New Mexico Lease Agreement Template – Forbes Advisor


Published: Oct 25, 2023, 12:05pm

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If you’re a landlord trying to lease your property to someone or a tenant looking to rent, a New Mexico lease agreement is vital. Whether renting for a few months or several years, a well-written and legally binding contract is a good idea.

A New Mexico lease agreement protects all parties’ interests and clarifies all the obligations and benefits of the landlord-tenant relationship. If you need to draft a rental contract, a template is a great way to start. You can get a free New Mexico lease template by entering your email address below.

What Is a Lease Agreement?

A lease agreement is a contract between a landlord—the property owner—and a tenant (or tenants)—the person or people using the property.

The purpose of a lease is to spell out the rights and responsibilities of all parties. These typically include the landlord’s right to collect the agreed-upon rent, for example, and their duties to repair and maintain the property. The tenants also have rights and responsibilities in most rental contracts.

The exact nature of the roles of each party will depend on the nature of the document, New Mexico laws and the terms that the landlord and tenant agree to.

When Is a Lease Agreement Used in New Mexico?

Generally, a lease agreement is used whenever a property owner agrees to let someone else use their property for a period of time. New Mexico law states that a rental agreement must be in writing, however an oral lease is enforceable in the state. A written contract can prove invaluable if there is a disagreement between landlord and tenant.

Who Typically Creates a Lease Agreement?

The landlord usually takes on the responsibility of writing the residential lease. This makes sense, as one of the critical elements of a written rental contract in New Mexico is a description of the property, and tenants may not be familiar enough with the rental property when they begin a new lease.

There is no requirement, however, that the landlord write the lease. Tenants can draft a residential lease themselves. In either case, both parties can negotiate the lease terms before signing, though this is more common in commercial than residential leases.

Which Parties Are Involved in a Lease Agreement?

There are always two parties to a lease: the lessee and the lessor. The lessee is the tenant or tenants who will be using the property. The lessor is the landlord who owns the property and allows its use.

If the tenant or tenants have bad credit or low income, the landlord may require a third party to the lease—a cosigner or guarantor. A guarantor, as the name suggests, is on the lease to guarantee the tenant honors the rental contract. Usually, this means that the guarantor agrees to pay the rent if the tenant doesn’t.

What Should Be Included in a New Mexico Lease Agreement?

Under New Mexico law, a lease agreement has to include:

  • A clear demonstration that the landlord and tenant intend to create a landlord-tenant relationship
  • Identification of all parties
  • A description of the property
  • The amount and term of the rent.
  • Signatures of both parties.

The description of the property can be as simple as the address.

In addition to what’s required to form a written lease in New Mexico, it’s a good idea to include many other elements.

The landlord should, for example, be sure to include things like how the rent should be paid, what the penalty is for late or missed payments and any other tenant responsibilities.

The tenant, on the other hand, would want to know:

  • How much notice they need to provide if they want to renew at the end of the lease,
  • When the landlord might ask for access to the property or
  • How to reach the landlord or their agent when something breaks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the maximum fee for late rent in New Mexico?

New Mexico law sets the maximum fee for paying rent late at 10% of monthly rent. Remember, however, that the state maximum may be different from the late fee in your lease. The fee can be less than the state maximum, but it can’t be more than that amount.

Does a lease need to be notarized in New Mexico?

A New Mexico lease does not need to be notarized to be valid and enforceable. In fact, notarizing a lease is extremely rare—increasingly so as more and more residential leases are e-signed.

What rights does a tenant have in New Mexico?

A lease in New Mexico is a contract between the tenant and landlord. Like any contract, both parties can negotiate the terms—at least in theory. In practice, landlords may be unwilling to alter their residential lease.It doesn’t hurt to ask, however. It’s also important to know that a lease can’t contain terms that are illegal.

In addition to the provisions in the lease, tenants have other rights under New Mexico law. New Mexico Legal Aid offers a guide.

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Jeffrey Johnson started his editorial career nearly 20 years ago as an editor and researcher for McGraw Hill and Pearson. After earning an MFA from Chapman University and his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, he combined his editorial and writing experience with his legal education. He served as the Managing Legal Editor for the websites Free Advice and Law Firm, and has been featured as a legal expert on The Manifest and Vice.

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