540-A:4 Remedies

Last revised 1979 § Leave a Comment

I. All district courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the superior court to enforce the provisions of RSA 540-A:2 and RSA 540-A:3.

II. Any tenant or landlord may seek relief from a violation of RSA 540-A:2 or RSA 540-A:3 by filing a petition in the district or county where the rental premises are located.

III. No filing fee shall be charged for a petition under paragraph II, and the plaintiff may proceed without legal counsel. Either a peace officer or the sheriff’s department shall serve process under this section and the cost of such service shall be billed as directed by the court pursuant to paragraph X. Any proceeding under this subdivision shall not preclude any other available civil or criminal remedy.

IV. The clerks of the district courts shall supply forms for petitions for relief under this subdivision designed to facilitate proceedings.

V. The findings of facts shall be final but questions of law may be transferred to the supreme court in the same manner as from the superior court.

VI. The court shall hold a hearing within 30 days of the filing of a petition under paragraph II or within 10 days of service of process upon the defendant, whichever occurs later.

VII. Upon a showing of a violation of RSA 540-A:2 or RSA 540-A:3, I, II, or III, the court shall grant such relief as is necessary to protect the rights of the parties. Such relief may include:

  • (a) An order prohibiting the defendant from continuing the activity or activities which violate RSA 540-A:2 or RSA 540-A:3; and
  • (b) An award of damages to the plaintiff for the violations of RSA 540-A, breach of warranty of habitability, breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment or any other claim arising out of the facts alleged in the plaintiff’s petition.

VIII. Upon the showing of an immediate threat of irreparable harm, the court may issue such temporary orders as it deems necessary to protect the parties with or without actual notice to the defendant. If temporary orders are made ex parte, the party against whom such relief is issued may file a written request with the clerk of the court and request a hearing on such request. Such hearing shall be held no later than 5 days after the request is received by the clerk. Such hearings may constitute the final hearing described in paragraph VI.

IX. (a) Any landlord or tenant who violates RSA 540-A:2 or any provision of RSA 540-A:3 shall be subject to the civil remedies set forth in RSA 358-A:10, including costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in the proceedings. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.

  • (b) The provisions of subparagraph (a) shall not apply to petitions brought in good faith by a landlord or a tenant to determine whether a request for entry under RSA 540-A:3, V is reasonable and lawful.

X. If an action initiated under RSA 540-A:3 is found to be frivolous or brought solely for harassment, the plaintiff shall pay to the defendant the costs of said action including reasonable attorney’s fees. If such frivolous action was brought by the tenant, he shall not be entitled to the protection of paragraph XI of this section.

XI. No action for possession may be maintained by the landlord against a tenant who proves a violation of RSA 540-A:3 except for nonpayment of rent, violation of a substantial obligation of the rental agreement or lease, or violation of this subdivision within 6 months of an action instituted under this subdivision by a tenant; nor shall the landlord take any other action in reprisal.


1979, 305:1. 1985, 100:4, 5. 1990, 218:1. 2003, 271:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

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