Conflicts between landlords and tenants can sometimes erupt into contentious and complicated legal problems. Thankfully, every state has its own set of rental laws that help minimize these conflicts.
Like all states, Nevada has its own laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship. As a landlord in Reno, Nevada, knowing these laws is key to a successful rental property business.
Among other things, they can help you deal with many legal questions without needing a lawyer. Read on for an overview of the landlord-tenant laws in Nevada.
Required Landlord Disclosures in Nevada
Under Nevada landlord-tenant law, you must disclose certain information to your tenants. Typically, most landlords disclose this information in their Nevada lease or rental agreement.
The following are some of the disclosures that you have to make to your tenant.
- Dishonored Payment Fees: It is required that a landlord disclose all fees for late or partial rent payments and dishonored checks. Any other required fees and their purpose is also required.
- Shared Utilities Arrangements: Again, a disclosure isn’t necessary but is still recommended.
- Nonrefundable Fees: You must explain the fees required and explain their purpose.
- Move-in Checklist: Once the tenant signs the lease, you must then take a record of the property’s inventory and condition. It must be signed.
- Foreclosure Proceedings: You must disclose to your potential tenant whether your property is the subject of a foreclosure proceeding.
Housing Discrimination Laws
Renting to a tenant who can’t pay rent is a huge liability. That’s why screening your Reno tenants is super essential.
By screening your prospective tenants and picking only the most qualified, you help prevent high rental turnover.
Screening your renters the right way is important. Among other things, that means ensuring the process is free from any form of discrimination.
According to the Fair Housing Act, you must not deny a rental application based on certain protected classes. The classes include:
- Religious Creed
- National Origin
- Familial Status
- Sexual Orientation
- Identity or Expression
Illegal actions include but aren’t limited to:
- Rescinding privileges of residency based on a protected characteristic.
- Charging an individual with a service animal an added security deposit.
- Denying an individual with a service animal the right to rent a property based on a no-pets policy.
- Denying reasonable accommodations to an individual with a disability.
- Raising rent or charging added security based on the number of children a family has.
- Using discriminatory language in rental advertisements.
Nevada Security Deposit Laws
As you already know, security deposits act as a cushion against financial ruin resulting from a renter’s carelessness.
Under Nevada’s landlord-tenant law, landlords must follow certain security deposit laws. The following are some basics you should be familiar with.
- Security Deposit Limit: The security deposit amount differs depending on the property type. If it is for public housing, you can charge a maximum of one month’s rent. If it is for private housing, you can charge a maximum of three month’s rent, including the last month’s rent amount.
- Non-refundable Deposits: The only non-refundable fee landlords in Nevada can charge tenants is for cleaning. All other deposits are refundable at the end of the lease term so long as the tenant has abided by the lease terms.
- Security Deposit Deductions: You can only make deductions to tenants’ security deposits for three reasons. One: costs to clean the unit. Two: to cover unpaid rent. And three: to cover damage in excess of normal wear.
- Security Deposit Return: Like in most states, landlords in Nevada must return their tenant’s security deposits thirty days after they move out. Failure to return the Security Deposit Reconciliation within the 30 day period causes you to lose your right to any of the Security Deposit. Always send the Security Deposit Reconciliation using “Certificate of Mail” and, if the tenant owes additional money, a copy should also be sent by “Certified Mail”. Be aware that Notices to the tenant must always be sent using “Certificate of Mail” or the court could decide you sent it incorrectly.
Landlord’s Right to Access Rental Property
Renters in Reno, Nevada are entitled to their privacy. This means that you cannot barge in on your renters whenever you feel like it.
The Nevada rental law requires you to give your renters at least a 24 hours’ notice prior to entering the property. Emergency situations are the only exception to this rule. Examples of emergency situations include:
- If you suspect violent criminal activity is happening inside
- There is structural damage to the property that urgently needs attention
- You can smell gas
- If there is a fire in the property
It goes without saying that the time and the reason for the entry must be reasonable. For example, to inspect the property, and to conduct property repairs and maintenance.
Nevada’s Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent
Tenants in Reno often ask if they have the right to withhold rent. Well, read on to find out.
Landlords have a responsibility to provide safe and habitable housing to their tenants. If they fail to do this, then the implied warranty of habitability gives tenants two options. That is, to withhold rent or “repair and deduct.”
So clearly, as a renter, you have a right to withhold rent.
So what does it mean to say to fulfill an implied warranty of habitability? It means, as a landlord, you must:
- Exterminate infestations of rodents and other vermin.
- Provide trash receptacles and arrange for trash pick-up.
- Supply hot and cold water and heat in reasonable amounts at reasonable times.
- Keep heating, sanitary, plumbing, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems and elevators operating safely.
- Maintain all common areas, such as stairways and hallways, in a safe and clean condition.
- Keep basic structural elements of the building, including roofs, walls, stairs, and floors, safe and intact.
Small Claims Lawsuits in Nevada
In Nevada, the small claims court is a division of the Justice Court. The court is designed to resolve disputes involving lawsuits for money damages up to $10,000.
The small claims court allows for self-representation, eliminating the need for hefty legal fees associated with lawyers.
Security deposits are usually the source of conflicts between landlords and tenants. The conflicts often end up in small claims court. Such problems may arise as follows:
- The tenant is furious, claiming the landlord is illegally withholding the deposit.
- The landlord keeps all or part of the deposit, stating that the place was left damaged or dirty.
That’s why understanding security deposit laws is important.
Landlord Retaliation in Nevada
It’s illegal in almost every state for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant for exerting their legal rights. Forms of retaliation include:
- Decreasing or limiting access to services
- Increasing the rent
- Unwillingness to renew a lease
- Initiating an eviction
Any form of retaliation by the landlord is illegal.
Termination and Eviction Rules
If the tenant is on a month to month rental term or at the end of a lease and the property is not section 8 housing or government housing you can terminate tenancy by issuing a 30 day No Cause Notice (5 days for weekly rentals).
The tenant in some cases can request an additional 30 days. (This is not an actual eviction if the tenant moves out within the time frame. If the tenant does not move then you must issue an Unlawful Detainer Eviction and attend a court hearing.
Now, there are three types of notices to vacate a rental property in Nevada. They include:
- 5-Day Pay or Quit Notice: This notice informs the tenant that they have five days to either pay due rent or move out.
- 5-Day Cure or Quit Notice: This notice gives the tenant five days to either fix the violation or move out of the rental.
- 30/5 Day No Cause Notice to Quit: Unlike the two previous notices this one does not allow a tenant to cure a violation of the rental agreement as there is no violation to cure. Here the tenant, in most circumstances, must just vacate the premise within the prescribed or extended time frame.
If the tenant cures the violation as noted in either of the 5 Day notices you must halt the eviction process immediately. If, however, the violation has not or cannot be cured within the time frame then you would be able to file for an eviction with the appropriate court. Forms and filing information can be obtained from your local Justice Court.
There you have it. An overview of the landlord-tenant laws in Reno, Nevada. Please note that this article is only a guideline and doesn’t constitute legal advice. If you need further help, please seek professional legal services.