By Rhea Gertken, Esq.
AB486 was enacted in 2021 to protect tenants that applied for rental assistance to cover a rent default due to the pandemic. After the CARES Act went into effect, Nevada local governments received money from the federal government to help tenants who could not pay their rent because they lost income or became sick or experienced other loss due to COVID. The goal of AB486 was to make sure landlords were paid rent but also to protect tenants who could not pay mostly through no fault of their own after COVID shut down the economy and over 1 million people lost their lives nationwide.
As we move on from the pandemic, many of those protections have expired, including increases to SNAP benefits. AB486 expired on June 5, 2023, despite the continued funding available for rental assistance. The Nevada Legislature attempted to extend the protections in AB486 to allow tenants that have applied for rental assistance remain in their homes while the government agency makes a decision on the application. The Governor vetoed SB355, the senate bill, at the end of the legislative session. Therefore, while tenants can still apply for rental assistance from their local government or human or social service agency, the court is no longer required to stay any eviction while that rental assistance application is pending.
One provision from the CARES Act that does remain in effect is the requirement that any landlord receiving a subsidy or other benefit from the federal government, from Low Income Tax Credits to federally subsidized loans to tenant based Section 8 assistance, must serve a tenant with a 30 day notice to pay rent or vacate the unit. Nevada law generally allows landlords to begin the summary eviction process with a seven day notice when a tenant is behind on rent, but the CARES Act provision requiring landlords that receive some benefit from the federal government to issue a 30 day notice for non-payment of rent did not expire at the end of the moratorium. In fact, courts have found that this provision does not expire at all and remains in effect to protect federally-assisted tenants and allow some time to either get the rent together or find somewhere else to live.