Am I a tenant if i live in a Motel?
The Governor’s Directive 025 indicates that “public accommodation” or hotels and motels may begin to lock guests out pursuant to NRS 651. PLEASE BE AWARE motel and hotels cannot use the provisions of NRS 651 to lock out any motel/hotel resident who qualifies as a tenant pursuant to NRS 118A.180. Therefore, if you have resided in a motel for longer than 30 days OR you manifested an intent remain for a longer continuous period, you are legally a tenant pursuant to NRS 118A and any action to exclude you from your room or change the locks without a court order is illegal. You may file a Verified Complaint for Illegal Lockout as a tenant under NRS 118A.390. See our Forms section for a sample Verified Complaint.
Can I break my lease?
In most cases, breaking the lease would allow the landlord to sue you for unpaid rent and vacancy loss charge (the cost of re-renting the unit and loss of rent due to your vacancy).
Usually, criminal activity near your unit or even at your unit would not provide you a legal reason to move out. A common lease provision about safety or health is usually too vague to allow you to break your lease. Your landlord must have violated a specific part of the lease to warrant a legal reason to move out (for example, the lease requires a working gate for the complex, but the landlord has not fixed it for some time). If you believe your landlord has violated the lease, see Repairs and Fixes.
If your lease has an early move provision, you may be able to pay a certain penalty to move out. This lease provision is usually valid unless the penalty is disproportionate to the actual cost to the landlord.
NRS 118.175 requires the landlord to re-rent the dwelling unit after you vacate and prohibits the collection of double rent(from you and the new tenant). The landlord can charge actual damages incurred until the dwelling is re-rented. Turning in your keys or providing written notice are two ways to limit your liability and trigger the landlord’s duty to re-rent.
Exception #1: Breaking Lease for Medical Treatment
Under NRS 118A.340, If you are 60 years or older, or you have a physical or mental disability, you may break your lease if you require relocation to receive treatment, such as moving to a group home. You should provide a written notice to your landlord, reference NRS 118A.340 and include a doctor’s note requiring you to move out. Note that this section only applies if you cannot possibly receive medical treatment at your current unit. For health problems associated with your unit, see Habitability.
Exception #2: Breaking Lease Due to Domestic Violence
Under NRS 118A.345, if you or your household member is a victim of domestic violence, you may terminate the lease at the end of the current rental period by giving the landlord written notice. The domestic violence event must have occurred within 90 days of the written notice. The tenant will need proof of the domestic violence either with an active temporary protective under, a police report stating domestic violence incident, or an affidavit by a physician, social worker, psychiatrist, or pastor. Your landlord cannot provide the domestic violence perpetrator with your new information.
You are only liable for rent owed through the date of termination and other outstanding obligations. The domestic violence perpetrator will be liable for all economic losses incurred by the landlord for you breaking your lease.
If you lease contains an express right to quiet enjoyment, you can enforce this right against a neighbor in your same complex by asking that the landlord cure the problem. Under NRS 118A.350 you must issue a signed and dated written notice to the landlord and wait 14 days before client can terminate the rental agreement, sue the landlord for damages, or seek other relief in court. If your landlord makes a reasonable attempt to fix the problem during the 14 days, you must restart the process if the problem continues.
Raising Your Rent
After your lease expires, the landlord may increase rent. Under NRS 118A.300, the landlord must provide 60-days written notice before increasing the rent. If your lease has not expired, the landlord may not increase rent. If you do not agree to the rent increase, the landlord may serve you a 30-day no cause notice to evict you.
Rental Payment Receipt
Under 118A.250, the landlord must provide a receipt for rent and any other payment to the landlord, including a security deposit or fees. You may refuse to make rental payment until your landlord tenders the receipt.
What is “housebreaking”?
A person who breaks into a house without permission for the purpose of taking up residency is guilty of housebreaking. This is a crime and you can go to jail. The police can take you to jail and the landlord can lock you out.
What is “unlawful entry”?
A person who enters an open or unsecured house without permission for the purpose of taking up residency is guilty of unlawful entry. This is a crime and you can go to jail. The police can take you to jail and the landlord can lock you out.
What happens if I am locked out without notice?
The landlord may lock you out if housebreaking or unlawful entry has been alleged and no one remains in your dwelling. The landlord must post a notice on your dwelling that allows you 21 days to contest the lockout by filing a complaint for unlawful lockout in the justice court of the township where you live. You must also deliver a copy of this complaint to the landlord or manager.
DO NOT TRY TO RE-ENTER THE DWELLING! This is a criminal offense punishable by up to 4 years in jail.
I have been locked out for housebreaking, but I cannot find a notice. Can I still file a complaint for unlawful lockout?
Yes, the landlord must post a notice on your dwelling AND file a copy of the notice with the court. You should be able to get a copy by going to your local justice court. The notice may be in the name of “Current Occupant” so let the clerk know your address.
I just received a 4 Day Housebreaking Notice. What should I do?
A landlord may serve a 4 Day Housebreaking notice if the landlord believes you have broken into a dwelling or just entered and refuse to leave. The Notice should be served to you, but can be posted on the property and mailed to you and can contain the name “Current Occupant” if the landlord does not know who you are. You can either vacate the premises or file an opposition with the justice court within 4 days. You then have 4 business days after the day you receive the notice to either move out, request a delay in the eviction (stay), or contest the eviction. Do not count weekends, holidays, and other days the court is closed. To contest the eviction, you must file an affidavit with the court.
What happens to my personal property left behind?
The landlord can dispose of your property within 21 days of when the landlord locked you out. If you do not know when the landlord locked you out, then you should consider giving up the right to contest the lock out if you really need your property. The complaint to challenge the lock out may result in waiting longer than the time you have to retrieve your property and your property may be gone.
If you want to challenge the landlord’s right to hold your property, then you should file an affidavit with the court to challenge the landlord’s right to hold your property. This must be filed within 21 days of the lock change. The landlord does have the right to charge reasonable storage fees, or moving and storage fees before returning your property to you.
If you have been through the court process or the constable/sheriff locked you out, then you only have 14 days to file a motion (not affidavit) to challenge the landlord’s right to hold your property. The landlord must wait 21 days, however, before disposing of your property.
What happens if I am not arrested or I am released and still live in the house?
The landlord cannot lock you out if you or someone in your household remains in the dwelling. The landlord must then proceed with an eviction by serving a 4 Day Housebreaking Notice. You must file an affidavit with the court to contest the eviction before the court clerk closes on the 4th business day after receiving the notice. Do not count weekends, holidays, or other days the court is closed.
I contested the eviction by filing an affidavit. What happens next?
The court will review your affidavit. If your affidavit contains an element of a legal defense, then the court will schedule a hearing. If your affidavit does not contain an element of a legal defense, the court will order your eviction. An eviction order will be signed by the judge and a constable/sheriff will lock you out within 24 hours (unless the court granted your stay request).
If your affidavit raised an element of a legal defense, then the court will schedule a hearing. You and your landlord will be required to attend the hearing and the court will determine if you have raised a legal defense. If you fail to raise a legal defense, you will be locked out. The court can delay the lockout by providing 20 days before the constable/sheriff locks you out.
If you have been locked out, you will then have 21 days to retrieve your property. The landlord does have the right to charge reasonable storage fees, or moving and storage fees before returning your property to you. See “What happens to my personal property left behind?” above.
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