In Nevada, as with any other state, if rent is paid in a timely manner in exchange for inhabiting property, a landlord-tenant relationship is established (even without a written lease), and with this relationship comes rights and responsibilities for both parties.
Basic Landlord Responsibilities
Keep the rental fit to live in. The landlord is required to provide housing that is habitable and to make repairs in a timely manner when required.
Quiet enjoyment. The landlord is required not to disturb the tenant’s rights to peacefully and reasonably use their rented space.
Basic Tenant Responsibilities
Pay rent on time. If the tenant does not pay rent in full and in a timely manner, the landlord has the right to take action to end the tenancy.
Cover excessive damages. Tenants are responsible to cover the costs of damages to the property beyond normal “wear and tear”.
With that said, Nevada varies from other states on additional rights and responsibilities for both landlords and tenants. Nevada law even varies on both the interpretation of the above rights and the rules on handling violations.
Warranty of Habitability in Nevada
Landlord Responsibilities. Under Nevada state law, a landlord is responsible for maintaining a rental unit in a habitable condition, regardless of its occupancy status. A rental unit is considered statutorily uninhabitable if it does not adhere to the state’s warranty of habitability standards, which mandate that all units include the following essential amenities:
- Waterproofing on all floors, walls, roofs, doors, and windows
- Proper plumbing, including sewer access
- A water supply that the tenant controls and provides an ample supply of hot and cold water
- Adequate in-unit heating
- Safe electric lighting, outlets, and wiring
- An adequate number of garbage receptacles
- Routine garbage removal services
- Proper ventilation
- Air conditioning
- Floors, walls, ceilings, stairways and railings that are in proper repair
Nevada tenants have the right to request repairs on any or all of these listed amenities if they are not provided at the time of tenancy or are allowed to fall out of safe operation through no fault of their own. In such cases, Nevada landlords have 14 days to remedy the tenant’s stated issue to the best of their ability. If the issue at hand is still not properly addressed after that time period elapses, an affected tenant may press for an immediate lease termination or may begin to take “alternative action,” including the withholding of all successive rent payments.
Tenant Responsibilities. Under Nevada’s landlord-tenant laws, tenants are primarily responsible for paying rent on time as well as keeping their unit clean during the course of their tenancy. This includes removing rubbish that may accumulate and making minor, necessary repairs. If either of these actions are not taken in a timely manner, a Nevada landlord may provide notice to that tenant and request that the issue be remedied within 5 days. If that tenant does not cure their behavior in that period of time, they may become subject to eviction.
Tenants in Nevada also have the right to take “alternative action” against their landlord on occasions where they feel that their request for a necessary repair has gone unaddressed or inadequately addressed. When this occurs (that is, after the passage of the standard 14 day response time for an essential repair), an affected tenant may begin to indefinitely withhold rent payments until the issue is resolved. Alternatively, the same landlord may choose to perform the repair on their own and then deduct the associated cost from their next rent payment.
Evictions in Nevada
Nevada landlords must typically justify their eviction requests when challenged by the targeted tenant. These are some of the most common reasons for justifying an eviction in Nevada:
- Nonpayment of rent – Tenants in Nevada are obligated to pay rent on whatever day is listed in their lease agreement (typically the first of the month). However, if they fail to do so, their landlord may issue a 7-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit that sets forth the time frame in which the tenant’s rent must be collected (plus any relevant fees). If the landlord in question still does receive the requisite payments at the end of those 7 days, then they may seek out formal eviction against the tenant either by following the Summary Process or by filing an Unlawful Detainer suit in a local court.
- Violation of lease terms – If a Nevada tenant breaks any of the terms included in their lease agreement, then their landlord may require them to remedy the issue (if possible). To initiate this process, the landlord must issue a 5-Day Notice that includes a set of requirements which the tenant must fulfil in order for the eviction order to be lifted. However, if the infraction cannot be resolved or is of an acute nature, no curing terms need to be provided. Failure to adhere to those terms or vacate the premises within the 5 days will result in a forced eviction on the tenant’s part.
- Illegal Acts – Nevada tenants who participate in any number of illegal acts may be evicted from their rented unit after their landlord provides them a 3-Day Notice to Quit that acknowledges the infraction in question. These are a few acts which Nevada state law specifically denotes as being worthy of justifying an eviction order:
- Subletting the property in violation of the lease agreement
- Committing or allowing damage to be done to the rental property
- Running an unlawful business on the property
- Violating controlled substance laws
When it comes to evicting a tenant for this purpose, most Nevada landlords choose to utilize a Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer suit. However, landlords who wish to evict a tenant for committing an illegal act may also choose to utilize the Summary Process, though this option requires a 5-Day Notice period instead of the 3-Day notice period described above.
