The stay on evictions has been lifted, and here’s how this impacts landlords and tenants.
On October 15, Governor Steve Sisolak lifted the stay on evictions, which means landlords can start filing the Seven-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. If the tenant files an answer with the court, there’s an extra checkbox in the new form asking whether they want to participate in the mandatory mediation program. If they check that box, the landlord is obligated to mediate that particular case.
After that, a 30-day stay notice is initiated for the eviction and the mediation is scheduled. The landlord has to be present for this; your property manager doesn’t have the authority to negotiate on your behalf. These mediations can be done virtually, so you don’t have to travel to Nevada for them. I know it’s inconvenient, but at least we’re moving in the right direction. Legislators have tied the rental assistance money to the mediation program, so in order to access those funds, you have to go through the mediation program.
There is some concern that the funds, if not spent by December 31, will be returned to the Federal Reserve or the state will have to figure out how they’ll be spent. Either way, funds that aren’t spent by that date probably won’t go to the tenants. Therefore, legislators have created a program that extends the mediation process even longer. For tenants that only have three months of back rent and can get rental assistance within three months and get back on their feet, that’s a smaller balance than five or six months’ worth of rent. The larger the balance is, the fewer people the money will go to.
If you file a notice now, it will take at least until the following week until you can file with the courts, and the courts will probably be backlogged, so it will take them a week or so to process the notice. We’ll be well into November by the time you can get a mediation scheduled, and I have no idea if they have enough mediators to handle the projected eviction traffic.
The CDC affidavit is another issue to be aware of. A tenant can print it off and sign it, but there doesn’t seem to be any burden of proof on their part to obtain the affidavit. Receiving a signed affidavit means you have to stop the eviction process and won’t be able to do anything until January. This also means you can’t get them into mediation and connect them to rental assistance. I’m trying to explain to tenants that this affidavit isn’t in their best interest because of the way Nevada has tied rental assistance to the mediation program, and I’m doing everything I can to work with them so they can receive rental assistance.
At the end of the day, it’s the classic story of two governmental bodies that have negated everything, decided to work against each other, and made things difficult for the rest of us.
As always, I plan on keeping you updated on this ongoing story. If you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I’d be happy to speak with you.