What Landlords Should Know About New Hampshire’s Eviction Process

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If you’re a landlord in New Hampshire, understanding the eviction process is crucial. From serving eviction notices to navigating court proceedings, each step requires careful attention.

Knowing the reasons for eviction, such as non-payment of rent or lease violations, is essential. As you delve into the intricacies of the process, be prepared for the potential challenges and complexities that may arise.

This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide on what landlords should know about New Hampshire’s eviction process.

New Hampshire Eviction Notice and Lawsuit Filing

Before initiating the eviction process in New Hampshire, you must serve a specific eviction notice to your tenant. In the New Hampshire eviction process, this notice can range from seven to 30 days, depending on the reason for eviction.

Once the New Hampshire eviction notice period expires, you can proceed to file an eviction lawsuit with the court. The court will then serve the tenant a summons, prompting them to file an appearance. Subsequently, a court hearing will be scheduled where both parties present their case, leading to a judgment.

If the ruling favors eviction, a Writ of Restitution is served, and the sheriff will carry out the eviction by removing the tenant from the premises.

Court Summons and Tenant Response

The court summons serves as a legal notification requiring you to respond to the eviction proceedings in New Hampshire. Once you receive the summons, it’s crucial to promptly file an appearance with the court. Failure to do so may result in the court issuing a writ of possession against you.

A hearing will be scheduled within ten days of your appearance filing. During the hearing, be prepared to present your lease agreement, eviction notice, complaint, and any relevant evidence. The judge will make a decision based on the arguments presented.

If the ruling is in favor of the landlord, a writ of possession may be issued to remove you from the property. It’s essential to comply with court orders and seek legal advice if needed.

Writ of Restitution and Sheriff’s Role

Upon receiving the court’s judgment, you must understand the role of the Writ of Restitution and how the sheriff enforces it in New Hampshire’s eviction process.

Once the court issues the Writ of Restitution, you, as the landlord, need to take it to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff then serves the writ at the tenant’s unit, either through personal service or posting it on the door.

If the tenant doesn’t comply, the sheriff returns to forcibly remove them.

There’s no set timeframe for the sheriff’s return, and tenants typically have 24 hours to a few days to vacate the premises.

Understanding this process is crucial for ensuring a smooth and lawful eviction in New Hampshire.

Reasons for Eviction in New Hampshire

Understanding the reasons for evicting a tenant in New Hampshire is crucial for landlords. Common reasons include failing to pay rent on time, causing significant damage to the property, violating lease terms, or engaging in behavior that compromises health or safety. Additionally, tenants who refuse suitable temporary relocation due to lead-based paint hazards can face eviction.

Dealing with squatters is another concern, as unauthorized occupants can be charged as trespassers if they don’t meet specific criteria. In some cases, squatters may even claim the right of possession after 20 years. It’s essential for landlords to be aware of these grounds for eviction to ensure a smooth and legally sound process.

Notices, Court Procedures, and Costs

When should you file a possessory action in New Hampshire District Court if you need to contest an eviction?

You should file a possessory action promptly after receiving the eviction notice. In New Hampshire, landlords can initiate the eviction process by serving a Rent Demand Notice, Lease Violation Notice, or Unconditional Notice to Quit, giving tenants specific timeframes to respond.

To contest the eviction, tenants must file a complaint in court and pay a $125 filing fee for a possessory action in NH District Court. Tenants must also file an appearance in court to challenge the eviction, with court hearings typically scheduled within ten days.

Additionally, landlords incur a $30 fee for the summons to be served by the sheriff’s office.


Now that you have a better understanding of New Hampshire’s eviction process, you can confidently navigate the complexities that may arise. By following the proper procedures, communicating effectively with tenants, and being prepared for potential challenges, you can ensure a smoother experience for everyone involved.

Remember to stay informed, stay prepared, and make informed decisions as you move forward with the eviction process in New Hampshire.

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