COVID-19 Information for New Hampshire
The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.
State and Local Affiliates
Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.
State Legal and Regulatory Information
We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.
New Hampshire is currently operating under its Safer at Home Universal Guidelines for resuming business operating under COVID-19. Under these guidelines, businesses must adhere to specific sanitation and health guidelines outlined by the state’s Department of Health.
Face Mask Mandate
Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order 63, requiring face coverings for all persons who attend or are present at scheduled gatherings of 100 people or where individuals are gathered in the same place at the same time.
State of Emergency
Governor Chris Sununu declared a state of emergency on March 12, 2020.
Status: Evictions Can Resume Remote
- Action: Executive Order #4 implemented a moratorium on evictions until the state of emergency is lifted. Executive Order #24 modified Executive Order #4.
- Scope: Applies to all eviction proceedings and foreclosures. Makes an exception for proceedings initiated against individuals for lease violations or criminal activity that result in either substantial damage to the premises by the individual or members of the individual’s household, substantial adverse impact on the health or safety of other residents, or proceedings initiated against an individual in cases of abandonment of the rental unit.
- COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
- Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.
Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance
Governor Chris Sununu has authorized the allocation and expenditure of $35 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (“flex funds”) to support families or individuals in need of housing assistance as a result of COVID-19. Of the allocated $35 million, $20 million will be initially expended, with $15 million being held in reserve, for rent stabilization and housing support.
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) will provide the funds to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) which will then make an initial disbursement of funds to New Hampshire’s five Community Action Program (CAP) agencies, with additional funding provided based on use and need. The CAP agencies have experience administering other emergency housing funds, and their experience working with renters and property owners throughout the communities they serve will allow the Housing Relief Program funds to quickly reach people who are struggling to pay their rent. They are also well-positioned to connect renters with other resources and services they may need.
The New Hampshire Housing Relief Program is designed to keep people from losing their housing and to secure or maintain permanent housing. The program has two components: one-time assistance grants; and a short-term rental assistance program.
The one-time assistance grants can be used to assist households with:
- Past-due rent from April 2020 forward for households that fell behind on rent due to either increased household expenses or lost household revenue as a result to COVID-19;
- Past-due housing/household related expenses that may impact an individual’s/families’ ability to remain housed; and/or
- Other housing related one-time expenses that if not paid impact the ability to maintain housing.
The grant is not to exceed $2,500, and is conditioned on COVID-19 related loss of household income or increased household expenses. This grant program is targeted to those households who will be able to maintain their housing without assistance after the one-time assistance payment.
The New Hampshire Housing Relief Program will provide short-term rental assistance to maintain or secure permanent housing. This includes assistance for:
- Past-due rent that was not paid due to a COVID-19 related inability to pay and ongoing rental assistance on a short term basis using progressive engagement. The rental assistance will decrease over time as households regain stability; or
- First month’s rent and ongoing short-term rental assistance to assist with initial costs to facilitate the transition of working households from shelters into permanent housing.
Both the one-time grants and the short-term rental assistance will be coupled with regional case management services to help connect households to appropriate services as defined by the household and the agency. Program payments will be made directly to the landlord or provider, and this program will end by December 30, 2020.
The Housing Stabilization Fund application became available on June 30, 2020 through the local CAP agencies.
No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by Leonard Girard & a. v. Town of Allenstown & a. No. 80-359.
New Hampshire does not have statutory language regulating price gouging during declarations of emergency.