Landlord and tenant agreements are governed by state laws. In Nevada, the state's landlord and tenant laws are codified in Chapter 119A of the Nevada Revised Statutes. Tenants with written lease agreements must comply with the terms of those agreements, and they may not be able to terminate their leases earlier than provided without obtaining their landlords' consent. Most oral lease agreements can be terminated with 30 days' written notice. Tenants who fail to provide this notice may be liable for the remaining rent.
Nevada law allows landlords to enter into both written and oral lease agreements. If there is no lease between a landlord and tenant, there is a tenancy-at-will. Nevada law allows either party to terminate this type of tenancy with a 30-day written notice. When a tenant fails to provide this notice, a landlord may not only sue for rent payment but may keep the security deposit and apply it to past-due rent. If the landlord deducts from the deposit, he must provide a written deduction statement to the tenant, returning remaining fees to the tenant's last known address within 30 days after determining the property was abandoned.
When a tenant simply abandons his home without providing written notice of termination, the landlord has the right to dispose of the tenant's property, but must wait 30 days in case the tenant returns. Alternatively, if the landlord reasonably believes the tenant abandoned the home, the landlord may send an abandonment notice to the tenant’s last known address. A tenant can reclaim both the rental and the property by paying all past-due rent. Once 14 days have passed since giving notice to the tenant, the landlord can sue for damages. Again, however, a landlord cannot enter the home and reclaim possession of their property without allowing the tenant opportunity to return. The amount of time landlords must wait must be equal to half of the lease term.
Valid Reasons for Early Terminations
Nevada law requires landlords to provide their tenants with a written contact list for repairs and phone numbers for any agents or property managers. A landlord must maintain the tenant's home in habitable condition; must comply with government health and sanitation codes; and must maintain the tenant's plumbing, electric and sanitation systems. Any landlord who fails to provide emergency repair services for restoring hot water, electricity and gas is in violation of his duty to provide habitable housing. A tenant can provide a landlord with written notice of his need for repairs which gives the landlord 14 days to respond.
If a landlord fails to provide essential repair services, Nevada law allows the tenant to repair and deduct the costs of those repairs from the rent. The tenant may also withhold rent by setting up an escrow account with a Nevada justice court or may terminate the lease. To properly terminate the lease, a tenant must immediately vacate the apartment, request a return of the security deposit and demand the last month's rent payment. A tenant may also sue for twice the amount of the deposit as damages for failing to return the itemization and remaining security deposit within the 30-day time limit, according to the Nevada Revised Statutes. If the amount wrongfully withheld is less than $5,000, the tenant may file a lawsuit in small claims court.
Since state laws can frequently change, do not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.
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