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Eviction Prevention

Information about rental and utility assistance

Rental and Utility Assistance

The emergency rental and utility assistance program is designed to assist individuals and families who are in need of help paying their rent or who are in jeopardy of having their utilities shut-off due to non-payment. The mission of the emergency rental and utility assistance program is to offer the people of Albuquerque a financial assistance program that is easy to access and easy to qualify for. The intent is to limit barriers that may prohibit some people from accessing certain programs. All services provided are subject to availability of funds.

Steps to Take if You Need Rental or Utility Assistance

  • First and foremost, it is important that the tenant act. Doing nothing means you will be evicted and lose your home.
  • Reach out to your landlord. Some landlords may be willing to work with their tenants.
  • Look for rental assistance help as soon as possible.

What Tenants Need to Know and Do to Protect Themselves if Unable to Pay Rent

Where to find Rental and Utility Assistance

Have the following information ready when contacting the following agencies. This will help expedite the prescreening process.

CARES Act (COVID-19) Rental and Utility Assistance Program |  Spanish |  Arabic | Chinese | Swahili | Vietnamese | Dari

  • Statement of how were you affected by COVID-19
  • Lease Agreement or Rental Contract
  • Eviction notice or notice of non-payment of Rent, or past due utility bill (for utility assistance)
  • Income (2019 federal taxes, W-2, pay stubs, unemployment documents), if any

City of Albuquerque Locations

Agency Name

Contact Information

John Marshal Health & Social Service Center

Address:1500 Walter SE
Phone: (505) 848-1345
Fax: (505) 764-1795

Alamosa Health & Social Service Center

Address:6900 Gonzales SW
Phone: (505) 836-8800
Fax: (505) 836-8807

Los Griegos Health & Social Service Center

Address:1231 Candelaria NW
Phone: (505) 761-4050
Fax: (505) 761-4048

East Central Health & Social Service Center

Address:7525 Zuni SE
Phone: (505) 767-5700
Fax: (505) 767-5709

Community & Legal Resources

Agency Name

Contact Information

New Mexico Legal Aid                              
FREE legal help by phone for housing, benefits, domestic disputes and debt collections.

(505) 633-6694

Senior Citizen Law Office
Legal assistance for age 60 or older.

(505) 265-2300

Legal Resources for Elderly Program
Legal services for a person age 55 or older

(505) 797-6005

State Bar of New Mexico
30 minute consultation with a private attorney (referral fee waived temporarily)

(505) 797-6066

Metropolitan Court – Self Help Center
For questions about the Settlement Program, Court forms, procedural information and referrals to community and legal resources.

 

(505) 841-9817

 

Additional Resources

Note: All monies are paid directly to landlords or utility companies.

 


TENANT’S RIGHTS: WHAT TENANTS NEED TO KNOW IF UNABLE TO PAY RENT

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CANNOT PAY MY RENT DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY?

Some landlords may be willing to work with tenants prior to filing for eviction during this public health emergency. Before you get a notice from the landlord, when you know you will have trouble paying the rent, it is always a good idea to talk to the landlord and see if they are willing to work something out. This avoids the trouble of both of you having to go to court.

Look for rental assistance help as soon as possible: You can see where to get rental assistance at:    http://www.cabq.gov/family/services/homeless-services/eviction-prevention

Contact your landlord and ask to pay what you owe in rent over time by proposing a payment plan. Get any agreement in writing.

Is there a moratorium on evictions in New Mexico? Yes, for tenants who are unable to pay their rent. But, if the landlord files to evict you, the tenant must appear at a court hearing to get those protections.

WHAT DOES THE MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS MEAN?

The New Mexico Supreme Court entered an Order suspending evictions only for non-payment of rent during the pandemic.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also entered a federal Order suspending evictions for nonpayment of rent through December 31, 2020. 

Which one applies

Until the NM Court rules otherwise, the protections of the NM Moratorium or the CDC Moratorium may apply to you, depending on your particular circumstances.  Both apply to all residential housing and mobile home parks where the tenant is renting a space.  In order to take necessary steps to protect yourself, under either order:

  • Follow the procedures of the CDC Order and give your landlord the Declaration Signed Under Penalty of Perjury IF YOU MEET ALL OF ITS REQUIREMENTS.
  • To get the CDC form and more legal information from New Mexico Legal Aid, GO TO: https://www.newmexicolegalaid.org/node/249/evictions-halted-order-centers-disease-control
  • READ THE CDC FORM CAREFULLY. You must satisfy all conditions under penalty of perjury and each adult on the lease must submit a separate form and provide it to the landlord.  Keep a copy for your records.

If you landlord files to evict you and you have a court hearing scheduled, GO TO THE HEARING (telephonically) and tell the Judge you gave the CDC Declaration to the Landlord and also explain that you cannot currently pay rent.  Send a copy of the CDC form to the Judge before the hearing. 

  • The tenant MUST appear at the hearing to ask the court to not evict them because they are unable to pay the rent. The tenant must provide testimony about their inability to pay the
  • Metropolitan Court in Albuquerque is asking people to appear by phone—you must call in before the start of the hearing so you do not miss

DO I STILL OWE THE RENT, LATE FEES AND COSTS?  YES. 