Evictions without a lease. Nevada tenants who rent from a landlord without entering into a lease agreement are considered “at-will” in terms of their tenancy permeance. Even so, Nevada tenants who are a part of any rental arrangement of this nature are entitled to the following amounts of notice in advance of their own eviction:
- Week-to-Week rental agreement – 7 days of advance notice
- Month-to-Month rental agreement – 30 days of advance notice
Illegal Evictions. Nevada state law prohibits retaliatory evictions, particularly those that are a reaction to a tenant’s choice to invoke one of their protected renter’s rights. As such, a Nevada tenant cannot be evicted for joining a tenant union or filing a habitability complaint to a local or state regulatory authority.
Nevada landlords are also forbidden from seeking evictions on discriminatory grounds. As a result, Nevada tenants may report their landlord’s intent to evict them to a state-sanctioned civil rights protection group if they feel that they have been targeted based upon one or more protected class traits.
Security Deposits in Nevada
Security deposits in Nevada are subject to the following regulatory standards. Landlords operating in this state should take note of these standards so that they can legally collect, maintain, and redistribute their tenant’s security deposits without opening themselves to liability:
- Standard Limit / Maximum Amount – Nevada landlords are prohibited from charging security deposits that are valued at three times the cost of a single month’s rent under the applicable lease agreement. This amount does not include pet deposits, which may be greater than this maximum amount and are not statutorily regulated as “deposits.”
- Interest and Maintenance – Landlords in Nevada are not required to place their collected security deposits in any type of special bank account or escrow. However, if they choose to do so and that account accrues interest, that landlord has the sole claim on that interest. Nevada does not have statutory provisions for either of these issues, though, so both of these factors are considered a default arrangement.
- Time Limit for Return – Nevada landlords are required to return any and all security deposits held in their possession within 30 days of a tenancy’s termination. This return must be accompanied by a written statement with itemized listings for each deduction made from the original security deposit. Nevada tenants may dispute any of those deductions, so long as they provide notice of this intent within 30 days of receiving the statement.
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – Landlords in Nevada who fail to return a tenant’s security deposit on time or do so without providing an itemized deduction list may become liable to repay the exact amount of the original deposit as a penalty. These negligent landlords may also be required to pay a monetary award to the affected tenant, if such a penalty is ordered by a court.
- Allowable Deductions – Nevada landlords can only charge security deposits to cover unpaid rent, to compensate for damage repairs, or to cover post-termination cleaning. However, more justifiable deductions may be warranted depending on the provisions of the applicable lease agreement.
Lease Termination in Nevada
Notice Requirements. Like many other states, Nevada does not require tenants who are renting under a fixed end date lease to inform their landlord of their intent to move out after the lease naturally concludes. However, Nevada tenants who rent on a periodic basis that does not include an end date must provide the following amounts of written notice based upon how regularly they pay rent:
- Week-to-Week lease – 7 days of advance notice
- Month-to-Month lease – 30 days of advance notice
Legally Breaking a Lease Early. For Nevada tenants, the easiest way to break off a lease early is by invoking an early termination clause within the terms of their lease agreement. However, not all tenants in Nevada have such a provision in their lease, while others are not able to the terms of such a provision. As such, all tenants in Nevada should understand that they can also legally break off their lease for the following reasons:
- Active Military Duty – Federal law allows service members who are relocating due to deployment or permanent change of station to terminate their lease as early as 30 days from the next rent period.
- Unit is Uninhabitable – Nevada landlords are legally obliged to provide their tenant’s with a livable dwelling at all times, based upon the several amenity-based standards outlined in the state’s warranty of habitability. If these obligations are not upheld (such as when a landlord delays or refuses to make a requested repair), an affected tenant may request an immediate lease termination. This can even be done unilaterally if the extent of the statutory uninhabitability issue acutely affects the tenant’s health or safety.
- Landlord Harassment – Nevada landlords are required to provide at least 24 hours of advance notice before entering a rented unit for the purposes of showing the space or performing a necessary repair. If the proper amount of notice is not given or permission is not granted in a reasonable manner, then the affected tenant can deny entry altogether. A landlord in Nevada that still insists on entry or does so regularly without regard to the established entry standard may be accused of harassment, which can be used to justify an immediate termination request.
- Domestic Violence – Domestic violence victims in Nevada are allotted some special early termination rights under the state’s current laws. So long as written notice is provided, a domestic violence victim in Nevada may immediately terminate their lease. However, they will remain liable to pay rent for 30 more days or until the end of the next rental period, whichever is sooner.
- Advanced Age or Illness – Nevada tenants with a mental or physical disability or who are 60 years of age or older may request an immediate lease termination if their current dwelling is inhospitable to their long-term well-being.
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Nevada
Rent control & increases. Currently, Nevada state law neither preempts nor specifically allows local jurisdictions to institute rent control or rent stabilization policies. As such, landlords operating in this state are free to charge as much as they want for rent. Also, because Nevada state government abides by a so-called “Dillion Rule,” local jurisdictions cannot unilaterally begin instituting rent control ordinances without the state’s approval. As such, a Nevada landlord’s right to set their own rent rates appears to be protected for the foreseeable future.
