Here are the latest developments from the Legislature that you should know.
The Nevada Legislature is currently in session and so far, three bills have dropped—two I’m not in favor of, and one I think is great. AB141 did go through a hearing at the judiciary committee, and essentially what that would do is extend the length of time of notice for an eviction from a 30-day vacate to a 60- or possibly 90-day vacate (depending on how long the tenant has resided in the property).
That only applies to month-to-month tenants; if you’re in a year-long lease, the landlord can still issue a 30-day vacate at the end of the lease. We were relieved to hear that last part, because prior to that being clarified, we feared that this bill would deter long-term residency.
The text of another bill has been published but it has yet to be scheduled in committee. (There are a thousand different steps that bills have to go through, and this bill is in the earliest stages). It may not even be heard in committee, but we’re watching it. Essentially, it would get rid of the summary eviction process as a whole and require that all landlords go through a formal eviction process. I spoke to my attorney to find out what exactly that would entail. Here are some of the key differences:
Whereas filing fees for a summary eviction are around $71, they’re around $270 for a formal eviction process. The latter is also a much more complicated process. With all roads leading to formal court, more tenants and landlords would likely need to hire an attorney to shepherd them through that process. It also takes a lot longer.
Landlords will build attorney fees into their operating costs and yearly profit and loss margin. Here’s my concern: What about the middle-class tenant who doesn’t qualify for legal aid (since they don’t meet the income requirements) but who has nonetheless fallen on hard times and can’t appropriately advocate for themselves in a district court?
I understand the perspective of those who are sponsoring this bill, but I think it risks harming a large portion of tenants who, for whatever reason, can’t afford representation but don’t qualify for legal aid. There are just as many bad landlords as there are bad tenants; we want the good landlords and tenants to have an equal opportunity to be heard. I believe the summary eviction process allows for that.
Again, we don’t know if this bill will even go through committee because we don’t know how serious it is. Nevertheless, we’re staying vigilant.
Finally, there’s a fantastic bill that has been introduced by Heidi Kasama, a Realtor who just got into the Legislature. Essentially, her bill would stop tenants from getting stays. A lot of times when we see a judge grant an eviction, the tenant will wait until right before the lockdown to run down and ask the judge to look at their case again. When this happens, the case is stalled, but then the judge almost always goes ahead and grants the eviction anyway. Stays just buy the tenant a couple of more days before lockdown.
The legislative atmosphere is interesting right now. The Nevada Association of Realtors is doing an amazing job advocating for us, so we’re really grateful for that support. As always, if you have any questions about the latest legal developments or are seeking some property management advice, reach out to me via phone or email. I’d love to connect with you and be a resource.