ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state legislature is working on the laws regarding evicting tenants for back rent. Supporters say New Mexico is lagging behind in protecting renters while those against say these new laws will hurt businesses and potential renters.
House Bill 6 includes expanding time frames in evictions to allow tenants 11 days to get current on rent before an eviction. This would replace the current three-day period. This is the third year House Bill 6 has come up for discussion. Backers say this bill is a necessary step toward modernizing the tenant/landlord laws in the state.
Bill 6 allows three weeks before a hearing happens to give people a chance to get financial assistance instead of the current two-week limit. It also gives people 15 days to secure new housing instead of only seven if evicted.
“House Bill 6 updates a lot of the outdated landlord/tenant laws. As many of you all know, we currently have a housing crisis here in the state of New Mexico. So House Bill 6, much like in previous years, we’re just working to modernize a few things,” says Democratic Representative of Las Cruces, Angelica Rubio, lead sponsor of the bill.
Supporters of the bill say New Mexico has one of the shortest eviction time frames in the country at just three days after nonpayment. They say 40 other states have longer eviction time frames than New Mexico.
Lobbyists representing realtors and property owners expressed their concerns over the bill saying, “we are concerned that the proposed changes to the Uniform Owner Resident Relations act will present risks to landlords that they can’t afford to incur leading to less affordable housing in this state at a time when it is critical that people be able to access that.” Despite the pushback, the bill was passed on a three to two vote.
The bill will now head to the House Judiciary Committee. Another bill that would have controlled how much rent price increases was tabled in committee earlier in the session.