LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Legislation to seal eviction records during the pandemic passed the Nevada Assembly on Monday by a 26-16 vote in Carson City.
Assembly Bill 141 was welcome news for many renters.
The legislation would automatically seal the records of tenants who received summary evictions for non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The affected time period would begin March 20, 2020, and run through the date when Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ends the state of emergency.
“The passing of AB141 is a start in the right direction to help Nevadans facing housing insecurity,” said Tiara Moore, Housing Justice Organizer with the Progessive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN).
“The bill would create relief for tenants in Nevada and allow them to continue to seek and attain suitable housing as we overcome the pandemic. For many, a single eviction is enough to keep a family housing insecure and reliant on others to find a place to stay for years,” Moore said. “This would break down that barrier for Nevada’s tenants who have had to endure one of the hardest economic crises in our lifetime.”
The bill was sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Howard Watts, who represents District 15, which extends from downtown Las Vegas along Boulder Highway to Flamingo Road on the south and Nellis Boulevard on the east.
Some opposition to the legislation was voiced by property landlords and owners.
Sisolak recently extended the moratorium on evictions to match moves by the federal government, but he said it was the last time he would extend the moratorium.
Moore said, “Passing and preserving the functions of AB141 is critical in a time when landlords are harassing tenants during an eviction moratorium and the general lack of information regarding the eviction process will lead to a permanent stain on the records of those tenants who were unaware of their rights.”
In addition to urging passage of the sealing of records, Moore said, “The Assembly must pass AB161, a bill that studies the summary evictions process, while the Senate needs to pass SB218 and SB254, two bills that would protect tenants and further combat housing insecurity and discrimination. Housing is a crucial part in Nevadan’s ability to thrive and recover.”