A lease for an apartment or rental unit always comes with different legal factors all parties must consider if they want to avoid misunderstandings in the future. Nevada law has many provisions for both landlords and tenants to ensure the rental lease process goes as smoothly as possible.

However, there are circumstances that could get out of hand and cause some problems, which is why it's so important for you to prepare accordingly.

Today, we'll talk about breaking a lease in Nevada, specifically. In ideal cases, a lease would end on the set date that was specified in the lease. However, sometimes, the tenant may want to leave the rental unit before the lease expires, which can bring some financial problems to the landlord.

Nevada state law, thankfully, also has provisions to protect landlords whenever a tenant wants to break a rental agreement. As long as you make reasonable efforts to follow all the guidelines specified on this page, you will be able to avoid as many problems as possible.

Let's discover what a tenant's early termination rights are, what you can do to get compensated for your lost money, and more.

Notice Guidelines for Ending a Lease Agreement in Nevada

Generally speaking, a tenant can legally break a lease if they provide enough notice before leaving and pay all the rent they owe. The written notice period will vary depending on the lease:

  • Weekly Lease: Seven days of notice.
  • Monthly Lease: 30 days of notice.

Tenants with a fixed-term lease don't have to provide any written notice before moving out of the rental property, as the lease ends on the date set in the initial agreement.

Delivering the Notice Letter Legally | According to Nevada Law

Tenants often have two options to deliver a notice letter to their landlord, including:

  • Sending the letter via certified/registered mail.
  • Serving the letter in person.

However, the landlord may have a specific delivery method they prefer. It's suggested that tenants review the lease agreement for any particular terms surrounding this matter.

Failing to send the notice appropriately will result in penalties and legal consequences for the tenant. Moreover, they may not be able to legally break a lease that way.

What Are the Conditions for Ending a Lease Agreement in Nevada?

Overall, tenants can break a lease for any reason. However, ending the lease early without a valid reason won't relieve the tenant from any further rent obligation. In most cases, the tenant will have to pay rent until the lease expires unless they meet one of the conditions we'll explain above.

Early Termination Clause

Tenants can break a lease early in exchange for a penalty fee if the landlord includes an 'Early Termination Clause' in the lease. There, the landlord must specify all the terms and conditions the tenant must follow if they want to move out of the rental.

Domestic Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Assault

Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking are able to break their lease with proper notice, as long as they provide all the necessary documentation that proves their current status.

In any case, the tenant will be responsible for rent until the lease ends or after 30 days have passed from sending the notice, whichever is sooner.

Landlord Harassment

If a tenant believes they're being harassed by their landlord, they may be able to break their lease. Some common cases of harassment or privacy violations include:

  • Entering the property without notice.
  • Changing the locks without the tenant's consent.

Active Military Duty

Tenants starting military duty are protected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). If they want to end the lease and get these legal protections, they must:

  • Send written notice to the landlord alongside a copy of the deployment orders.
  • Prove they will remain on duty for at least 90 days.
  • Prove they entered duty after the lease was signed.

Tenants may only end the lease 30 days after the next rent period starts. Moreover, this 'Act' applies to any members or commissioned corps of the NOAA, Public Health Service, Armed Forces, and National Guard.

Uninhabitable Unit

Some tenants may be able to end their lease if they can prove that the rental unit doesn't comply with Nevada's health and safety codes. Landlords are required by law to keep their units in good and safe working order, as well as to include the following:

  • Receptacles for waste and garbage
  • Lighting, wiring, plumbing, heating, and other utilities
  • Weather protection and waterproofing
  • Structures in good repair
  • Air conditioning, elevators, and other facilities in good condition
  • Floors, walls, railings, stairways, and ceilings in good condition

Repeated Lease Violations

Breaching the terms of the lease repeatedly will be enough justification for a tenant to end it without paying penalties. However, since each agreement is different, it's important for both parties to review all the document's terms to determine what's considered a violation.

If the landlord, on the other hand, includes any lease provision that violates Nevada's state laws, the agreement will be automatically considered void. Moreover, the tenant will be able to sue the landlord if they got hurt because of the prohibited provision that was included.

Health Issues

Anyone with a qualified mental or physical disability that needs to be relocated to get treatment or care may be able to break their lease, as long as they provide their landlord with proper notice.

In these cases, they must provide at least 30 days of notice within 60 days after moving somewhere else. The same applies to tenants who are 60 years old (or older) and can't get the necessary care in the current rental unit.

Other Arguments Tenants May Use to Move Out of the Rental Unit

Here's a list of other conditions that may allow a tenant to end their lease early. However, some of these may have to get approved by a court first:

  • Using an illegal contract for the lease.
  • Failing to provide the tenant with mandatory disclosures requested by the state of Nevada.

