LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The clock is ticking Monday until the end of Nevada's legislative session at midnight, and the rush is on to get bills signed into law.

One bill heading to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak's desk is a tenant protection bill, and it aims to prevent a widespread eviction crisis. The bill is expected by many to be signed into law.

Assembly Bill 486 would pick up where the state eviction moratorium leaves off when it expires at the same time midnight.

If signed, Nevada property owners temporarily won't be allowed to evict tenants in court for not paying rent if it can be shown they've applied for rental assistance, and if their status is pending. If or when the bill is signed, it will go into effect immediately.

Sisolak previously expressed praise for the bill. "This proposed legislation will help ensure federal rental assistance makes its way to the tenants and landlords who need it," he said.

But landlords we spoke to worry the legislation will put them at continued risk for financial ruin.

"Some of the tenants, they come and tell us they're in the CHAP program, but that doesn't mean anything, we haven't received the payments for months!" said Sanje Sedera, owner of Zenith Realty Group.

Susy Vasquez, director of the Nevada State Apartment Association, a coalition of landlords, said the bill would "essentially [extend] the eviction moratorium." She said some smaller-scale Nevada landlords, especially, are facing foreclosure from these continued tenant protections and delays in back-end assistance from Clark County's Cares Housing Assistance Program (CHAP).

"We want rent assistance. Give us the rent assistance, and then eviction isn't a question," said Vasquez.

While recently making progress, CHAP currently has a backlog of 9,000 applicants, and Clark County said only 400 applications have been approved this year.

It's important to note, however, than an amendment to A.B. 486 resulted in the time window for this eviction pause to be limited to 30 days.

LAS VEGAS VALLEY HOMES GENERIC

(Gai Phanalasy/FOX5)

Lawmakers hope it will be a needed, additional push for funds to start flowing through CHAP. Vasquez thinks that is fair.

"Thirty days, I think, is reasonable for Clark County to start getting money flowing, since we've been waiting since the beginning of the year," said Vasquez.

Recognizing the moratorium's harsh impacts on "mom and pop" landlords, the bill also calls for the creation of an electronic form that these landlords can fill out to ask for rent assistance dollars from an unrestricted state fund.

"In situations where a small landlord is unable to access the existing rental assistance program due to the treasury guidelines," explained Assemblyman Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas. "This will not slow down the progress of the rental assistance programs. Instead it will complement those programs."

Still, landlords have a hard time trusting that, after all the delays.

"That could take maybe months," said Sedera.

Vasquez added, "It'll be dependent upon how quickly [the department] can get their electronic form up, how quickly the program is available to people, and how quickly that money can get rolled out."

The legislation would also give renters the power to sue for wrongful eviction if the landlord has refused to accept rental assistance on their behalf.

Even though the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's eviction moratorium has faced major legal challenges recently, the federal protections are still set to expire June 30.

FOX5 will keep you updated on whether Sisolak decides to sign A.B. 468 into law.

Meanwhile, if you're a Nevada renter at risk for eviction, Nevada Legal Aid will host free pop-up clinics in June, offering help with online forms.

Recommended for you

(1) comment

vegasdawn

Of course he will sign it. So, all you tenants who will be complaining that there are less affordable options, THIS IS WHY. It will be tougher out there every time these people make it more difficult for landlords.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.