The Nevada eviction laws provide for two separate proceedings: a summary proceeding and a formal one depending on whether the landlord wishes to combine the unlawful detainer action with a request for a money judgment.
Under no circumstances may a landlord take action against the tenant to evict him or her without following the summary or formal proceedings. A landlord who engages in non-judicial conduct to force the tenant to leave may be subject to significant damages by the tenant. This includes changing the locks and preventing the tenant access to the leased unit or property or does any other action to shutout the tenant, or who has utility services such as heat and electricity stopped.
Nevada Eviction Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
The majority of evictions concern nonpayment of rent. In a Nevada eviction process concerning nonpayment of rent, the landlord must first serve or post a 5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. If the tenant pays weekly, it is a 4-Day Notice. A summary eviction cannot be used if the landlord wishes to obtain a money judgment as part of the action.
To survive a legal challenge for insufficiency, the Notice should include the following:
- Amount of rent owed.
- When the rent deficiency occurred.
- That the tenant can cure the deficiency by paying the total amount owed within 3 days of service.
- That the tenant may oppose the notice by filing an Affidavit or Answer in a particular, named court.
- That the sheriff or county constable, after issuance of a court order, can remove the tenant within 24 hours of receipt of the order.
- That the landlord may not unilateral steps to prevent the tenant’s access to the property or to shut off utilities until a court order is issued and the sheriff has arrived to remove the tenant.
- That the tenant has a legal remedy if the landlord unlawfully attempts to evict the tenant.
The summary eviction process cannot be used for evicting a mobile home owner from a mobile home park, to evict commercial tenants for other than nonpayment of rent or for eviction following foreclosures of sales of rental property.
The 4 or 5-Day Notice to Quit must be served for other violations but a second notice is required to be served if the reason for the eviction is other than nonpayment of rent.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Nuisance
For tenants who are causing a nuisance or conduct that interferes with the rights of other tenants or neighbors, the landlord may serve a 3-Day Notice to Quit for Nuisance. This notice can also be used if the tenant is operating an unlawful business or subletting the unit without permission. This is followed up by the 5-Day Unlawful Detainer Notice.
Other Violations–5-Day Notice to Perform Lease Condition or Quit
For all other violations other than nonpayment of rent, the landlord must serve a 5-Day Notice to Perform Lease Condition or Quit.
The tenant has 3 days from receipt of this Notice to remedy the violation. Afterwards, the 5-Day Notice of Unlawful Detainer must be served.
5-Day Notice of Unlawful Detainer
If the tenant refuses to leave or to cure the lease violation, the landlord must serve the 5-Day Notice of Unlawful Detainer. After receiving this Notice, the tenant has only until noon of the 5th full judicial day after the day of service to vacate or file an Answer or Affidavit. In lieu of an Answer, the tenant may request that the court delay the eviction for up to 10-days by filing a Motion to Stay.
Service of Nevada Eviction Notice
The Notice can be served personally if a witness is present who can attest to the service; by leaving a copy with a person of suitable discretion who is at least 14 years of age along with mailing the notice; by serving the tenant at his or her place of business and duly witnessed; or if none of these can be done, by posting the notice at a conspicuous location at the unit and by mailing it.
Complaint for Summary Eviction
Under the Nevada Eviction laws, if the tenant fails to pay the rent, vacate or remedy the lease violation, the landlord continues with the Nevada eviction process by filing and serving a Complaint for Summary Eviction.
The complaint is filed with the Justice Court in the appropriate township along with the following documents:
- Copies of the eviction notices
- Copy of the rental agreement
- Original Affidavit of Service and, if appropriate, a certificate of mailing
Before filing the Complaint, the landlord must wait until the 6th day after personal service of the Notice to Quit or Unlawful Detainer, and until the 9th day if the tenant was not personally served and service was effectuated by mail.
Should the tenant have filed an Answer or Affidavit, the court will mail notice of the hearing, which is typically held soon after the Answer is received. In most cases where the reason is for nonpayment of rent, the court will issue an eviction order after the hearing.
If the Answer or Affidavit filed by the tenant contains material facts that are in dispute, the court will dismiss the action and the landlord will have to file and follow the formal Nevada eviction process.
Order for Summary Eviction
Otherwise, the court will issue an Order for Summary Eviction if the landlord has filed the following documents:
- Proof of service on the tenant by either personal service, attested by a witness, or by a certificate of mailing.
- Endorsement by the sheriff, constable or process server attesting to the time and manner of service.
If the Order is issued, the landlord needs to give it to the county constable and arrange with that office to evict the tenant.
A formal eviction is required if the landlord wishes to combine the eviction with a judgment for money damages. If the suit is for $10,000 or less, the action is filed in Justice Court; otherwise, it is in District Court. The landlord must, of course, have filed the appropriate notices to begin the process.
Summons and Complaint/Order to Show Cause
A landlord using formal eviction has a choice. If he or she wishes to remove the tenant before trial, then the landlord needs to file an Application for Order to Show Cause along with the Order to Show Cause. This is a request for the court to issue a Temporary Writ of Restitution. The court will issue a hearing date to both parties for the Order to Show Cause and a trial date.
If the landlord merely wants a trial on the disputed issues, he or she will only file a Notice of Trial Setting.
The Summons and Complaint and Order to Show Cause must be personally served on the tenant or by leaving it with a subtenant of suitable age and discretion. If service cannot be made in this manner, the landlord can file an Application for Service by Publication.
Order to Show Cause Hearing
The hearing on the Order to Show Cause is held to show if there is sufficient evidence that the landlord has a clear right to immediate possession of the unit or property. Both parties can present evidence in support of their contentions. If the court finds sufficient evidence, it will issue a Temporary Writ of Restitution after the landlord posts a surety bond in an amount determined by the court. If this is done, the tenant must vacate the property or be subject to removal by the constable.
The eviction trial is a regular trial with both parties presenting witnesses subject to cross-examination and documentary evidence to support their positions. The landlord has the burden of proving the alleged lease violation by a preponderance of the evidence, or evidence that shows more likely than not that the tenant should be evicted.
The most common defense used by tenants is that the landlord violated the implicit warranty of habitability. All rental units and property must be fit for habitation and be free of hazards or dangers that render the property unsafe to live. This would include the landlord’s refusal to repair the heating or electrical systems or a gaping hole that allows the elements in.
Other defenses may allege retaliation for the tenant having exercised a valid right or that he or she is being evicted for a discriminatory purpose such as age, sex, national origin, color, race, religion, pregnancy or disability.
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