The New Mexico Rental Application Process
Rental applications require the applicant’s personal information, such as their full name, rental history, social security number, employment history, and income information.
The landlord or property management company uses the information to perform a background check and credit check to determine if the prospective tenant is a reasonable risk. The application may also ask more personal questions that touch on previous evictions or past bankruptcies. Although this information is sensitive, it is necessary for the landlord to find the most qualified applicant.
While this is a screening process, the rental application must conform with federal fair housing laws and New Mexico landlord-tenant laws to protect both the potential tenant and the property owner.
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A Sample New Mexico Rental Application with Examples for Each Step
As a New Mexico landlord or property manager, a rental application is a fantastic tool. It allows you to determine if an applicant is a reasonable risk before entering into a rental agreement with them. Before creating your rental application, you should decide whether you will allow married couples or couples in a civil union to apply on the same form or if you prefer that each applicant complete a separate application. If you decide to allow the applicants to use the same document, leave enough space in each section for both applicants to provide the required information. Create the following:
- A section for the applicant's personal information: their full legal name, birthday, social security number, cell phone number, work number, and email address.
- A section for the applicant's rental history, starting with where they currently live. Get their full current address, including the city, state, zip code, and contact information for their current landlord. How long have they lived at their current address? How much is their monthly rent? Leave extra room for a more extended rental history.
- A section for the applicant's employment history, starting with their current employer. Get the name of their current employer, the address, their job title, how long they've worked for their employer, supervisor’s name, and the phone number either for their supervisor or for HR. Leave extra room for a more extended employment history.
- Include space to collect information about all of their income sources. Ask them what sort of income sources they have, how often income comes into the household, and the amount received. Ask whether the applicant has checking or savings accounts and which banks or credit unions manage these accounts.
- A section for the applicant to list how many vehicles they own and to describe their vehicles. Vehicles should be described by their year, make, model, color, and, if possible, license plate numbers. Vehicle details are especially helpful for New Mexico rental properties that use parking permits or have limited parking for renters only.
- Ask the applicant to list their emergency contact information.
- Next, request the name and age of each person who will reside with the applicant.
- Ask the applicant if they have any pets, how many, the type, and the size.
- Add an authorization for a credit check and background check that complies with New Mexico law. It should also state that, by signing the application, the applicant consents to the checks. You should also indicate if the fee they paid is non-refundable.
- Finally, include a signature line and a blank space for the date.
Rental Application Resources for Tenants in New Mexico
As a renter, you're a party to a legal document known as a lease agreement. It may seem like the owner or landlord of the real estate has all of the power, but you do have rights as a renter. Here are some websites that can be beneficial:
- New Mexico Legal Aid offers legal services to eligible and low-income individuals and families experiencing landlord-tenant issues.
UNM Law Library provides a Renter's Guide in English and Spanish, Law Access New Mexico (a free civil legal advice clinic that assists with landlord-tenant issues), and Somos Un Pueblo Unido (Spanish-speaking legal advice on fair housing and tenant laws).
Senior Citizens Law Office offers assistance to senior citizens who need help with landlord-tenant issues.
- UNM School of Law's Economic Justice Clinic assists qualified individuals with landlord-tenant issues.
- The State of New Mexico offers rental assistance as well as programs to help prevent evictions.
New Mexico Rental Application Laws
According to New Mexico law, if a lease is less than 12 months, then the security deposit may be no more than one month's rent. If the lease is 12 months or longer, then there is no limit. However, if the landlord collects a security deposit of more than the equivalent of one month's rent, they must pay interest to the tenant every year.
When the lease is up and the tenant vacates the property, the landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days (N.M.S.A § 47-8-18).