LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Renter’s rights in the valley have expanded. Especially when it comes to late fees and evictions, and it’s all because of a new state law in Nevada. Senate Bill 151 just went into effect on July 1.
SB 151 gives more leeway to people who fall behind on paying their rent, but experts say some landlords are still trying to take advantage of their tenants, so it’s crucial for renters to know their rights.
Senate Bill 151 states late fees for tenants “must not exceed 5 percent” of their rent. That means if your rent is one thousand dollars and you haven’t paid it on time, your late fee can’t be any more than $50.
Michael Wendlberger with Legal Aid of Southern Nevada says the cap on late fees is a welcomed change. Especially given how they were handled before.
“Sometimes you would have landlords where they would charge 50 dollars a day, so if you’re a day or two late, you may be able to catch up, but once you’re passed five days, it’s almost the amount of rent that you’re having to pay,” Wendlberger said.
Another major difference has to do with eviction notices. If you’ve received one in the past, you needed to pay your rent or get out by noon on the fifth day. But tenants’ deadline is by the end of the 7th day.
“Having that additional two and half days really provides a lifeline to tenants,” said Wendlberger.
But the changes aren’t without their challenges. Wendlberger says his office has received complaint after complaint from renters saying their landlords are getting rid of grace periods or charging them extra fees.
Such as, “Instead of charging $100 for an eviction fee, I’m going to charge $500 for an eviction fee,” said Wendlberger.
According to Wendlberger, that is illegal.
“Remember, the lease agreement between the landlord and the tenant, is a contract,” said Wendlberger.
If you get a notice and are questioning if it follows the new Nevada law seek legal help from Legal Aid of Southern Nevada.