Dear TRC Counselor,
My landlord just sent me a letter (on company letterhead) telling me that they are not going to allow me to renew my lease at the end of November. I have rented this townhome for the past 10 years, and I have never been late on my rent. How can they get away with this? Especially after I did all their landscaping in the backyard. There was nothing but dirt in the yard when I moved in! On top of that, I paid for new carpeting to be installed in the den. This is not fair, and I want to know my rights. I am 65 years old, and I really do not want to have to move.
Unappreciated in Vegas
I understand this is a frustrating and confusing for you. You have been a good tenant for many years, and now you do not feel appreciated. When a tenant’s lease expires, the landlord and the tenant can decide whether they want to continue with the contractual agreement. Some lease agreements will automatically roll over into a new term or they may go month to month. Either way, the landlord has the right to end the tenancy with proper notice (per the lease agreement). In some cases, a landlord will send a letter to the tenant, as yours did. In other instances, they will serve a 30 Day No Cause Eviction Notice.
If you receive an eviction notice, you can contact the Tenant Rights Center immediately. We can determine whether there is a defense to the eviction or whether you have a basis to ask for more time in the home. When a person is 60 years of age or older, and/or there is a disabled person in the home, a tenant can request an additional 30 days from their landlord. If the landlord refuses to grant the extra time or ignores the request, tenants can file a Motion to Continue in Possession, whereby the court will decide whether to order the landlord to give a tenant the extra 30 days. It is within the court’s discretion whether or not to grant the additional time.
If your lease has not expired or the landlord is retaliating/discriminating, you may have a defense to the No Cause Eviction. However, retaliation and discrimination can be difficult to prove in court.
Finally, you mentioned that you spent money to upgrade the property both inside the home as well as the landscaping outside of the home. In general, tenants are not entitled to reimbursement for upgrades to the property. Unless you have a written agreement with the landlord for reimbursement for the improvements, you are not entitled to reimbursement.
Your TRC Counselor