Tenancy disputes are common in Northern Nevada just as they are all over the country when houses are rented out. They mainly arise due to the failure of both the tenant and the landlord to understand what exactly their rights and responsibilities are.
A tenant may think that they have returned the unit in good condition, but the landlord may disagree. Upon taking possession, the landlord may find the appliances are broken, the floor is stained and the couches are ripped.
Without any baseline pictures of the initial condition of the unit, the landlord may be forced to sue their tenant.
A landlord may also find themselves in legal issues for not handling their responsibilities. For example, they may take upon themselves to change the locks after their tenant refuses to leave when the lease is up or when they have been served an eviction written notice. This is an act of “self-eviction” and it is illegal.
These are just some examples of the potential conflicts that can arise between Nevada landlords and tenants. In this article, we’ll outline the laws governing both parties involved in a Nevada rental. This will help you as a landlord or property owner to avoid unnecessary conflicts and the stress and financial burden of a legal dispute.
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Required Landlord Disclosures in Northern Nevada
As a landlord, you are required by Nevada law to disclose certain information to your tenants. You must disclose information about the following:
- Security Deposits: A landlord must disclose information about a tenant's security deposit. This includes how much it is, whether or not it will earn interest, and the conditions for its return.
- Non-Refundable Fees: You must disclose whether or not you will charge your Nevada tenants non-refundable fees. These are fees for things like cleaning the unit.
- Property Damage: You need to disclose any existing damage to properties before a tenant signs the lease or rental agreement.
- Move-Out Inspection: You must tell the tenant that they have a right to be present during the move-out inspection.
- Utilities: You need to disclose to the tenant about any shared utility arrangements. If the tenant, for example, will be responsible for paying a portion of a master metered utility.
- Flooding: You also need to disclose to the tenant any recent flooding that occurred to the unit.
- Lead-based paint: You have a responsibility to disclose information in regard to the presence of environmental and health hazards.
- Domestic Violence Victims: You also have a responsibility to disclose any special protections for domestic violence victims. For example, lease termination and other rights.
Northern Nevada Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
A tenant may …
- Contact you for repairs and have them done in a reasonable amount of time upon request.
- Receive notification of any changes to the lease terms.
- Receive a written receipt when you receive their security deposit.
- Enjoy their rented unit in peace and quiet.
- Have a home that is safe, habitable, and sanitary.
A tenant also has some basic responsibilities. These include:
- Providing you with adequate notice before moving out.
- Abiding by all terms of the rental agreement.
- Informing you of any maintenance issues.
- Keeping the premises in a state of cleanliness and sanitation.
- Paying rent when it is due.
Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
As a Nevada landlord, you have some basic rights that cannot be infringed upon. These rights include:
- Tenants must abide by all terms of the rental agreement.
- Tenants must notify you in writing of any needed repairs.
- Month-to-month tenants must provide adequate notice before moving out.
- Tenants must inform you when they leave their rented home for an extended period of time.
- Increase the cost of monthly rent.
You cannot neglect your responsibilities as a landlord. A landlord must:
- Follow the eviction process when evicting tenants.
- Follow all the terms of the rental agreement.
- Notify the Nevada tenant when looking to access their rented premises.
- Maintain the unit, especially when there are specific requests.
- Provide tenants with a rental property that is in habitable condition.
An Overview of the Nevada Landlord-Tenant Laws
1. Landlord’s Entry
Tenants in Nevada have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their properties. As such, you are required to contact the tenant and give them a 24 hours’ notice before accessing the unit. You may want to access properties for various reasons, including:
- To make requested repairs.
- Due to a court order.
- To show the unit to potential renters, buyers, or mortgagers.
- Due to an emergency.
- If you have sufficient reasons to believe that the tenant has abandoned the unit.
Your entry must also be during normal business hours.
2. Fair Housing Act
Discriminating against any renter in Nevada is illegal as per Nevada’s Fair Housing Act. This means you cannot discriminate against any prospective or current tenants based on their gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, religion, sex, race, and skin color.
3. Warranty of Habitability
You must provide your tenant with a unit that meets the state’s habitability standards. A habitable unit is one that:
- Has functioning locks.
- Has properly maintained floors, railings, and stairways.
- Is clean and sanitary.
- Has adequate garbage disposal receptacles.
- Is free from any pest infestations.
- Has a supply of both hot and cold water that meets the state’s health codes.
- Has heating, lighting, and electrical facilities that are in good condition and well-functioning.
- Is effectively weatherproofed in regards to the exterior walls, roof, and windows.
4. Security Deposit
You can require that tenants provide a security deposit prior to signing a lease for various reasons.
These reasons include:
- Fixing any excessive damage the Nevada tenant makes to the unit.
- Cleaning the premises once the tenant moves out.
- Covering any defaults in rent or bill payments.
Understanding the deposit laws are also very important. For instance, know that you cannot deduct from a tenant's deposit for normal wear and tear. You may only deduct if the tenant caused property damage.
5. Withholding Rental Payments
Under Nevada state law, tenants are legally entitled to a rental that is safe and habitable. This means that your rental must meet the state’s basic structural, health, and safety standards. Nevada tenants have two legal options if a landlord fails to take care of important maintenance and provide them with a habitable rental.
A tenant's first option is to withhold rent payments. A Nevada tenant can withhold rent until you make the needed repairs. The second option is to repair the defects and then deduct the appropriate costs from the security deposit.
6. Small Claims Lawsuits
Tenancy conflicts, especially over a security deposit, are usually common in the rental industry. Issues typically arise against Nevada landlords that withhold the deposit or fail to return it to their tenants. Tenants have the right to sue their Nevada landlords for damages amounting up to $10,000.
Bottom Line: Landlord-Tenant Laws in Nevada
As a Nevada landlord, understanding the landlord and tenant laws is crucial.
Do you require expert help? Contact Evolve Nevada today! We’re happy to start assisting you with all your management needs.
Disclaimer: This blog is only meant to be informational and isn’t a substitute for legal advice. If you need any more help with the landlord-tenant law or any other real estate law, please consider hiring professional legal services from a qualified attorney based in Northern Nevada. For more legal advice, contact Evolve Nevada.