If you are being evicted in the state of New Hampshire, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in New Hampshire can help you understand your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in New Hampshire and how long each step will take.
Before the eviction process in New Hampshire courts can begin, your landlord must first give you proper notice that you have violated your lease agreement and give you an opportunity to leave (or, in some cases, an opportunity to fix the problem).
If you have been late in paying your rent, your landlord must give you seven days to avoid eviction by paying all the rent you owe plus a reasonable late fee of $15. If you pay this rent in time, the eviction process in New Hampshire will stop immediately and your tenancy will be reinstated.
Your landlord also can give you a seven-day notice to leave your home without giving you an opportunity to correct any issues if you are being evicted for damaging the premises or endangering others. Any other violations of your lease agreement require a 30 day notice. Your landlord may give you an opportunity to correct the lease violation in that 30 day period, but is not obligated to do so.
Court Filings and Hearings
The day that the notice expires, your landlord can go to court to begin the next step in the eviction process in New Hampshire. Your landlord will file a complaint with the district court, and you will be served with a landlord/tenant writ that details why you are being evicted.
You will not be given a court date or hearing unless you ask for one. After being served with the complaint, you must file an appearance form in order to be granted a hearing. This appearance form must be written, given to the appropriate court clerk, and served to your landlord.
You are not required to file an appearance form, but if you do not, no hearing will be scheduled and your landlord will win the eviction suit automatically. The eviction process in New Hampshire is more complicated if you ask for a hearing. You will need to appear in court and talk to a judge, who will decide your case.
If your landlord is discriminating or retaliating against you, or if your landlord has violated provisions of your lease, you may be able to win the eviction lawsuit. You may want to speak to a lawyer who has experience with the eviction process in New Hampshire to better understand your legal options. You may also be evicted but permitted to stay in your home for up to 90 days if the judge rules it is appropriate, but will have to continue paying rent.
Writ of Possession
If you do not file for appearance or if you lose at the hearing, your landlord will be given a writ of possession by the court. Your landlord cannot force you to leave your property, either by changing your locks or shutting down your utilities, but the writ of possession allows the sheriff's department to forcibly evict you by whatever means necessary.