All landlords who rent real property for residential purposes must file a statement with the town or city clerk where the property is located providing the name, address, and telephone number of the person within the state who is authorized to accept service of process for any legal proceeding brought against the owner relating to the property. This requirement must be satisfied within thirty (30) days of becoming the owner. If the owner of the real property resides in New Hampshire, he or she can be the authorized person pursuant to the statute. Beginning January 1, 2015, this section will not apply to manufactured housing parks.
There are three (3) exceptions where this requirement does not apply to residential property. First, it does not apply to single family houses if the owner does not own more than three (3) single family houses at any one time. Second, it does not apply to rental units in an owner occupied building containing four (4) dwelling units or fewer. And, third, it does not apply to single family houses acquired by banks through foreclosure.
If legal proceedings are initiated against an out-of-state real property owner who has failed to file with the town or city clerk or answer the legal proceeding brought against him/her, service of process pursuant to New Hampshire’s long-arm statute (RSA 510:4) will be deemed adequate.
If you have questions regarding the applicability of this statute or landlord/tenant law in general, please contact Attorney George Thompson.