2006 New Mexico Statutes - Section 47-8-34.1 — Disposition of property left on the premises.

47-8-34.1. Disposition of property left on the premises.

A.     Where the rental agreement terminates by abandonment pursuant to Section 47-8-34 NMSA 1978:   

(1)     the owner shall store all personal property of the resident left on the premises for not less than thirty days;   

(2)     the owner shall serve the resident with written notice stating the owner's intent to dispose of the personal property on a date not less than thirty days from the date of the notice. The notice shall also contain a telephone number and address where the resident can reasonably contact the owner to retrieve the property prior to the disposition date in the notice;   

(3)     the notice of intent to dispose of personal property shall be personally delivered to the resident or be sent by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the resident at his last known address.  If the notice is returned as undeliverable, or where the resident's last known address is the vacated dwelling unit, the owner shall also serve at least one notice to such other address as has been provided to the owner by the resident, including the address of the resident's place of employment, or of a family member or emergency contact for which the owner has a record;   

(4)     the resident may contact the owner to retrieve the property at any time prior to the date specified in the notice for disposition of the property;   

(5)     the owner shall provide reasonable access and adequate opportunities for the resident to retrieve all of the property stored prior to any disposition; and   

(6)     if the resident does not claim or make attempt to retrieve the stored personal property prior to the date specified in the notice of disposition of the property, the owner may dispose of the stored personal property.   

B.     Where the rental agreement terminates by the resident's voluntary surrender of the premises, the owner shall store any personal property on the premises for a minimum of fourteen days from the date of surrender of the premises.  The owner shall provide reasonable access to the resident for the purpose of the resident obtaining possession of the personal property stored. If after fourteen days from surrender of the premises, the resident has not retrieved all the stored personal property, the owner may dispose of the stored personal property.   

C.     Where the rental agreement terminates by a writ of restitution, the owner shall have no obligation to store any personal property left on the premises after three days following execution of writ of restitution, unless otherwise agreed by the owner and resident.  The owner may thereafter dispose of the personal property in any manner without further notice or liability.   

D.     Where the property has a market value of less than one hundred dollars ($100), the owner has the right to dispose of the property in any manner.   

E.     Where the property has a market value of more than one hundred dollars ($100), the owner may:   

(1)     sell the personal property under any provisions herein, and the proceeds of the sale, if in excess of money due and owing to the owner, shall be mailed to the resident at his last known address along with an itemized statement of the amounts received and amounts allocated to other costs, within fifteen days of the sale; or   

(2)     retain the property for his own use or the use of others, in which case the owner shall credit the account of the resident for the fair market value of the property against any money due and owing to the owner, and any value in excess of money due and owing shall be mailed to the resident at his last known address along with an itemized statement of the value allocated to the property and the amount allocated to costs within fifteen days of the retention of the property.   

F.     If the last known address is the dwelling unit, the owner shall also mail at least one copy of the accounting and notice of the sums for distribution, to the other address, if provided to the owner by the resident, such as, place of employment, family members, or emergency contact on record with the owner.   

G.     An owner may charge the resident reasonable storage fees for any time that the owner provided storage for the resident's personal property and the prevailing rate of moving fees.  The owner may require payment of storage and moving costs prior to the release of the property.   

H.     The owner may not hold the property for any other debts claimed due or owning or for judgments for which an application for writ of execution has not previously been filed. The owner may not retain exempt property where an application for a writ of execution has been granted.   
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