Proposed Nevada bill to reform fees for rental tenants faces both praise, opposition

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 10:39 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A proposed bill to reform fees and leases for tenants in Nevada’s housing crisis has faced both praise and opposition from landlords and businesses that could face more regulations.

The proposal comes from Senate Bill 78, authored by Senator Fabian Doñate of District 10 of Las Vegas. One key proposal is the regulation of application fees for prospective tenants.

FOX5 has told you about the plight of tenants spending hundreds of dollars on application fees, only to be rejected or “ghosted”; according to Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, there is no law preventing landlords from accepting numerous applications per unit and pocketing the cash, regardless of whether or not the application has actually been reviewed.

“The available unit would be taken off the market for each application being reviewed, under SB 78. “This particular provision is to ensure that, if you are applying for a unit that is available, you get the correct communication as to whether or not you were accepted,” Doñate said. “That’s ensuring the tenant and landlord relationship is protected, and we’re all doing our fair part to ensure that no side is getting undercut,” he said.

Doñate worked with housing advocates representing groups such as the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada on SB 78. Other parts of the bill would require the following:

  • Upfront notice of all fees and costs upon signing of a lease
  • A cleaning deposit capped at 15% of the rent
  • Specify what can be deducted from a deposit when a lease ends
  • A “no-cause eviction” grows from 30 to 60 days notice (Doñate said the terms are being discussed)
  • Limits on eviction fees
  • A landlord must obtain a judgment before resorting to a collection agency to recoup unpaid rent

Many landlords and businesses praised the efforts to regulate predatory practices surrounding application fees but voiced concerns over the other parts of the bill.

“Prohibiting the ability to credit report damages everyone except the non-paying tenant,” said Roberta Johnson of the Creditor Rights Association.

The Nevada State Apartment Association issued the following statement to FOX5:

Doñate said the bill is still in committee and is working with stakeholders to come to a compromise on various concerns.