Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada explains renters’ rights


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With layoffs all across Las Vegas, many are trying to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic.

One concern is being able to pay rent or a mortgage. For a broader look at legal obligations and what valley residents can do to protect themselves, 8 News NOW spoke with Jim Berchtold of Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada via Skype to discuss renters’ rights.

Jim gave advice for tenants who might be suffering financial hardship.

Landlord-tenant issues are common during this pandemic. According to Berchtold, it varies around the state, but in Clark County, most evictions are on pause. He encourages people to use the pause to assess their financial situation.

Many lenders have programs to skip payments so valley residents could look into that, but rent, utilities, and food are priorities he recommends paying those first, “everything else is probably secondary.”

“Reach out to secondary creditors, like medical bills, credit card bills ask for a payment plan,” said Jim Berchtold of Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.

“The worst thing that could happen if you get sued on a credit card bill is you could potentially get a judgment against you which you may or may not have to pay, but if you don’t pay your rent you could end up on the street,” added Berchtold.

For tenants saying their landlord is continuing to issue eviction notices, the Legal Aid Center recommends renters get to know their rights by contacting them or the Civil Law Self-Help Center at the courthouse for phone and email service.

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada is among several organizations circulating a letter asking Gov. Sisolak to put more protections in place for tenants.

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