Changes in Nevada’s landlord-tenant law: what commercial and residential landlords need to know
Special to the NNBV
As a landlord, it is important to stay up on the latest changes in commercial and residential property landlord-tenant law to ensure that you are complying with the law.
In Senate Bill (SB) 151, the Nevada Legislature made various changes to Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 40 as they relate to landlord-tenant laws.
Changes to Summary Eviction Proceedings for Commercial Tenants
The law previously provided for a summary eviction procedure for failure to pay rent which was the same for both commercial and residential properties and tenants.
SB 151 made changes to the summary eviction procedure and added provisions regarding the summary eviction of commercial tenants.
SB 151 allows, in the event of non-payment of rent by a commercial tenant, that the landlord is able to serve a Notice to Quit or Pay Rent and may thereafter seek eviction either 1) at or before noon on the fifth full day following the day of service or 2) if the tenancy has not continued for more than 45 days at or before noon on the fourth full day following service.
This change in summary eviction procedure has not changed the landlord’s right to pursue an unlawful detainer action, which requires additional time.
It is important to keep in mind that the time period related to an eviction notice does not start to run until the day after service has been effectuated and that the “days” are counted pursuant to a judicial calendar, thus, Saturdays, Sundays and Court Holidays are not considered “days” for the purposes of eviction.
Therefore, if you serve a tenant a Notice to Quit or Pay Rent on a Friday, the five or four day requirement begins to run on Monday of the following week, if it is not a Court Holiday.
Transfer or Sale of Rental Property to a New Owner
SB 151 provides that if a residential property that is the subject of a lease or rental agreement has been transferred or sold to a new owner and there is not a modification or termination of the lease, the new owner is required to abide by the lease or rental agreement and the tenant has the same rights and obligations as provided for in the lease or rental agreement which was entered into by the previous owner.
SB 151 also requires the seller of a property to transfer any security deposit paid by a tenant to the new owner. The new owner is then required to provide written notice to the tenant within 30 days after the date of transfer or sale which provides contact information for the new owner and where rent can be remitted and notify the tenant of the amount held for a security deposit
Additionally, the notice is to inform the tenant that the lease or rental agreement will remain in effect for the term of the lease and notify the tenant that failure to pay rent or comply with any other term of the lease or agreement constitutes a breach of the agreement and may result in eviction proceedings.
Notice to Surrender
Previously, the law provided only that the tenant was required to be served with a notice to surrender by delivering a copy of the notice to the tenant personally in the presence of a witness.
SB 151 requires that a notice to surrender the premises must be served by a sheriff, constable, or a licensed process server or licensed agent of an attorney. In an eviction action, a landlord is required to provide proof of service to the Court which must include a signed written statement by the sheriff, constable or licensed process server.
SB 151 defines periodic rent as follows: 1) for a tenancy for a fixed term or a tenancy on a month-to-month basis, the amount of money payable each month; 2) for a tenancy on a week-to-week basis, the amount payable each week; and 3) for a tenancy on an annual basis, the amount payable annually divided by twelve (12) months.”
SB 151 allows a landlord the ability to charge a tenant reasonable fees for the late payment of rent. However, such a late fee cannot exceed five percent (5%) of the amount of the periodic rent and a late fee cannot be added onto a previously owed amount to increase the late fee.
In other words, if a tenant makes a late payment of rent and a five percent late fee is charged, the additional amount owed cannot be added to the tenant’s rent for the purposes of calculating the five percent for the following month.
Disposal of a Tenant’s Personal Property
As you may know, a landlord is required to follow certain procedures when handling personal property left by a tenant. The landlord is required to provide safe storage of the personal property for 30 days after the abandonment or eviction or the end of the rental period.
SB 151 additionally provides that during the five-day period following an eviction or lockout of a tenant, the landlord is required to provide the former tenant a reasonable opportunity to retrieve his or her belongings including but not limited to medication, baby formula, basic clothing, and personal care items.
Whether it is entering into leases, a dispute over contract terms, or evictions, landlord-tenant issues are a highly regulated area of the law and need to be handled with precision and timeliness.
As a landlord, if you fail to comply fully with the law, you may be subjecting yourself to liability. It is therefore important that, when dealing with landlord- tenant issues, you utilize an experienced attorney.
This article was written by Jennifer McMenomy, an attorney with Allison MacKenzie in Carson City, which sponsors this content.
On April 1, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak formally issued a “Stay at Home” directive for Nevadans and extended closures of nonessential businesses, gambling and school closures to April 30.