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New bill would give N.H. renters more time to deal with proposed rent increases

A sign saying "Apartments For Rent" hangs from a local building.
Dan Tuohy, NHPR
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A similar proposal was introduced last year but did not advance very far in the N.H. Legislature.

New Hampshire renters would have more time to deal with proposed rent increases under a proposal up for debate at the State House in 2022.

Right now, New Hampshire landlords are supposed to give at least 30 days' notice for proposed rent increases. If a tenant doesn’t agree to that increase and doesn’t have a lease, they could face eviction.

Rep. Casey Conley, a Democrat from Dover, is sponsoring a new bill that would require at least 45 days' notice. He says 30 days isn't a realistic time frame to find a new home in the state's tight housing market.

"Your home is sort of your home base,” he said. “It's where you plan your life around; it's where you plan your job around; it's where you plan transit, finding schools for your kids, childcare for your kids. With a 30-day window, even if cost is no object, you might not be able to find something that's convenient."

This isn’t the first time Conley has tried to change New Hampshire’s rent increase notification rules.

Last session, he introduced a bill that would have required more notice if a landlord tries to raise the rent by more than 5 percent. That bill proposed 60 days’ notice for rent increases of more than 5 percent or 90 days’ notice for increases of more than 8 percent. It ran into pushback from the Apartment Association of New Hampshire, which argued it was a step toward more aggressive rent control reforms that would negatively affect the state’s rental market.

Conley pointed to Maine and Vermont as examples of neighboring states where more stringent rent notification laws haven’t been a burden on landlords. Maine already requires 45 days notice for rental increases. Vermont requires 60 days notice.

"States surrounding New Hampshire, with very vibrant, successful, active rental markets that are making landlords a lot of money, already have this in place,” Conley said. “This is proven, this hasn't upset the market, this hasn't caused any problems, because this is the norm in these states."

The rules in Massachusetts are similar to those on the books right now in New Hampshire.

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