That being said, Nevada still requires landlords to properly inform their tenants prior to a fresh rent increase becoming active. To this end, most Nevada tenants are entitled to 45 days of advance notice in which they can choose to accept the new rate or vacate the apartment. However, in the case of a periodic tenancy of less than 1 month per period, a Nevada tenant is only entitled to 15 days of advance notice.
Rent related fees. Nevada is one of several states that does not maintain any significant regulations on how or when landlords in the state charge fees to their tenants. As such, Nevada landlords are free to charge late rent fees and returned check fees at any rate or interval they feel is appropriate. Nevada state law does not even require these fees to be written into a lease to be considered valid, either.
Housing Discrimination in Nevada
Federal Protections. The Fair Housing Act protects tenants from being discriminated against due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. However, the law does not apply to all housing, such as owner-occupied homes with 4 or fewer units or housing operated by religious organizations.
State Protections. Nevada’s civil rights laws establish two state-level protected classes that exceed the requirements set forth in the federal Fair Housing Act. As a result, it is illegal for landlords in Nevada to discriminate against a current or prospective tenant on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Discriminatory Acts & Penalties. The Nevada Equal Rights Commission administers the state’s fair housing laws and ensures that all tenants who feel that they have been discriminated against have an opportunity to have their complaint heard. Though this commission does not enumerate certain acts that may be considered wholly discriminatory when they target a protected class, it is assumed that the Commission will accept complaints from all tenants and judge them on an individualized basis.
Filing a housing discrimination complaint in Nevada is free and does not require a tenant to maintain an attorney. This process can be initiated by contacting the Commission or by filing through their website. Once this process begins, it will be investigated by the Commission until a formal conclusion can be met. If that conclusion supports the tenant’s claims, then that tenant will be given permission to sue for damages with the Commission’s support.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Nevada
Here are a few more Nevada landlord-tenant laws that don’t fit under another category, but are still very important to understand when entering into a leasing relationship:
Landlord Entry. Landlords in Nevada are legally required to adhere to any entry policy set in their lease agreement. However, in lieu of a policy, Nevada landlords are required to provide at least 24 hours of notice when they intend to enter a tenant’s unit to show the space or perform a requested repair. This standard cannot be lowered through a lease agreement, though this standard can be raised and differentiated based upon the action the landlord intends to perform.
However, when an emergency threatens a tenant’s unit, a Nevada landlord may justifiably enter without advance notice to warn them of that danger. This allowance for permission-less entry should not be abused, though, or else the landlord in question may be found liable for harassment or privacy invasion later on.
Small Claims Court. Nevada’s small claims court is fairly decentralized in nature, with each county operating their own to adjudicate disputes between landlords and tenants (among others). Each county maintains its own limits when it comes to accepted case values, but the state of Nevada overall maintains a $7,500 baseline from which individual counties can work deviate from. Also, most, if not all, county-based small claims courts do not accept eviction cases.
Mandatory Disclosures. Nevada only requires its landlords to make a couple minor informational disclosures to new tenants. They are as follows:
- Lead-based paint. For houses built prior to 1978, federal law requires landlords to provide tenants with information about lead based paint hazards. Read more.
- Pending Foreclosure. If a Nevada tenant’s property is subject to foreclosure at the beginning of or over the course of their tenancy, their landlord must inform them of this fact in writing.
- Right to Fly the Flag. Nevada tenants have a right to display the American flag in a reasonable manner. Nevada landlords must inform their tenant of this right in writing.
Changing the Locks. Nevada’s landlord-tenant laws do not provide any input regarding whether a landlord or a tenant can change a unit’s locks without the other party’s permission. However, it is assumed that landlords in Nevada are at least forbidden from taking such action as a form of retaliation. This would result in a lockout, which is prohibited in the state under most circumstances.
Nevada Landlord-Tenant Resources
Landlords and tenants should take note of these extra digital resources as well. Each contains information that goes into greater depth on topics covered here in this Nevada landlord-tenant law guide:
Nevada Landlord-Tenant Handbook – This handbook is invaluable when it comes to answering questions that arise out of unusual or special case circumstances relating to landlord-tenant laws. Better yet, this handbook includes links to resources that Nevada landlords can use to standardize the language they use in all of their notices and disclosures.
Overview of Nevada Small Claims Court – This primer on Nevada’s small claims court can help even a legal novice understand this venue’s judgement process. It even includes several concise flowcharts that can help a landlord or tenant track the progression of their case as it proceeds towards final judgement.
SB 151 – New Law Relating to Summary Eviction – In 2019, Nevada revised key portions of its summary eviction process. However, many landlords in the state are still operating under the old standards. As such, it is crucial to read about the changes described in this resource so that Nevada tenants are not caught unaware.