A New Hampshire lease agreement is a document that regulates the rights and obligations between the landlord (lessor) and the tenant (lessee).
The main duty of the landlord is to enable the tenant to access the leased property and use it without being disturbed. On the other side, the tenant’s primary duty is to pay the rent by the due date provided in the lease agreement.
The landlord would usually ask all the potential tenants to submit a rental application. A rental application includes all the details about the prospective tenant, including their credit score. The landlord will then review the application and do a background check.
If there are no issues found, they will start drafting the lease agreement.
New Hampshire Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
Federal and New Hampshire state laws and regulations provide five mandatory disclosures that must be included in every lease agreement:
Lead-based paint disclosure. Federal law requires the landlord to inform the tenant about the presence of any lead-based paint at the property. This disclosure must be included in the lease agreement for any property built before 1978. (Section 1018 of Title X)
Lease agreement copy. The New Hampshire law requires the tenant to give a copy of the lease agreement to the tenant no later than 30 days after signing it.
Move-in disclosure. The tenant must give a list of all the items at the leased unit that need a repair within 5 days from the moment they’ve moved in. Any damages not disclosed in this way will have to be covered by the tenant when moving out. (§ 540-A:6(I)(c))
Methamphetamine disclosure. The landlord must disclose to the tenant if the leased unit was previously used for methamphetamine production. (§ 477:4-g)
Security deposit disclosure. The landlord must provide the tenant with the receipt stating the security deposit amount and the account where it will be kept. This is unnecessary if the tenant pays the security deposit using a personal check. (§ 540-A:6(I)(b))
New Hampshire Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
Unlike with the mandatory disclosures, you will not face legal consequences for omitting any of the disclosures listed below. However, when drafting the lease agreement, many choose to include the following disclosure to prevent any potential disputes:
Bed bug disclosure. If there was a bed bug infestation at the leased property in the past, the landlord shall inform the tenant. They shall also provide guidelines on how to act in case of a bed bug infestation.
Non-refundable fee disclosure. The landlord shall inform the tenant if any of the fees are considered non-refundable. Any non-refundable fees that are not disclosed must be refunded to the tenant.
Smoking disclosure. The tenant can state whether smoking is prohibited at the leased unit or inform the tenant about the designated smoking areas.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
For any damages caused by a health and safety hazard not properly disclosed in the lease agreement, the landlord can have civil liability and pay penalties.
The landlord who fails to inform the tenant about the lead-based paint presence can be held liable for up to $19,507, according to 24 CFR § 30.65.
New Hampshire Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
The maximum security deposit in New Hampshire is one month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater. (§ 540-A:6) The security deposit must be kept in a separate account and not be mingled with personal funds.
Security Deposit Return
The landlord must return the security deposit, or any of its remaining part to the tenant, within 30 days from the termination of tenancy. The tenant is also eligible for interest on the amount kept as a security deposit.
If any deductions from the deposit were made, the landlord must provide the list of deductions to the tenant, along with the receipts for any repairs or cleaning that was done. (§ 540-A:7)
When is Rent Due in New Hampshire? (Grace Period)
The rent is due on the day stipulated in the lease agreement.
The state of Hampshire doesn’t provide a grace period for the rent payment. That enables the landlord to start charging the late fees as soon as the due date is over.
When it comes to eviction, the landlord can initiate the procedure after sending a 7-day notice to the tenant, requiring the payment of the due rent.
New Hampshire Rent Late Fees
There is no state restriction on the maximum late fee amount. Therefore, the landlord can charge any amount they deem reasonable, as long as it is provided in the lease agreement. The landlord cannot charge any fee that is not properly disclosed in the lease agreement.
New Hampshire NSF Checks
If the landlord receives the worthless check, they must immediately notify the tenant to resolve the situation. The tenant then must compensate the landlord within 14 days in order not to face felony charges. (§ 638-4)
New Hampshire Landlord’s Right to Enter
The landlord must provide reasonable notice to the tenant before accessing the rental unit. The state law doesn’t further define what is considered to be reasonable. However, in practice, a 24-hour notice would be considered reasonable and timely.
This notification is not required if the landlord must access the leased unit for emergency repairs. (§ 540-A:3(IV))
New Hampshire Lease Agreement FAQ
Yes, the lease agreement is a legally binding document in New Hampshire.
From the moment the landlord and the tenant have signed the lease agreement, it is considered valid and legally binding.
If some of the clauses in the lease agreement are invalid or prohibited by federal or state law, these clauses shall not affect the validity of the whole contract.
If you are drafting the lease agreement for the property located in New Hampshire, you should include the following information:
Names and addresses of the contractual parties
Information about the leased unit
Maximal occupancy of the leased unit
Rent amount, due date, and methods of payment
Late and non-refundable fees (optional)
Mandatory disclosures provided by federal and state law
Disclosures provided by the contractual parties (optional)
Rules about the lease agreement termination
Date and place of lease agreement signature
The easiest way to get your lease agreement for the property in New Hampshire is to download one of the templates available on our website.
Depending on the lease duration and type, you can choose between the:
Residential and commercial lease agreement
Long-term and month-to-month lease agreement
Sublease or room rental lease agreement
Rent-to-own lease agreement
After drafting your lease agreement, you should inspect the leased property and do the other move-in formalities.
By inspecting the property, you are making sure none of the items in the leased property need additional cleaning and repairs. If that is the case, you can sign the move-in form.
Finally, you can pay the security deposit and first month’s rent (as a tenant) and hand over the keys to the property (as a landlord).