New Restriction on Evictions in New Hampshire
We detailed in an earlier legal blog how New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu, in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, has issued a series of executive orders that alter the rights of landlords, tenants, borrowers, and utility companies in New Hampshire. Today we provide an update on changes to those orders.
On March 17, 2020, Governor Sununu issued executive orders barring landlords from instituting eviction proceedings and courts from issuing eviction orders against tenants under most circumstances, blocking lenders from instituting foreclosure proceedings against borrowers, and stopping utility companies from shutting off services for nonpayment.
UPDATE TO THOSE ORDERS
According to a new executive order dated June 11, 2020, foreclosures and eviction proceedings may resume on July 1, 2020. As of the date of writing (June 18, 2020), the governor has not lifted his order banning shut-offs of utilities such as electric, gas, water, telephone, cable, VOIP, and deliverable fuels.
The governor, however, has placed a new restriction on evictions based on nonpayment of rent that became due between March 17 and June 11, 2020. Beginning July 1, 2020, landlords may commence eviction proceedings against tenants by sending an eviction notice. A landlord must ordinarily allow a tenant a 7-day period to leave the premises or pay owed rent, plus $15, before instituting eviction proceedings. That period is now extended to 30 days for eviction notices given for non-payment of rent that became due between March 17 and June 11, 2020.
In other words, if the eviction notice is for rent that became due between March 17 and June 11, 2020, a 30-day notice period applies. For rent that became due after June 11, 2020, a 7-day notice period applies. In either case, a landlord may not send an eviction notice until July 1, 2020. A landlord must additionally, as always, inform a tenant of the tenant’s right to avoid the eviction by payment of the arrearages, plus $15, before the notice period ends. RSA 540:9.
To summarize and illustrate, the governor’s orders would allow a tenant who has not paid rent between March 17 and June 11, 2020, to avoid being evicted by paying all unpaid rent, plus $15, before July 31, 2020, assuming the landlord has issued an eviction notice when permitted on July 1, 2020.