A New Hampshire eviction notice is a written document drafted by the landlord advising the tenant of a lease violation. It gives the tenant a certain amount of time to fix the lease violation or vacate the property. New Hampshire eviction notices are generally known as a notice to quit. They are subject to the state’s landlord-tenant laws, and one must be served before an eviction lawsuit may be filed against the tenant.
A New Hampshire eviction notice is a precursor to a lawsuit that the landlord would file to regain possession of the property. Because of this, it must be legally served. Legal service in New Hampshire means to deliver the eviction notice in person to the tenant by the landlord, a process server, or the sheriff. The notice may also be posted on the front door of the rental if the landlord sends a copy of the document to the tenant via certified mail.
The components of a New Hampshire eviction notice are:
7-Day Notice to Quit for Lease Violation
A 7-day notice to quit for a lease violation can be used for past due rent or for other lease violations. When it is created because of unpaid rent, it is called a 7-day notice to pay or quit. It should mention the amount of rent past due, how it must be paid, by when it must be paid, and where it must be paid.
A 7-day notice to quit for other lease violations is named as a 7-day notice to comply or quit. It should include a thorough description of the lease violation and the date by which it must be corrected.
In New Hampshire, 7-day notices to quit must comply with § 540:2 II(a) through (f) and 540:3 I through III.
30-Day Termination of Month-to-Month Tenancy
A 30-day termination of a month-to-month tenancy is a letter that is used to notify either the tenant or the landlord that the month-to-month tenancy is ending. It may be created and provided by either the landlord or the tenant and provided to the other party. It should include the date by which the property should be vacated. This notice must comply with § 540:3 II.
Evictions are a legal process engaged in by the landlord or their agent against the tenant if the tenant does not correct a lease violation within the amount of time set forth by New Hampshire’s landlord-tenant laws. Serving a properly and legally drafted eviction notice is the first step a landlord or their agent takes because they cannot file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant unless or until they do so. This is important to know because unless the landlord or their agent gets an order from the court, they may NOT lock out the tenant by using new locks, turn off utilities to the rental property, or have the tenant’s belongings removed. Self-help evictions, actions taken by the landlord to make the tenant leave the property without first getting a court order, are illegal and can give the tenant the legal right to sue for financial damages.
Landlords may not evict the tenant because of the tenant’s actual or perceived race, skin color, religious beliefs, country of origin, gender, disability, or family status. Family status includes whether someone is married (or not), pregnant, or has a minor child (or children). Evicting for any of these reasons is an act of discrimination at the federal level.
It is also illegal to evict a tenant if the tenant reports the property to the proper housing authorities because it is uninhabitable or for code violations. Tenants have a right to live in a safe and habitable dwelling.
As a tenant, you have legal rights. You even have legal rights during the eviction process. Evictions can be extremely scary. If you’re evicted and the landlord sues you and wins, it can show up on a background check or your credit report. It’s important that you read the eviction carefully to understand why you’re being evicted and the date by which you must fix the situation. If you have questions about the eviction notice or want to talk with the landlord about it, call them and have a calm conversation about it.
Under the last section, we discussed the illegal forms of eviction. Make sure that you read that information. If you think that you have been victimized by an illegal eviction, make an appointment with a landlord-tenant lawyer. You could have a legal right to file a lawsuit against the landlord. However, only a lawyer can tell you for sure whether you have a legal claim. If you need low-cost legal help, you may have a couple of options. You can contact Franklin Pierce School of Law and ask if they have a legal clinic. You can also contact New Hampshire legal aid. Please note that legal aid organizations often provide free or low-cost help to people who are considered, under their guidelines, in a low-income situation. This doesn’t necessarily mean low-income housing. It just means that the income of the household must not be above a certain level. If you don’t qualify for assistance, they have other resources that you may be able to access to help yourself.
Landlords have rights and obligations under New Hampshire’s landlord-tenant laws. An eviction notice must be served before a lawsuit may be filed against the tenant. You may not change the locks, shut off utilities, or remove the tenant’s belongings without first getting a court order. You also may not evict the tenant for any reason that would be considered discrimination under state or federal law. You also may not evict the tenant because they report the property for uninhabitable conditions. If you’re a landlord and you have questions about eviction notices, the eviction process, or your legal rights or obligations, make an appointment with a landlord-tenant attorney.