When you rent out property in Las Vegas, you’re bound by several local, state, and federal laws and regulations. The Nevada Residential Landlord and Tenant Act will be a great resource when you’re trying to determine what your responsibilities and rights are as a rental property owner. The laws are complex and always changing. It’s easy to make a mistake, so be sure to take some time getting to know what you can and cannot do as a landlord.
Understand Tenant Rights in Las Vegas
Tenants have a number of rights, and you have to be careful not to violate them. Some of the most important things to be aware of are:
- You cannot raise the rent without 45 days of written notice.
- Tenants can terminate the lease after 14 days if you do not keep the property habitable.
- Security deposits cannot exceed the equivalent of three months’ rent.
- Before you evict a tenant, you must serve a 5 Day Notice.
- You cannot discriminate against tenants or applicants based on race, religion, gender, disability, national origin, color, or familial status.
Fair Housing Laws
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in rental housing. Most landlords do not intentionally discriminate, but it’s easy to trip over the language you use in your marketing and advertising. It’s also easy to be accused of discrimination if you aren’t consistent with your tenanscreening process and your rental criteria. In addition to the federal fair housing protections, Nevada law also protects applicants and tenants based on ancestry, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
A law passed in 2017 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against applicants with a criminal history, and The Nevada Equal Rights Commission has been working to extend these protections to tenants seeking rental housing. Landlords also need to be aware of disparate impact and how criminal history can create unintentional discrimination against applicants.
Removing Squatters from Your Las Vegas Property
Many landlords have faced frustrations with squatters. When a person moves into your property, you have to follow the full eviction process to get them out, even if they were never an authorized tenant in the first place. Once you’re able to finally remove a squatter and his or her belongings, you can also run into trouble if that person claims some of the belongings are missing or damaged. They can even take you to court even though they were unlawfully living in your home. It’s pretty frustrating, but taking action on your own can result in your own legal troubles.
Evicting a tenant is also sometimes a difficult process. Tenants know the law and they aren’t afraid to exploit it in order to spend more time in your property without paying rent. This underscores the importance of a good screening process, a strong lease, and a professional property management partnership.
Don’t make expensive legal mistakes. Contact us at Tradewind Investments, and we’d be happy to help you stay in compliance when you’re leasing and managing your rental property.