Nevada Seeks to Protect Tenants Who Are Domestic Abuse Victims

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stopping handProperty Managers in Nevada will want to follow this one…

 

Nevada Assembly members Lucy Flores and Elliot Anderson have introduced legislation that, if passed, would significantly amend the state’s Landlord/Tenant law to allow early lease termination for victims of domestic violence.

 

AB 284, introduced on March 15th, would allow a tenant to terminate his/her lease on 30 days’ notice, and/or require the landlord to change the locks on the rented property, if that tenant can substantiate that he/she is a domestic violence victim. The proposed bill provides three alternative methods of establishing the tenant’s status: 

 

 

“A copy of an order for protection against domestic violence issued to the tenant, cotenant or household member who is the victim of domestic violence; [or]

A copy of a written report from a law enforcement agency indicating that the tenant, cotenant or household member notified the law enforcement agency of the domestic violence; or

A copy of a written statement signed by a qualified third party acting in his or her official capacity stating that the tenant, cotenant or household member is a victim of domestic violence.”

 

The actions or events surrounding the tenant’s early termination must have occurred within 90 days prior to the tenant’s notice to terminate. After expiration of the 30-day notice to terminate, the tenant’s obligations for future rent payments would cease. The bill further provides that the ‘perpetrator’ of the violence may be made civilly liable for losses to the landlord as a result of early lease termination.

 

The bill is currently in Committee (Assembly Commerce and Labor), and has not yet been heard. Assuming the bill passes both houses and is signed into law by the governor, Nevada would join the ranks of several other states already providing for early lease termination options to victims of domestic violence.

 

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6 Replies to “Nevada Seeks to Protect Tenants Who Are Domestic Abuse Victims”

  1. So if I’m reading this right, (a) the abused tenant(s) can basically be released from their contractual obligation, effectively removing their name from the lease, leaving the abuser as the sole responsible party, or (b) the abused tenant(s) can choose to get the locks changed and stay, and the abuser has to leave, but remains contractually obligated?

    1. Bob, I’m not seeing anything in the bill that would “require” the abusing party to leave. However, in the case of a lock change, the Landlord is not obligated to give the ‘abuser’ a key, even if he/she is on the lease. It’s messy, for sure.

      What concerns me most about the bill is its very first line, “Notwithstanding any provision in a rental agreement to the contrary…” What does that mean? The landlord can put language in the rental agreement that trumps this early-termination provision?

      It will be interesting to watch how this unfolds in committee.

      1. I hope they don’t make this too easy to do. I want my rent lowered and if you don’t do it they Bruno my boyfriend is going to slap me while I videotape this as proof and I will just break my lease. Too bad these misguided representatives don’t enact different legislation that requires the abuser to donate a kidney or part of his liver on the spot for abusing the girl friend or spouse. I would work their campaigns for Governor if they did.

        1. Thanks for reading and commenting, George. I will be very interested to learn what the testimony is on both sides of this bill, as it moves through the process. Based on what little research I’ve done, it appears to closely mirror legislation already in place in several states. “Proof” of domestic violence will be required, and it appears that will be a bit more than a simple baseless accusation to establish such proof. We shall see…

  2. I hope they leave things as be. Most landlords will let them break the lease anyway. When you have domestic violence you end up with trashy tenants which most landlords and property managers don’t want.

    1. With 1 in 4 women having experienced domestic violence in her lifetime, I’d say it’s probably much more prevalent in our rental properties than we might assume. (http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/) That said, you make a good point, Jay. I agree that “most” landlords would likely allow a lease to be broken, than to risk ongoing abuse in a rental property. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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