In Nevada, a landlord can't begin an eviction lawsuit without first legally terminating the tenancy. This means giving the tenant written notice, as specified in the state's termination statute. If the tenant doesn't move (or reform—for example, by paying the rent or finding a new home for the dog), you can then file a lawsuit to evict. (Technically, this is called an unlawful detainer, or summary eviction, lawsuit.)
Nevada law sets out detailed requirements to end a tenancy, with different types of termination notices and procedures required for different types of situations. This article provides an overview of the rules landlords must follow when evicting a tenant or ending a tenancy in Nevada.
Nevada allows a landlord to terminate a tenancy early and evict a tenant for a number of reasons, including not paying rent, violating the lease or rental agreement, or committing an illegal act. The reason for the eviction will determine the type of notice the landlord must give to the tenant.
See NRS § 40.2514.
The rules for terminating a tenancy without cause vary depending upon whether the tenant has a month-to-month rental agreement or a fixed-term lease.
With a month-to-month rental agreement, the landlord must give the tenant at least a 30-day written notice informing the tenant that the tenancy will expire at the end of 30 days and the tenant must move out of the rental unit by that time. The same type of notice is required for a week-to-week agreement, except the landlord only needs to give the tenant seven days' notice.
If the tenant is over 60 years old or has a physical or mental disability, the tenant may request an additional 30 days to move out of the rental unit. If the tenant requests this extension, the landlord must allow it (see NRS § 40.251).
For details, see Nevada Notice Requirements to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy.
A landlord can only remove a tenant without cause at the end of the time specified in the lease agreement. The landlord may not be required to give the tenant notice for leases that are longer than month-to-month, unless the lease agreement requires it. This means that if the tenant has a year-long lease that expires in December and the tenant has not requested a lease renewal, the landlord will not need to give the tenant notice to move out by the end of December, unless the terms of the lease specifically require it.
A tenant may decide to fight the eviction, which could add time to the eviction lawsuit. The tenant could have several potential defenses, including mistakes the landlord made during the eviction process, such as using the wrong form or improperly serving it. The tenant could also assert that the landlord failed to maintain the rental unit and that the termination is retaliatory because the tenant filed a complaint about uninhabitable premises, or that the landlord discriminated against the tenant in some way. For more information on tenant defenses, see Tenant Defenses to Evictions in Nevada.
The only way a landlord can legally evict a tenant is by filing an eviction lawsuit, also called an unlawful detainer suit, with the justice court of the county in which the rental unit is located. Even if the landlord wins this lawsuit, the landlord still must not personally evict the tenant. The court will give authority to a sheriff or constable to evict the tenant by a certain day.
Nevada law has made it illegal for the landlord to personally remove the tenant from the rental unit. See Illegal Eviction Procedures in Nevada for more information on this topic.
If the tenant has abandoned the property and left behind personal belongings, either because of receiving notice or after the eviction, the landlord can dispose of the property only after storing the property for 30 days and making efforts to locate and notify the tenant of the landlord's intent to dispose of the property (see NRS § 118A.460).
Landlords must carefully follow all the rules and procedures Nevada law sets forth for evictions; otherwise, the eviction may be not valid. This can often be burdensome for the landlord. However, the rules are in place for a reason. Evictions often happen very quickly and the end result is that the tenant may lose his or her home. The rules help ensure that the eviction is justified and that the tenant has enough time to find a new place to live.