New Mexico eviction notices are documents that landlords serve on tenants to inform them that their lease is terminated and legal action will be pursued if they do not move out or otherwise comply with the notice by the required date. The notice period that the tenant is given to vacate the premises depends on the reason for their lease’s termination.
The most common reasons for eviction are that the tenant hasn’t paid their rent on-time or has violated the terms their lease. In either case, they will usually have the opportunity to pay the amount owed or correct their non-compliance within the given notice period. If an eviction notice expires and the tenant remains on the property, they will most likely face legal action from the landlord who will have them formally evicted.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment – A landlord gives this notice to a tenant who has not paid their rent to inform them that they have three (3) days to pay the rent owed or vacate their rental unit.
7-Day Notice to Quit for Lease Violation – Used when a tenant has broken the terms of their lease. For first-time notices, the tenant may fix their violations in the seven (7) day notice period to avoid eviction. If it is the second notice, the tenant must move out.
30-Day Notice to Terminate for Month-to-Month Lease – Terminates a month-to-month tenancy; no justification is required and the tenant must move out within thirty (30) days.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Substantial Violation of Lease – For serious lease violations and illegal activity, the tenant is given no opportunity for recourse and must move out within three (3) days from the date of service.
- Grace Period: Not mentioned in state statutes.
- Non-Payment of Rent (§ 47-8-33(D)): Three (3) Days
- Lease Non-Compliance (§ 47-8-33(A)): Seven (7) Days
- Periodic Tenancy Termination (§ 47-8-37(B)): Thirty (30) Days
- Illegal Activity (§ 47-8-33(I)): Three (3) Days
- Intentional Damage to the Property (§ 47-8-33(I)): Three (3) Days
In New Mexico, landlords are not legally permitted to perform “self-help” evictions by attempting to force a tenant off their property. Instead, they must issue proper written notice, file an eviction lawsuit, and obtain a court order for the tenant’s removal. Legal action can only be pursued after a notice to quit has expired and the tenant has not complied with the contents thereof. Furthermore, the landlord must be sure that they have the legal right to evict, because the tenant can contest any legal action that is for non-payment or lease violation.
Step 1 – Download and Complete a Notice to Quit
To begin the eviction process, a landlord must give the tenant a written notice that communicates the reason for the eviction and the number of days that the tenant has to comply with the notice before any legal action will be taken. If the reason for the notice is non-payment of rent or violating the lease, the tenant can usually continue their tenancy by correcting their non-compliance before the notice expires.
- 3-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment
- 7-Day Notice to Quit for Lease Violation
- 30-Day Notice to Terminate for Month-to-Month Lease
- 3-Day Notice to Quit for Substantial Violation of Lease
The landlord must fill out the appropriate notice and make copies for themselves in case further action is necessary.
Step 2 – Deliver the Notice to the Tenant
Once the appropriate notice form has been downloaded and completed, the landlord will need to serve the notice to the tenant. Service must be performed in-person, posted on the property, or sent by mail. After service has been completed, the landlord will need to complete the service portion in their copy of the notice to quit which will be filed with the court if legal action is necessary.
Step 3 – File the Lawsuit
- Petition by Owner for Restitution (SAMPLE – Bernalillo County)
- Expired Notice(s) to Quit
- A copy of the tenant’s lease agreement
The filing fee for a Petition is $77 (Source: Landlord’s Process for Evicting a Tenant Page 2).
Step 4 – Serve the Tenant
After receiving the Service Packet from the Clerk of the Court, the landlord is responsible for delivering the packet to the tenant at least seven (7) days before the trial date. However, the landlord cannot personally serve the documents, instead, they must be served by the County Sheriff, a private process server, or any adult who is not involved with the case. The Service Packet must be given directly to the tenant or a co-habitant who is at least fifteen (15) years old, or posted on the premises and sent by certified mail. When the documents have been served on the tenant, the Return of Service portion of the Summons must be completed by the server, signed by a Notary Public, and filed with the Clerk’s Office.
Step 5 – Defendant’s Response
If the tenant chooses to contest the landlord’s petition, they will need to fill out the Answer to Petition for Restitution (SAMPLE – Bernalillo County) and file it with the court before the deadline indicated in the Summons (or the trial date, whichever is sooner).
Step 6 – Attend Trial
On the date of the trial, both parties will present their case and the Judge will make a judgment. After making their ruling, the Judge will sign a Judgment for Restitution in the prevailing party’s favor. In the event that either the landlord or the tenant does not appear in court, the court will most likely rule in favor of the attending party. If the landlord prevails, the Judge will enter an eviction date in their Judgment.
Step 7 – Writ of Restitution
If the tenant does not vacate the rental property by the eviction date, the landlord can request a Writ of Restitution from the Court Clerk. Once obtained, this form must be given to the County Sheriff who will complete the eviction process by serving the Writ and, if necessary, physically remove the tenant.
- Petition by Owner for Restitution (Form 4-904)
- Signing: Plaintiff
- Petition by Landlord for Termination of Tenancy and Judgment of Possession (Form 4-923A)
- Signing: Plaintiff
- Summons and Notice of Trial on Petition for Writ of Restitution (Form 4-905)
- Signing: Person making service and Notary Public
- Answer to Petition for Restitution (SAMPLE – Bernalillo County) (Form 4-907)
- Signing: Defendant
- Judgment for Restitution (Form 4-909)
- Signing: Judge
- Writ of Restitution (Form 4-913/4-914)
- Signing: Judge OR Designee and Sheriff OR Deputy