A tenant eviction is, unfortunately, a necessary part of being a landlord and renting out your house. There are many possible reasons for an eviction in Nevada, for example: nonpayment of rent, excessive property damage, illegal use of the rental, disruption to other tenants, and even refusal to leave after the term of the lease agreement is over.
Nevada, unlike some states, has a fairly straightforward process that a landlord must follow to evict a tenant and in case a tenant fails to move out.
We here at Evolve Nevada have made this article to give landlords a better understanding of Nevada's legal eviction process.
Overview of Evicting a Tenant in NV
An eviction in Nevada starts by sending the appropriate eviction notice to the tenant. There are various types of notices, and the one you, as the landlord choose must be specific to the situation.
•7-Day Notice To Pay Rent or Quit: This notice is for nonpayment of rent by the date specified by the lease agreement. It instructs the tenant to do one of two things: to pay the rent due or move out of the property. If the tenant pays within the 7 days, then you must stop the eviction process. However, if for whatever reason, the nonpayment of rent continues, you may then move to seek the court’s help.
•No Cause 30-Days’ Notice: You can only use this notice in specific circumstances. That is, if there is no written contract or lease between you and your tenant (or if the lease has expired). This tells your tenant that they have 30 day notice to quit the premises.
• Tenancy-At-Will 5-Day Quit Notice: Similarly, this applies to a tenancy without a lease; if you've already sent the tenant a 30-days' notice and they have not acted upon it during the first notice period, you can send them a second, five-day notice as a warning. This is regardless of whether or not the tenant's still paying rent.
•3-Days’ Notice for Lease Violation: You can use this notice in instances where the tenant has committed a serious lease violation. Such instances include the use of drugs, running an illegal business, permitting or committing waste, subletting the rental property, or committing a repeated nuisance on the premises. It gives tenants a 3-day notice to move out or face eviction.
Whichever Nevada eviction notice you serve, you must be sure to provide as much information as possible so that the tenant can leave before the notice period ends. Necessary information includes:
• The date it was served
• Your name and address
• Your reason for serving the eviction
• A statement telling the tenant how many days they have to “cure” or leave the premises
• If the eviction is due to rent, the amount (plus late charges, if any), where and how it should be paid.
Serving an Eviction Notice
Landlords may serve any of the aforementioned notices by:
• Personally serving it directly to the tenant;
• Giving it to anyone else who lives at the premises if the tenant is not available. In addition, you must also mail a copy to either the tenant’s rental unit.
• By posting the notice in a conspicuous place at the rental unit if you, the landlord, can’t locate where the tenant is staying or where they work.
Click here for more information regarding serving of eviction notices in Nevada.
Nevada Eviction Process
According to Nevada law, a landlord may only evict your tenant through either of two ways: through a formal eviction process or through a summary eviction process.
The formal Nevada eviction process is to be used by a landlord seeking possession of their unit and monetary damages, whereas a summary eviction is to be used by a landlord seeking only the repossession of their unit.
If your tenant doesn’t cooporate after recieving your notice, you, as the landlord, may then move to court and file a complaint and summons. This is the same with both a formal eviction process and a summary eviction process.
In most cases, tenants will usually comply after recieving the eviction notice and there will be no need for a court hearing. However, there are instances where a tenant will fight to the bitter end, for example, by presenting a legal defense.
Common Tenant Defenses in the State of Nevada
If the eviction case does move to justice court, here are some common arguments your tenant may try to use against you:
1. The eviction is discriminatory.
As per the State Fair Housing Law, it is illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on protected classes. The protected classes are disability, sexual orientation, national origin, race, color, sex/gender, religion, and age. If the judge rules in the tenant's favor, you may face an eviction lawsuit.
2. The eviction is a retaliatory act.
It is also unlawful for a Nevada landlord to evict a tenant in retaliation due to the tenant exercising their legal rights. For instance, if the tenant complained about a landlords failure to maintain the premises or other code violations specified by the lease or rental agreement. If a tenant files a complaint like this at district court, Nevada's eviction process often sides with the tenant.
3. The violation committed isn’t enough to warrant an eviction.
Not all lease violations are of the same severity, and some are more serious than others. There are some violations that you, as the landlord, must give your tenant an opportunity to fix, if possible. If any of this supposed unlawful business is brought to light during the eviction hearing, your case could be thrown out. Examples include parking in an unauthorized space or having pets when they are prohibited, or missing a single rent payment by a few days.
4. Your rental was uninhabitable.
As a landlord, you are required by landlord-tenant law to provide a habitable rental property. Among other things, your property must have working electricity and plumbing facilities, and be clean and sanitary. You should give special attention to the things a tenant requests to have fixed or cleaned.
5. You didn’t follow the right procedure.
For the eviction process to be successful, a landlord must follow the right process. If, for example, a landlord failed to provide their tenant with the right written notice, then the tenant can use that as a defense against the eviction. The tenant remains in the property until the right proceedings are followed.
6. You used “self-help” procedures.
Shutting off utilities, changing locks, or anything of the sort is unlawful. A judge would probably rule that a landlord has evicted their former tenant constructively.
The Bottom Line on Evictions
Evicting a tenant in NV requires proper knowledge and understanding of the laws, even if every landlord wishes they didn't have to deal with it. If you find the process daunting or you simply don’t have the time, then consider hiring expert help. Evolve Nevada can not only help make sure the process is quick and stress-free, but can also make sure the judgement falls in your favor.
Disclaimer: This post is not a substitute for legal advice. The laws mentioned above may have been updated since this was posted. Please contact a legal professional or a property management company for more information.