Legislature: Enhanced Renter Protections Pass House


Amidst an ongoing pandemic that has deepened New Mexico’s housing crisis, new protections for renters passed the House of Representatives 42-25, and will now advance to the Senate.  

Sponsored by Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe) and Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces), House Bill 111 provides additional protections for New Mexico renters, including prohibiting rental termination or refusal to renew a housing contract during a declared emergency or disaster. The bill also increases certain civil penalties, extends the time permitted to remedy unpaid rent, requires longer time periods be given for nonpayment notices, clarifies requirements for deductions made to rental deposits, and prohibits retaliation against a renter due to reporting of problems with owner-provided services or appliances, or requests for reasonable accommodation for disabilities. 

“New Mexico was already facing a housing crisis, and COVID-19 unfortunately exacerbated the problem,” said Rep. Romero. “We have been meeting with advocates and New Mexicans from around the state since the pandemic began, and they’ve helped us craft this legislation to protect renters during times of crisis and modernize our overall housing statutes to protect the interests of both landlords and tenants in the long-term.”  

“All too often, the basic rights of property renters in New Mexico are ignored or even directly violated,” said Rep. Rubio. “House Bill 111 puts in place safeguards to ensure that tenants receive proper and timely notice regarding missed payments and termination actions, are not punished for requesting reasonable accommodations and maintenance services, and are not left out in the cold during an emergency or disaster. We must reject the status quo and create housing policies that respect all parties involved, and that’s what HB 111 does.” 

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.