August 5, 2021

New Mexico renters protected under state supreme court eviction stay

Renters in New Mexico who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are still protected under the New Mexico Supreme Court’s stay on evictions, said a court official.

Barry Massey, public information officer for the Administrative Office of the Courts, told NM Political Report that the state supreme court’s stay has no set time limit to it and will continue until the justices decide to end it.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new order Tuesday that would stay evictions for most renters impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic until Oct. 3. Maria Griego, economic equity director for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, said through email that the CDC eviction moratorium would cover areas heavily impacted by the virus, which amounts to about 90 percent of the U.S. population.

But, the New Mexico Supreme Court’s stay, issued last year, covers all of New Mexico.

Massey said it is important that renters who cannot pay their rent take action and provide information to the court to document that they cannot pay their rent.

“Otherwise, the tenant could get a default judgment and that could allow the eviction to move forward,” Massey said.

The court’s stay also covers individuals who rent a mobile home.

Tenants will still have to pay the unpaid portion of their rent after the court’s stay is lifted.

There is state and federal assistance for those who cannot pay rent or utilities. More information about that can be found at RentHelpNM.org.