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.