- Homeowners in Las Vegas can evict tenants for a wide range of reasons, including nonpayment of rent, lease violations, and even “no-cause”.
- The eviction process in Las Vegas can be completed in under two weeks in simple cases, but it can also drag on for months in complex cases.
- Las Vegas homeowner-tenant law gives both parties legal rights during an eviction.
While it is true that we all hope for complying and responsible tenants, it is undeniable that this is not always the case. In fact, data show that Las Vegas is on track to have 45,000 eviction cases in 2022. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the eviction laws in Las Vegas to find out when an eviction is appropriate, how the process works, and what rights homeowners and tenants have during the eviction.
When is an eviction appropriate?
There are several legal reasons to evict a tenant in Las Vegas:
- Nonpayment of rent
- Creating a nuisance
- Destruction of property
- Drug violations
- Subletting violations
- Unlawful occupants (squatters)
- Unlawful business conducted on the premises
- Other violations of the terms of the lease
It is also possible for homeowners to use a “no-cause” eviction if they need possession of the property for reasons unrelated to tenant behavior. If, for example, the homeowner plans to occupy the property themselves, they could require the tenant to vacate. But this can only be done after a tenant’s lease has expired, and it requires at least 30 days’ notice, which could be extended for an additional 30 days at the tenant’s request.
The typical eviction process in Las Vegas
Each eviction case is unique, but any one of them follows the same basic 4-step eviction process in Las Vegas.
Legal notice is served to the tenant
A legal notice is a document that informs the tenant of the homeowner’s intention to evict.
While eviction laws in Las Vegas allow homeowners to personally deliver notice to the tenant at the property and mail a copy of it to the tenant, it is best for homeowners to order the notice through the Clark County Constable.
Notices set the terms of the intended eviction and the date by which the tenant needs to take action. Options for the tenant typically include:
- “Cure” the violation (by paying the past-due rent or getting compliant with the terms of the lease)
- File a legal answer to the eviction with the Clark County Constable
- Vacate the premises
The time frame provided to the tenant on the notice varies depending on the reason for the eviction. For example, failure to pay rent would result in a Seven Day Notice to Pay or Quit (meaning the tenant has seven days to pay the past-due balance or leave the apartment).
The tenant can file a formal response
If the tenant has a valid reason to dispute the eviction notice, they can file a formal response with the Clark County Constable within the time frame allowed in the notice.
The court decides if an eviction order should be granted
If the tenant does not file an answer within the allotted time, the court will usually go in favor of the homeowner and grant the eviction order. This ruling is typically made during a court hearing that takes place the next business day after the time frame listed in the notice.
But if the tenant does file a formal response, a hearing date will be set for the court to hear both sides of the case before making a ruling.
The constable will execute the lockout
Once the court has ordered the eviction, a constable will schedule the lockout with the homeowner. The lockout must take place within a window of 24-36 hours after the eviction order. At the lockout, the constable will accompany the homeowner to the unit to make sure the tenants have vacated, and the homeowner will change the locks immediately.
What do eviction laws in Las Vegas say?
Homeowners and tenants both have specific rights during the eviction process as listed below.
Homeowner rights during an eviction in Las Vegas
The homeowner has the right to:
- Enforce the lease (assuming the lease is lawful)
- Collect rent due from the time the tenant occupied the unit
- Not be harassed by the tenant(s)
- Change the locks to keep the tenant out (but only with the constable present after the eviction has been ordered by the court)
Tenant rights during an eviction in Las Vegas
Tenants have the right to:
- Enjoy habitable conditions (meaning the homeowner cannot make the property uninhabitable to force the tenants out)
- Access the property until the eviction is ordered
- Not be harassed by the homeowner
- Answer the eviction notice with a legal defense
There are several legal defenses against an eviction, including the following:
- The homeowner failed to follow the legal process. The homeowner cannot legally attempt to force you out without involving the court system
- The homeowner failed to keep the property in habitable condition as defined in NRS § 118A.290
- The homeowner is evicting the tenant in retaliation for exercising legal rights (like filing a complaint against the homeowner)
- The homeowner is discriminating against the tenant in violation of federal Fair Housing Laws or Nevada state Fair Housing Laws
Evictions can often be avoided through good communication between tenants and homeowners. But when eviction becomes unavoidable, it’s critical to follow the legal requirements outlined by the Clark County Court system.
Homeowners have the right to collect rents due, enforce legal leases, and evict unlawful residents. Tenants have the right to enjoy habitable conditions, access the property until the eviction is ordered, and file a legal response to the eviction notice. Neither party has the right to harass the other during the process, no matter how contentious the proceedings get.
If you are unsure about the eviction laws in Las Vegas, it is always best to seek the advice of a local licensed attorney.