, and a landlord with a property suitable for such use.
Lease to Own Agreement – This agreement gives a tenant the option to enter into a rent-to-own process whereby the landlord allows them to rent a property with the end objective to own it.
Month-to-Month Lease Agreement – A short-term lease contract that features a shorter period of notice than a standard lease.
Roommate Agreement – While not mandatory, anyone sharing a rental dwelling with roommates is recommended to fill out this agreement so that expectations are known and followed by all roommates.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – A contract founded on the landlord-tenant laws dictated by the state of New Hampshire.
Sublease Agreement – With permission from a landlord, using this agreement, a tenant can arrange for a portion or the entire rental property to be leased to a separate party.
What is a New Hampshire Lease Agreement?
A New Hampshire Lease Agreement is a document signed by a landlord and tenant to establish legal parameters in which a residential dwelling can be leased. These parameters embody certain rights and responsibilities both parties carry. Landlords who have not yet selected a tenant to enter into this legally-binding relationship with are advised to require prospective tenants to complete a rental application in order to be considered for tenancy.
State Definition – No state definition.
When is Rent Due?
According to § 540:1, rent is due “upon demand.” In order to clarify these terms, the conditions by which rent must be paid should be clearly outlined in the written rental contract. There is no state statute that provides tenants with a grace period.
Emergency (§ 540-A:3(IV)): Under state law, landlords do not need the tenant’s consent to enter in order to make “emergency repairs.” Further to this, federal law dictates that landlords do not need the tenant’s consent to enter in general emergency situations.
Non-Emergency (§ 540-A:3(V)): Landlords must give “notice which is adequate under the circumstances” to perform any lawful functions that are commonly associated with the ownership of a rental dwelling e.g. making necessary repairs. While the notice the landlord must give tenants is not further clarified in this statute, adequate notice is generally interpreted as at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to entry.
- Lead Paint Disclosure: This disclosure is relevant to landlords of properties built before 1978. Any landlords who fit this description must inform tenants of any known lead-based hazards, and furnish them with a copy of a specific lead-based hazards pamphlet.
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum (§ 540-A:6(I)(a)): Security deposits are capped at one month’s rent or one-hundred dollars ($100)—whichever is greater.
Returning to Tenant (§ 540-A:7(I)): The landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant, along with any interest, within thirty (30) days from the termination of the tenancy. In the case that the landlord will keep a portion or the entirety of the security deposit due to damages the tenant has caused, they must provide the tenant with a written, itemized list of the damages. The list must detail the nature of any necessary repairs, in addition to satisfactory evidence that the necessary repairs have been or will be completed.