New Mexico Security Deposit Law

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 12.01.2023

New Mexico Security Deposit Law: A Guide for Landlords and Tenant

New Mexico’s Security Deposit Law plays a pivotal role in the landlord-tenant relationship, offering financial protection and a legal framework for both parties. This article provides a comprehensive guide to understanding this essential law.

What is a Security Deposit?

A security deposit, also known as a damage deposit in New Mexico, is a financial safety net for landlords. It’s collected before a tenant moves in to cover potential damages or unpaid rent. Landlords refund this deposit at the lease’s end, minus any justified deductions.

Legal Limitations on Security Deposits

New Mexico law dictates the amount a landlord can collect as a security deposit. Only one month’s rent is permissible for lease terms under a year. For longer leases, there’s no upper limit.

Procedure for Refunding Security Deposits

Upon lease termination, landlords have 30 days to return the deposit. They must provide an itemized list of deductions, if any, ensuring transparency and fairness in the refund process.

Deduction Guidelines

The law restricts landlords from making arbitrary deductions. Valid reasons include unpaid rent, damage beyond normal wear and tear, or unpaid utility bills. This limitation guards tenants against unfair financial demands.

Tenant Protection Under the Law

These regulations serve as a safeguard for tenants, ensuring prompt and just handling of their deposits. Non-compliance by landlords can lead to significant penalties.

Remedies for Tenant if Landlords Fail to Comply

If a landlord disregards these laws, tenants have several options, including written notification to the landlord, legal consultation, or even filing a lawsuit for grievous violations.

Important Takeaways for Tenants

Tenants should be vigilant in understanding these laws. Essential practices include documenting the property’s condition at move-in and move-out, understanding the deposit refund process, and knowing their rights in case of disputes.

The Importance of Compliance

Both parties must adhere to these security deposit regulations for a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship in New Mexico. This ensures legal compliance, financial security, and mutual respect in the housing market.


Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is informational and should be different from legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.


Kasee Godwin

Position: Director of Marketing
Social Networks

Kasee is the Director of Marketing for Qira. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing industry, including 10 years on the client side. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, exploring new wineries, and fostering Golden Retrievers.

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