What You Need to Know about Eviction in New Hampshire

From Concord to Woodsville, it’s important renters in New Hampshire know their state’s eviction laws.
Written by Emily Maracle
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
New Hampshire’s law governing evictions states that landlords must give tenants a seven to 30-day written notice, depending on the reason for eviction. It’s illegal to evict a tenant right away without providing written notice and filing a landlord-tenant complaint in court.  
Given the rising cost of living and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that there has been an increase in the number of evictions within the Granite State. Because of this, every tenant in New Hampshire must know their rights and the state’s eviction laws. 
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New Hampshire eviction 101: the five ways you can be evicted

The most important thing to remember when dealing with eviction in New Hampshire is that a landlord must provide a written notice to “quit or leave” before moving forward with an eviction, meaning your landlord can’t evict you right now. 
Depending on the type, written notices must be given to the tenant seven to 30 days before filing a landlord-tenant complaint in court. 
There are five types of eviction in New Hampshire. They are:
  • Failure to pay rent: Require seven days’ notice. A landlord must make a written demand for unpaid rent before issuing a written notice. A tenant can avoid eviction by paying the rent owed plus $15 before the last day of the written notice.  
  • Substantial damage to the premises: Requires seven days’ notice. By repairing the damage, the tenant can “remedy” the situation and reverse the eviction order.
  • Behavior that affects the health and safety of others: Requires seven days’ notice. If it’s possible to remedy the situation, the eviction order can be reversed. 
  • Violation of the lease: Requires 30 days' notice. 
  • Other good cause: Requires 30 days’ notice. Includes any type of business reasons the landlord may have. However, if it’s a result of something the tenant did or did not do, the landlord must provide a written warning that future incidents could be grounds for eviction. 
According to New Hampshire law, if a tenant has no written lease, they can still be evicted for a variety of reasons. Additionally, if a tenant is renting part of a privately owned and owner-occupied home, they can be evicted for almost any reason. Both of these instances still require a seven to 30-day written notice, depending on the reason for eviction. 
Regardless of the cause of your eviction, if you fail to remedy the situation, pay rent, fix the damage, or otherwise resolve the issue with your landlord, they have a right to legally file an eviction lawsuit after serving you written notice. That said, a landlord cannot:
  • Remove a tenant’s belongings from the dwelling
  • Break into the dwelling
  • Turn off the heat and utilities 
Once a “writ of possession” has been issued to the landlord, only a sheriff can remove the tenant’s property from the premises. 
Key Takeaway It’s illegal for a landlord to evict tenants in New Hampshire without a written notice of seven to 30-days, and they cannot remove their belongings from the premises. 

A timeline of eviction in New Hampshire

While your landlord must provide you with a seven to 30-day written notice before filing a landlord-tenant complaint with the court, the actual eviction process can take significantly longer. 
If you’re facing eviction in New Hampshire, here’s how long you can expect the process to take:
How long it typically takes
What to expect
Written notice from landlord
7-30 days
Your landlord must provide a written notice to leave or quit.
Summons and Complaint
14-30 days
After filing a lawsuit, your landlord will serve you with a court summons.
Tenant response
7 days
You’ll have seven days to file for an appearance.
6-10 days after the hearing request
The court will rule on the case, based on the landlord’s information and your response.
At least 8 days after the hearing
Unless you successfully file a stay of execution, which requires you to pay rent, the landlord can call a sheriff to evict you with a writ of possession. Normally, this process takes at least 8 days.
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Eviction in New Hampshire is a fairly lengthy process with nothing happening immediately. Even if the landlord serves you a seven-day written notice, you likely won’t have to leave your dwelling for at least a month. Even so, it’s important to know the steps of eviction, so you can rightfully represent yourself and avoid an automatic judgment in your landlord’s favor. 

How to resist eviction in New Hampshire

While a written notice of eviction may make you feel powerless,
tenants have rights
in New Hampshire. If you receive a written quit or leave notice, here’s what you can do:
  • Remedy the situation: One of the easiest ways to avoid eviction is by remedying, or fixing, the issues your landlord has. For example, repairing damage, borrowing money to pay your rent, or modifying your behavior can reverse the eviction process.
  • Know your rights: If your landlord doesn’t follow the eviction process precisely, the court can throw out the case. By knowing your rights, you can ensure you aren’t wrongfully evicted. 
  • Note the landlord refused to maintain the property: If the landlord is attempting to evict you over damage in the apartment, but the damage was present when you moved in, or the landlord refused to fix it when you brought it to their attention, you could avoid eviction.
  • Recognize discrimination: New Hampshire has fair housing rights, making it illegal for a landlord to evict you based on your race, national origin, disability, sex, age, gender identity, and more. If you feel your eviction is based on these protected rights, your case could be dismissed. 
Any of the above reasons are legitimate when responding to an eviction lawsuit. You also have the right to file a counterclaim to your landlord’s suit. If you win the case, you will avoid eviction and may even be awarded damages or any legal fees. 

How to save money on New Hampshire car and renters insurance

With the ever-increasing cost of living, it’s no surprise that failure to pay rent is one of the most common reasons for evictions. Among everything else, affording your rent every month can be difficult.
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