I have found a good perspective tenant and want to run a background screening. Are there limits as to what I may charge to do this?
In the state of Nevada, there are no statutes that place specific conditions on the fee that may be charged to run tenant screening checks. It is wise; however, to keep things pretty relational, meaning that the costs of conducting the test should be fairly close to the actual costs incurred.
Must a lease or agreement be in a written form?
Although in Nevada, there is no requirement for a written agreement, using a rental lease that is printed or written is a favorable choice as it creates a set of standards, which alleviates problematic situations as the tenancy progresses. In 2007, statutes were created that afforded the tenant one free copy of a written lease. If the tenant were to need a subsequent copy due to loss, damage or just wanting an additional copy, the landlord is, then permitted to charge a reasonable fee.
Is it required to do a walk through before renting a property?
Even though Nevada's statute is silent on this issue, performing a walk-through and having a written inspection prior to the tenant moving their personal effects into the rental unit just makes good sense. Why, you ask? Most residential spaces that are rented consist of at least walls, windows and doors; nevertheless, it usually will have much more like appliances, carpeting, and in some cases- furniture. Although one may have a good memory of the condition overall, it is impossible to remember every nook and cranny. Having a written assessment of your rental that is signed by both parties BEFORE your tenants move in is essential in preventing the “he said-she said” scenario.
What circumstances require a landlord to release a tenant from the lease agreement?
Along with the federally mandated military requirements for a service members release from the agreement, in Nevada anyone who is 60 years or older and entering a senior care facility and/or has a mental or physical disability possess certain rights to be able to exit a lease earlier than the ending date. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 118A.340 spells this out in great detail directing the reader of the exact procedures.
Another reason that a landlord may have to release a tenant is when a tenant is a victim of domestic abuse. There are specific procedures to follow that are found in Nevada Revised Statute 118A.345.
How much written notice is required for increasing the rent?
According to NRS 118A.300, The landlord may not increase the rent payable by a tenant unless the tenant is served with 45 days advance written notice advising the tenant of the increase. In cases of periodic tenancies of less than one month then an advance 15-day notice is needed, prior to the first rental payment.
What may I charge a tenant when rent is behind? Must the late fee be one sum or can it be incurred daily?
Nevada has no stated limitations or statutes regarding the charging of or collection of late fees. Be careful though not to create a fee that is considered excessive or penalizing as this could be called into question should it end up in court. It is difficult to calculate the costs incurred when figuring what to charge for a late fee, but if it is fair and reasonable; it keeps the landlord out of any possible “hot water."
My tenant’s check was returned by the bank unpaid? Is there a limit to the fee that may be charged?
Nevada Landlord Tenant statutes do not have any covered stated rule on this issue. However, according to NRS 597.960 Trade Regulations, the receiver of a “bad” check may charge the writer of the instrument a $25 fee.
What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?
A landlord may not collect any more than an amount equal to three-months rent as a security deposit. Furthermore, if the landlord is asking for the last month's rent to be paid in advance, it must be figured into the total security deposit of three months. For instance, if a landlord wants to collect a security deposit along with the last month rent prepaid; then he may ask the tenant for an amount equal to two months for the security deposit and one month for the last month's rent.
**Very important: A security deposit may never be designated as non-refundable.
Do I need to pay interest on the security deposit?
No, there is no such requirement for the state of Nevada.
My tenant has moved out, how do I handle the disbursement of their security deposit?
The timely return of a security deposit is of the utmost importance! In the state of Nevada, the landlord has 30 days to return the entire security deposit OR provide the tenant with a full accounting of all expenses rendered plus any balance left over, if applicable. Damages are considered as items that are in disrepair beyond normal use. Any unpaid rent or charges may also be deducted. The landlord may either hand this directly to the tenant, mail it to the tenant's’ forwarding address or last known address.
What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
Having sufficient proof is one of the larger issues for security deposits. Coming in a close second, is not returning a security deposit in a timely and proper fashion according to Nevada's law.
How can I end a Nevada lease agreement?
It is important to understand the difference between fixed-term leases and periodic. A fixed-term lease contains a defined beginning and ending date; whereas a periodic lease begins on a specific date but then continues either monthly or weekly until either a landlord or tenant gives sufficient notice to end. With oral agreements, it is presumed that it is a month to month agreement if a tenant pays rent each month and week to week if the tenant pays rent weekly; therefore, a full month's notice is needed to end the tenancy when rent is paid monthly, and a full week's notice is needed when paying rent weekly.
What are items not permitted to be in a lease?
A landlord may not include text where the tenant is being asked to agree to waive or forego any of his rights as explained in Nevada Revised Statutes 118A. The lease cannot authorize anyone to confess judgement on any claim made against the other nor can it state that a tenant must pay the landlord’s attorneys fees. An agreement may express that the prevailing party may be awarded attorneys costs. Leases may not absolve a landlord from a responsibility that belongs to the landlord. And finally, a rental agreement may not provide that the landlord desire a different notice than required by law to end the tenancy.
My tenant has not paid rent, how much notice do I have to give a tenant in order to evict them?
If the tenant owes rent, a landlord will send five-day notice that tells the tenant to either pay the rent within five days or the tenancy is terminated. When five days have elapsed after the notice is sent, and the rent is not received, the landlord may then file an “Unlawful Detainer” in court to start the necessary proceedings to regain possession. Please note, in the counting of the five days, the landlord will not factor in the actual day the tenant is given the notice along with weekends, or any other day the court is closed.
Can I require my tenants to obtain renter's insurance?
There is no specific statute that prohibits this requirement.
What do I do if my tenant has left personal effects in the rental unit after he moved?
One of the first things a landlord wants to be sure of is that the tenant actually did move. This will be evidenced by either a legal lockout by a court official, the tenant handing over the keys to the landlord or other substantial proof such as no food left in the refrigerator, no bedding or no clothing in closets. Once it has been established that the tenant has vacated, there are specific procedures that must be followed to remove the tenant’s goods. A landlord is obligated to store and keep the items safe for 30 days after the abandonment. (the cost to store may be charged and collected). At the expiration of the 30 days, the landlord will have to make every reasonable attempt to notify the tenant in writing that the property will be disposed of as the landlord sees fit if the tenant does not respond within 14 days of the notification. The specific procedures for disposing a tenant’s abandoned property may be found in Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 118A.460.
Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?
Although a tenant may not withhold permission for a landlord to enter the premises to make repairs and provide maintenance, show prospective tenants and/or buyers the property or provide any necessary inspections, the landlord must be careful not to abuse this right. A 24-hour notice must be provided. Entrance must be made during normal business hours unless the tenant agrees otherwise or in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord-tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.