  • The Tenant  still owes the rent, late fees and costs now and when the moratorium ends.  Landlords will evict tenants unless the tenant and landlord have come to an agreement to allow more time to pay back-rent and fees.
  • If you work out an agreement with the landlord, make sure it is in writing to protect yourself.

  • Make sure you get a receipt for any rent paid.

WHAT STEPS SHOULD A TENANT TAKE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM EVICTION?

  • Tenants must act—doing nothing could mean you will be evicted and lose your
  • Apply for rental assistance as soon as
  • You don’t have to immediately move out; you can go to court to contest the eviction if your landlord goes to court.
  • Complete the CDC Declaration, if it applies, and give it to the landlord.
  • Seek legal help when you know you may face

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:

  • Your landlord cannot evict you without a court
  • It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant without a court order by doing any of the following:
    • Changing locks
    • Disconnecting electricity, water or gas
    • Using force
    • Threatening to do these things

TENANT’S RIGHTS

What Tenants Need to Know and Do to Protect Themselves if Unable to Pay Rent.

What should I do if I cannot pay my rent during the state of emergency?

Some landlords may be willing to work with tenants prior to filing for eviction during this public health emergency. Before you get a notice from the landlord, when you know you will have trouble paying the rent, it is always a good idea to talk to the landlord and see if they are willing to work something out. This avoids the trouble of both of you having to go to court. 

Look for rental assistance help as soon as possible:  You can find out where to get support at:  http://www.cabq.gov/family/services/homeless-services/eviction-prevention

Contact your landlord and ask to pay what you owe in rent over time by proposing a payment plan. Let the landlord know if you are waiting for unemployment benefits or other funds that you will be receiving. 

Is there a moratorium on evictions in New Mexico?  Yes, for tenants who are unable to pay their rent.   But, if the landlord files to evict you, the tenant must appear at a court hearing to make sure the court protects you.

What does the moratorium on evictions mean? 

In March, the New Mexico Supreme Court entered an Order suspending evictions only for non-payment of rent during the pandemic, if the tenant is currently unable to pay rent.  It does not require that the tenant’s inability to pay rent is because of COVID. 

In September, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order halting evictions through December 31, 2020 for non-payment of rent.  The CDC requires a declaration under penalty of perjury and requires the tenants meet certain qualifying conditions. 

Which applies and what should I do?

Until the NM Court rules otherwise, the protections of the NM Moratorium or the CDC Moratorium may apply to you, depending on your particular circumstances. 

In order to take necessary steps to protect yourself, under either order:

  • Follow the procedures of the CDC Order and give your landlord the Declaration Signed Under Penalty of Perjury. 

GO TO:  https://www.newmexicolegalaid.org/node/249/evictions-halted-order-centers-disease-control  to find the form to use. 

The CDC Declaration requires:

  • You must apply for all government rental assistance available;
  • Each adult listed on the lease must complete a separate Declaration and provide it to the landlord;
  • You must satisfy all conditions listed in the Declaration under penalty of perjury. READ IT CAREFULLY.

New Mexico Legal Aid also provides legal information about what to do should the landlord try to evict you.  Keep a copy of the form you give to the landlord. 

  • If your landlord files to evict you and you have a court hearing scheduled, GO TO THE HEARING (telephonically) and tell the Court you gave the CDC Declaration to the landlord and that you are also protected by the NM Moratorium because you cannot currently pay rent. Send a copy of the CDC form to the Judge before the hearing. 

Under either situation, if the landlord files in court, the tenant MUST appear at the hearing to ask the court to not evict them because they are unable to pay the rent.  Tell the Court if you gave the landlord the CDC Declaration. The tenant must provide testimony about their inability to currently pay the rent.

Metropolitan Court in Albuquerque is asking people to appear by phone—you must call in before the start of the hearing so you do not miss it.

Both Moratorium apply to non-payment of rent for tenants in subsidized housing, private housing or a mobile home park where renting a space.

The Tenant will still owe the rent when the moratorium end.  Landlords will evict these tenants unless the tenant and landlord have come to an agreement to allow more time to pay back rent.

If you work out an agreement with the landlord, make sure it is in writing to protect yourself. Make sure you get a receipt for any rent paid.

WHAT STEPS SHOULD A TENANT TAKE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM EVICTION?

  • Tenants must act—doing nothing could mean you will be evicted and lose your home.
  • Apply for rental assistance as soon as possible.
  • You don’t have to immediately move out; you can go to court to contest the eviction.
  • Seek legal help when you know you may face eviction.
  • The moratorium on evictions for non-payment may protect you, but if your landlord files in court, you MUST go to the court If you do not go to the hearing, you will mostly likely be evicted. 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:

  • Your landlord cannot evict without a court order
  • It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant without a court order by doing any of the following:
    • Changing locks
    • Disconnecting electricity, water or gas
    • Using force
    • Threatening to do these things