When a tenant fails to pay rent, their landlord may serve them with the New Mexico three (3) day notice to pay or quit (Form CV-105). The notice informs the tenant that they must pay the past due amount within three (3) days or the landlord will terminate the rental agreement and file an eviction lawsuit (Petition by Owner for Restitution). Service must be performed in person, by certified mail, or by mail with another copy posted on the premises. If the tenant pays the full amount before the notice period ends, the landlord cannot file an eviction action against them. Laws
New Mexico Eviction Notices – 3, 7, and 30 Day Notices to Quit
New Mexico three (3) day notice for substantial non-compliance (Form CV-105) is used in extreme situations to evict a tenant, such as when a tenant has committed a crime, has injured someone, or has significantly damaged the rental property. The notice describes the lease violation and gives the tenant three (3) days to vacate the rental unit or face litigation in court. When given this type of notice, although the tenant can contest the eviction in court, they have no other recourse to avoid being evicted. Laws – § 47-8-33(I)
The New Mexico thirty (30) day notice to quit may be used to inform a month-to-month tenant of the landlord’s intention to terminate their rental agreement. Under New Mexico law, the landlord can cancel the rental agreement of an “at-will” tenancy without justification, but the tenant must receive at least thirty (30) days notice prior to the date of termination. If the tenant fails to move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit in court to have them evicted. Laws – § 47-8-37
The New Mexico seven (7) day notice to comply or quit (Form CV-106) is a form which a landlord sends to a tenant who has committed a lease violation, violated apartment complex rules, and/or broken the law. If the tenant breaks the same term or condition of the lease twice in a six (6) month period, this form may be used as an incurable notice forcing the tenant to move off the premises within the seven (7) day time period with no chance for recourse. Laws – § 47-8-33
How to Evict a Tenant (Process)
The eviction process in New Mexico is initiated when the landlord serves a Notice to Quit or lease termination letter on their tenant. This document states the date that the lease will be terminated, the lease violations that were made, and/or the amount of rent owed. For lease violations and non-payment of rent, the tenant will usually be given the opportunity to cure their violations or pay rent. If the tenant fails to comply with the landlord’s demands before the notice period ends, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit (Petition by Owner for Restitution) against them in court in order to have them removed from the property.
Step 1 – Choose the Correct Notice Type
The landlord must fill out the correct notice form and make at least (1) copy before serving the document to their tenant in-person or by mail. The four (4) major types of eviction notices are listed below.
The Three (3) Day Notice to Pay or Quit is the most common type of eviction notice used in New Mexico and gives tenants three (3) days to pay the past due rent. The notice for substantial lease violation(s) applies in situations where the tenant has engaged in unlawful activity on the rental property and/or committed damages in excess of $1,000, and gives the three (3) days to vacate without recourse. The seven (7) day notice is used when a tenant has violated the lease agreement and provides the tenant with seven days to fix the violation. If a tenant is given two (2) written warnings regarding lease violations within a six (6) month period, the landlord may issue a seven (7) day notice to quit without the opportunity to cure their violation(s). The thirty (30) day termination notice is used to inform a month-to-month tenant that their rental agreement is being terminated and that they will have thirty (30) days to vacate the rental property.
Step 2 – Serve the Notice to Tenant
Once the proper notice form has been filled out, the landlord will need to serve it on the tenant either in person or by certified mail. If the tenant is at the residence when the notice is served, it may be left with another resident of the rental unit who is at least fifteen (15) years old.
Step 3 – Petition by Owner for Restitution and Summons
If the tenant has not paid rent, cured their violations, or moved out of the rental unit when the notice period ends, the landlord will be able to terminate the lease. Next, to start an eviction lawsuit against the tenant, the landlord will need to fill out the Petition by Owner for Restitution and Summons forms. The petition explains the landlord’s case and what their demands are. The Summons must include the landlord and tenant’s contact information; the rest of the document will be filled out by the court clerk’s office and by the individual who serves it on the tenant. State-wide versions of all the required forms can be found on the New Mexico Courts webpage.
On the forms webpage, click the “District Court Forms” folder and the “Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act Forms” will appear in the options below.
After clicking this option, all of the necessary eviction forms will be accessible and can be downloaded by clicking the appropriate files.
Step 4 – File Forms With Clerk
The landlord will need to take their completed Petition and Summons forms, along with a copy of the eviction notice, the lease, and any evidence that is relevant to their case to the local court of the area in which the rental unit is located. Once the eviction lawsuit has been duly filed, the clerk will give the landlord a Service Packet which contains a copy of the Summons, the Petition, and a blank Answer to Petition form. For information on the court fees associated with eviction cases and their accepted payment methods, visit the appropriate court’s website or contact them directly.
Step 5 – Notice of Hearing
The landlord must arrange to have the Service Packet served on the tenant at least seven (7) days before the date of the trial. Service must be performed by either the County Sheriff, a private process server, or an individual who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and who is not a party to the lawsuit. After the packet has been served, the person who served it must fill out the Return of Service section on the back of the Summons. The landlord is required to file the Return of Service with the Clerk of Court’s office before the trial date. Up until the day of the trial the tenant can file an Answer to Petition if they wish to contest the eviction action.
Step 6 – Attend Hearing (if applicable)
Both the landlord and the tenant must appear in court on the date of the trial. Failure on the part of either person to do so will result in the lawsuit being dismissed or ruled in favor of the attending party. If a judgment is made in favor of the landlord, a Judgment for Restitution will be signed and an eviction date set by the judge. The day of the eviction will usually be three (3) to seven (7) days after the judgment date.
Step 7 – Remove Tenant
If the tenant does not move out by the eviction date, the landlord can request that a Writ of Restitution be issued. This document orders the Sheriff’s Office to oversee the eviction of the tenant. After the clerk has issued the writ, the landlord must deliver it to the sheriff’s office. If the tenant leaves behind any belongings after being evicted, they will have three (3) days to retrieve their property. Once this period has passed, the landlord may dispose of their belongings in any manner they see fit. However, if they keep or sell any of these items, the tenant must be reimbursed for the fair market value of their belongings.