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  3. How to Evict a Tenant in New Mexico (7 Steps)

How to Evict a Tenant in New Mexico (7 Steps)

There are three eviction notices made available for landlords evicting a tenant in New Mexico, each serving as the first step in its own category within the eviction process: non-payment of rent, non-compliance of the lease agreement, and ending rental agreements with tenants that have stayed beyond their lease period (month-to-month). In each instance, the eviction notice informs the tenant of a landlord’s intent to seek legal redress if the tenant does not vacate within the notice period. 

Laws – Chapter 47, Article 8 (Landlord-Resident Relations)

How to Evict

Step 1: Send an Eviction Notice

In New Mexico, a landlord can evict a tenant one of three ways — either after late rent, with a breach of the lease, or by way of a month-to-month tenancy.

  • Non-Payment of Rent (3-Day Notice to Quit): If rent is unpaid when due and the resident doesn’t pay in full within three days of the notice being issued, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and the tenant must deliver possession of the property immediately.1
  • Non-Compliance (7-Day Notice to Quit): Landlords must notify tenants of the specific non-compliance — be it a specific breach within the lease agreement or materially affecting the health and safety of others on the property — as well as the date any breach occurred. The notice should include instructions for the tenant to remedy the non-compliance within 7 days or vacate.2 If the breach is repeated within 6 months, the landlord will deliver an updated notice to quit for non-compliance, notifying the tenant they have 7 days to vacate. The landlord is not required to offer an option to cure upon the second breach in this time period. However, if the second breach occurs outside of 6 months from the first incident, it shall constitute an initial breach.3
  • Month-to-Month (30-Day Notice to Quit): Either the landlord or tenant may use a 30-day notice when they wish to end a month-to-month tenancy.4
  • Illegal Activity (3-Day Notice to Quit): A landlord can serve a three (3) day notice to tenants who are involved in illegal activity on or about the property. A substantial violation— such as possession/distribution or use of drugs, property damage, assault, among others— can be considered an illegal activity and, therefore, open the tenant to an eviction action from the landlord. 5

Step 2: Wait to Hear from the Tenant 

Many non-payment and non-compliance evictions can be avoided within the notice period if and when the tenant responds to the notice, pays the amount due, or cures the violation. 

In all instances, if the tenant has neither communicated, paid rent due, cured the violation, or vacated the premises by the end of the notice period, the landlord may choose to file a Petition by Owner for Restitution at the New Mexico Magistrate Court

Step 3: File in Court 

Forms to File: 

Step 4: Serve the Tenant

The summons and petition can be served to the tenant by anyone over the age of 18 who is not involved in the case. They may do so by:8

  • Delivering a copy of the summons to the tenant in person. 
  • Leaving a copy “where the individual has been found” 
  • Mailing a copy of the summons to the tenant with signed acknowledgment of its receipt 
  • If all previous methods fail, a copy should be left with the tenant’s employer along with a mailed copy to their place of work and last known place of residence. 

Step 5: Attend a Hearing 

A hearing will be set no less than 7 and no more than 10 days after the summons have been served to the tenant.9 However, both the tenant and the landlord have the right to request a continuance of up to 7 days.10

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord and the tenant wishes to appeal, a stay will only be granted if the tenant pays rent owed to the landlord within 5 days of filing the appeal.11

Step 6: Obtain a Writ of Restitution 

Judgment in favor of the landlord will result in issuing a writ of restitution, which the landlord may request from the court directing the sheriff to restore possession. The tenant will have no less than 3 days and no more than 7 days from the date the writ is issued to leave the property.12

Step 7: Repossess the Property 

New Mexico state law only details that restoring possession of the property to the landlord will be executed by the sheriff once the writ is issued and that it will be enacted on a specified date noted on the writ. 

Video: Evictions in New Mexico


  1. § 47-8-33 (D)
  2. § 47-8-33 (A)
  3. § 47-8-33 (B)
  4. § 47-8-37(B)
  5. § 47-8-33(I)
  6. https://nationalevictions.com/home/welcome/states-eviction-process/new-mexico-eviction-process/
  7. https://www.nmcourts.gov/uploads/files/Metro%20Self%20Help/Pamphlets/SH%20109%20Landlord’s%20Process%20for%20Evicting%20a%20Tenant%20rev%201-17.pdf
  8. N.M. R. Civ. P. Dist. Ct. 1-004
  9. § 47-8-33 (A)(1)
  10. § 47-8-43 (B) 
  11. § 47-8-47 (A) 
  12. § 47-8-46 A