Nevada tenants have rights guaranteed to them by law when renting a unit. Chapter 118A of the Nevada Statutes governs tenant's rights in the Silver State. Renters have the right to a unit that's fit for human occupancy. There is also a cap on the amount of the security deposit a landlord can require, as well as laws regarding how much notice the landlord must give their tenant when terminating the occupancy.
Implied Warranty of Habitability in Nevada
Under the legal concept of implied warranty of habitability, Nevada state law requires landlords to keep a rental property in condition fit for human occupancy; they must comply with building and housing codes that can affect a renter's health and safety. Normal wear and tear does not violate implied warranty of habitability, nor do minor housing code violations.
A landlord has 14 days to fix problems that make a dwelling unit uninhabitable. If they don't, the tenant has the right to withhold rent, terminate their rental agreement immediately or recover damages. All rental units must have:
- Weather protection and waterproofing of exterior walls, roof, and unbroken windows and doors.
- Plumbing in good working order with cold and hot running water connected to a sewage disposal system.
- Working gas and heating facilities.
- Working lighting, wiring and lighting equipment.
- Clean and sanitary grounds and structures free from debris, filth, trash and vermin.
- Adequate trash receptacles.
- Floors, railings and stairways in good working order.
Additionally, each Nevada rental unit must have:
- A working toilet, sink, and shower or tub in a ventilated bathroom that allows privacy.
- Kitchen with a sink that is not made of absorbent material.
- Windows that open at least halfway for ventilation, unless there is a fan, or skylights in every room for natural light.
- Emergency or fire exits leading to a hallway or street. Common areas and exits must be free of litter.
- Basements, garages and storage areas free of flammable materials.
- Working deadbolt locks on the main doors of units and working security or locking devices on windows.
- Operating smoke detectors in all units.
Security Deposits and Nevada Tenants
According to Nevada law, a security deposit cannot be more than three months' rent. When the tenancy ends, the landlord has just 30 days to return the security deposit to the renter starting on the date the lease expires. If they withhold any part of the deposit, they must provide the renter with a list of damages.
The state expects a landlord to provide a new tenant with a checklist outlining the property's condition when they move in. This move-in checklist includes written notice that the landlord expects the renter to return the property in the same condition when they move out.
Additionally, the landlord must let the tenant know how they will receive their security deposit refund. If the landlord charges a nonrefundable fee, they must explain the reason for its withholding in the lease's terms.
Notice of Rent Increases and Withholding Rent
If a landlord wants to raise a tenant's rent, they must inform that renter in advance. If the tenant is renting month to month, they require 45 days' notice. If the lease terms are for less than a month, the landlord must give the renter 15 days' notice before they can increase the rent.
Tenants can withhold rent if a landlord violates the implied warranty of habitability by not providing essential services. If this occurs, the renter can repair the damage themselves and deduct the cost of the repairs from their rent.
Lease Terminations and Renter Eviction Process
If the tenant is late in paying rent, the landlord must give them a five-day notice to remedy or quit. Additionally, if the renter violates a lease term, they will get the same notice. If the renter does not remedy the situation within three days of getting the notice, the landlord can initiate eviction proceedings. However, a landlord cannot lock a tenant out of the unit or turn off their utilities.
Nevada has no law governing how much notice a renter or landlord must give the other party when terminating a lease agreement with a fixed end date. In the case of a month-to-month lease, either party has 30 days to terminate; if the lease's terms are weekly, either party has seven days to terminate.
When a renter signs a lease with a fixed end date, the landlord will either issue a new lease or the renter will continue as a month-to-month tenant.
Unit Entry Notices and Disclosures
Tenants are entitled to their privacy. Therefore, a landlord must give the renter 24 hours' notice before entering their unit for repairs, except in an emergency when the landlord can enter without notice to the renter.
In some instances, Nevada requires landlords to disclose sensitive information to renters, such as:
- Critical points of the state's nuisance penalty.
- If there is a pending foreclosure on the property.
- Special protections regarding domestic violence victims.
Landlord Retaliation and Renter Rights
Landlords in Nevada cannot retaliate against a renter if they file a good faith complaint about the landlord or unit. Types of retaliation include:
- Initiating an eviction against the renter.
- Unwillingness to renew a tenant's lease.
- Increasing the rent.
- Limiting access to services on the property.
If a renter sues their landlord for retaliation against them, the landlord has the burden of proof to justify their actions if the renter recently filed a good-faith complaint with a government agency or the renter joined a tenant union. A renter can sue their landlord to pay for loss or injury they have suffered due to the retaliation and a court award of up [$2,500](https://www.civillawselfhelpcenter.org/self-help/evictions-housing/more-topics/202-landlords-retaliation-against-tenant#:~:text=If%20the%20tenant%20sues%20the,(NRS%20118A.) to punish the landlord.
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.