HB173 (2019) Detail

Relative to requirements for residential tenants evicted for nonpayment of rent.










AN ACT relative to requirements for residential tenants evicted for nonpayment of rent.


SPONSORS: Rep. Horn, Merr. 2; Rep. Baldasaro, Rock. 5; Rep. Hinch, Hills. 21


COMMITTEE: Judiciary






This bill requires tenants requesting a hearing to contest eviction for nonpayment of rent to pay the amount of the claimed unpaid rent to the court prior to the hearing.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen


AN ACT relative to requirements for residential tenants evicted for nonpayment of rent.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Actions Against Tenants; Writ; Hearing.  Amend RSA 540:13, II-III to read as follows:

II.  The writ shall be accompanied by a notice from the district court, printed in no smaller than 12-point type, informing the tenant that:

(a)  If the tenant wishes to contest the eviction, he or she must file an appearance in the district court no later than the return day appearing on the writ.  In cases based on nonpayment of rent, the court shall state in the notice the amount of the tenant's unpaid rent, along with any interest and court fees, which must be paid into the court, and the actual amount of the tenant's current weekly rent or, if rent is not paid on a weekly basis, the equivalent weekly rent amount, which must be paid into the court during the period of district court proceedings.

(b)  The tenant shall not be evicted unless the court so orders; however, such an order may be granted if the tenant does not file an appearance.

(c)  At the time the tenant files his or her appearance, he or she may request that the court make a sound recording of the eviction hearing by checking an appropriate box on the appearance form.

III.  The writ of summons and the notice provided in paragraph II shall be returnable 7 days from the date of service of the writ by the sheriff.  The writ of summons shall [provide an opportunity for the landlord, at the]include the landlord's [option, to make a] claim for [an award of] unpaid rent. [If the landlord elects to make a claim for unpaid rent,]  The court shall consider any defense, claim, or counterclaim by the tenant which offsets or reduces the amount owed to the plaintiff.  If the court finds that the landlord is entitled to possession on the ground of nonpayment of rent, it shall also award the landlord a money judgment.  If the court determines that the amount owed by the landlord to the tenant, as a result of set-off or counterclaim exceeds or equals the amount of rent and other lawful charges owed by the tenant to the landlord, judgment in the possessory action shall be granted in favor of the tenant.  If the court finds that the tenant's counterclaim exceeds the amount of the nonpayment, a money judgment shall issue in favor of the tenant.  Any decision rendered by the court related to a money judgment[, shall be limited to a maximum of $1,500 and] shall not preclude either party from making a subsequent claim in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover any additional amounts [not covered by the $1,500 judgment].

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.


HB173 at GenCourtMobile
HB173 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 10, 2019 House Hearing
Jan. 15, 2019 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
Jan. 31, 2019 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB173 Revision: 4333 Date: Dec. 27, 2018, 9:45 a.m.


Jan. 31, 2019: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA DV 215-152 01/31/2019 HJ 4 P. 15

: Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-0034h

Jan. 31, 2019: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 01/31/2019 (Vote 11-8; RC) HC 9 P. 8

: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 11-8; RC)

Jan. 15, 2019: Executive Session: 01/15/2019 01:00 pm LOB208

Jan. 10, 2019: Public Hearing: 01/10/2019 10:00 am LOB208

Jan. 2, 2019: Introduced 01/02/2019 and referred to Judiciary HJ 2 P. 40