Tenancy disputes are common in Northern Nevada just as they are all over the country. 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 property 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 property, 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 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 landlords and tenants. In this article, we’ll outline the laws governing both parties involved in a Nevada rental property. This will help you as a landlord or property owner to avoid unnecessary conflicts and the stress and financial burden of a legal dispute.
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: You are required to disclose information about security deposits. 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 tenants non-refundable fees. These are fees for things like cleaning the property.
- Property Damage: You need to disclose any existing damage to the property before a tenant signs the lease 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 property.
- 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
Tenants have the right to …
- Have property repairs 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 property in peace and quiet.
- Have a home that is safe, habitable, and sanitary.
Tenants also have some basic responsibilities. These include
- Providing you with adequate notice before moving out.
- Abiding by all terms of the lease 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 landlord, you have some basic rights that cannot be infringed upon. These rights include:
- Tenants must abide by all terms of the lease 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. These responsibilities include:
- Following the due process when evicting tenants.
- Following all the terms of the lease agreement.
- Notifying the tenant when looking to access their rented premises.
- Responding to maintenance requests promptly.
- Providing tenants with a property that meets Nevada’s safety and habitability standards.
An Overview of the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Northern Nevada
1. Landlord’s Entry
Tenants in Nevada have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their properties. As such, you are required to provide them with 24 hours’ notice before accessing the property. You may want to access the property for various reasons, including:
- To make requested repairs.
- Due to a court order.
- To show the property to potential renters, buyers, or mortgagers.
- Due to an emergency.
- If you have sufficient reasons to believe that the tenant has abandoned the property.
Your entry must also be during normal business hours.
2. Fair Housing Rules
Discriminating against any renter in Nevada is illegal as per Nevada’s Fair Housing Laws. 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 tenants with a rental unit that meets the state’s habitability standards. A habitable property 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 Deposits
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 tenant makes to the property.
- Cleaning the premises once the tenant moves out.
- Covering any defaults in rent or bill payments.
5. Withholding Rent
Tenants in Nevada are legally entitled to a rental property that is safe and habitable. This means that your rental property must meet the state’s basic structural, health, and safety standards. Tenants have two legal options if you fail to take care of important maintenance and provide them with a habitable rental.
Their first option is to withhold rent until you make the needed repairs. The second option is to repair the defects and then deduct the appropriate costs from their security deposits.
6. Small Claims Lawsuits
Conflicts, especially over security deposits, are usually common in the rental industry. Issues typically arise against landlords that withhold the deposit or fail to return it to their tenants. In Nevada, tenants have the right to sue their landlords for damages amounting up to $10,000.
Disclaimer: This blog is only meant to be informational and isn’t a substitute for legal advice. If you need any more help, please consider hiring professional legal services from a qualified attorney based in Northern Nevada. You can also contact a professional property management company such as Evolve Nevada.