Albuquerque Journal – Albuquerque Journal article New Mexico has one of the highest rates of eviction in the country, and that trend is expected to continue.
But the rate is not what the state’s top tenant rights advocate is calling for.
In a letter sent Wednesday to the state Attorney General, attorney general spokeswoman Kate Burdick said New Mexico “is not in the business of making it easy for landlords to evict tenants.”
The attorney general’s office said in a statement that while landlords have the right to evict, they have no obligation to follow the eviction process.
The letter from Burdack said New Mexicans landlords have a “duty of care” and should “make reasonable efforts to comply with eviction orders.”
A landlord can evict a tenant for any reason, including failing to pay rent or failure to comply.
Burdick noted in the letter that New Mexico’s eviction laws are “vague” and that landlords can use “implied threats” to evict a person.
Borrowing a term from the mortgage industry, the attorney general said landlords are required to provide a notice of eviction before they can evict.
Bridick also wrote that New Mexicans are not legally obligated to “give any notice” to a landlord if they have not given notice to tenants.
She said New Mexican law does not require landlords to give tenants any notice at all, unless it’s for a matter of public concern.
Bundick said she does not have any evidence that landlords are using this tactic to evict New Mexicans.
The attorney general does not respond to questions about the attorney General’s office letter.
New Mexico’s landlord rights advocate, John Hagan, said he believes landlords should have the ability to evict.
Hagan said in an interview that a landlord’s right to make reasonable efforts is a fundamental right that must be protected.
New Mexicans landlords are entitled to reasonable assistance in evicting a tenant, he said.
But if a landlord refuses to do so, they’re infringing on that tenant’s rights.
New Mexican landlords have no legal obligation to evict people, he noted.
Hagan said the state should be doing more to protect tenants’ rights.