Are There Any Unjustifiable/Invalid Reasons to End a Lease?

Some tenants may try to break a lease for invalid reasons. Even if those reasons are valid enough for the tenant, they may not be enough justification on their own to relieve them from paying penalties.

These reasons include:

  • Relocating for a new school or job.
  • Downgrading or upgrading a property.
  • Moving in with a friend, partner, or relative.
  • Moving closer to a friend, partner, or relative.
  • Moving out because of a separation or divorce.
  • Moving out because of criminal activity around the area.

Tenants who try to break a lease under these arguments may face legal consequences and penalties. It's recommended that landlords seek legal advice to identify which reasons are valid and which ones aren't.

Can Landlords Get Compensation If a Tenant Tries to Break a Lease in Nevada?

Breaking a lease in Nevada doesn't always relieve a tenant from their rent responsibilities right away. If you prepare accordingly, you will be able to enforce penalties that at least ensure you get the money you're owed for the time you rented the property.

When drafting your lease agreement, make sure you include an 'Early Termination Clause.' There, the provisions will explain what tenants can (and can't) do when breaking a lease. Then, you can specify your proposed penalty fee. Some landlords charge up to two months' worth of rent as a penalty.

Other landlords decide to keep the tenant's security deposit to cover a part of the debt. Finally, if the tenant isn't able to pay what they owe or refuses to do it, the landlord can pursue a lawsuit through a small claims court. The limit for these claims in Nevada is $10,000.

It's possible for some tenants to negotiate with their landlords to see if they can lower the penalties or remove them altogether. The best way to ensure the negotiation goes smoothly is to send the notice as soon as possible and provide the landlord with a good argument as to why they're leaving.

In those cases, the landlord may be more likely to negotiate new terms and put them in writing. On the other hand, if the landlord doesn't agree to the new terms, and the tenant isn't ending the lease for a valid reason, they may still be liable for further rent payments.

To avoid most problems that come with breaking a lease, it's recommended for both parties to keep constant and assertive communication during the entire term. This will ensure that both parties are more likely to follow the rules and try to end things on a good note.

Do Landlords Have a Responsibility to Re-Rent the Rental Unit?

Landlords are required to make reasonable efforts to find a new tenant if the old one ends the lease early. They can't sit back and charge the tenant for all the rent they owe right away.

According to Nevada law, landlords have a responsibility to 'mitigate damages' whenever a tenant breaks a lease early. Now, if the landlord is able to find a new tenant quickly, the old one will only be responsible for the money lost when the property was vacant.

On the contrary, if the landlord fails to find a suitable tenant, they may still charge the old one for the money they owe. It's essential to note that landlords aren't required to relax their renting standards to find another person fast.

Furthermore, a landlord may charge the tenant for legitimate expenses surrounding the process, including advertising and tenant screening fees.

Can Tenants Sublet the Unit Before the Lease Expires?

It depends on what the landlord allows in their lease. Overall, if a lease doesn't prohibit subletting, the tenant may make a formal request to re-rent the property to someone else in order to pay the rest of the money they owe.

Tenants interested in subletting must send their landlord a letter through certified mail that outlines all of the proposed terms for the arrangement. It's important to send the letter through certified mail, as it's the only delivery method approved by most courts since the tenant can get a return receipt that confirms the landlord received it.

The subletting proposal should include information like the subtenant's name, address, and reason for subletting. If the landlord approves the request, then the tenant may arrange the rest of the process.

Landlords may only be able to refuse a subletting request based on reasonable or legitimate factors.

Bottom Line

Breaking a lease typically isn't easy, but it's not impossible either. You can save yourself from many headaches and issues if you create a reliable and detailed lease agreement document that's easy to understand.

If your tenant ever decides to break the lease early, then they must abide by the rules you already specified in the document. Those who don't follow these guidelines risk facing legal consequences.

On the other hand, you have the right to hire a landlord-tenant attorney if you want to pursue legal action. However, it's recommended that you first review the terms of your lease before doing anything.


How Much Notice Does a Tenant Need to Give Before Moving Out in Nevada?

It depends on the type of lease agreement both parties signed. Those who have a weekly lease arrangement should provide at least seven days of notice before breaking it.

On the other hand, those who have a monthly lease arrangement should provide the landlord with at least 30 days of notice.

Can a Tenant Break a Lease in Nevada Without Penalties?

Nevada law allows tenants to break a rental agreement without penalties as long as they meet special conditions like the ones mentioned on this page, including domestic violence, active military duty, etc.

If the tenant doesn't have a valid reason for breaking the lease, they may still try to negotiate with their landlord to see if they can come up with a mutual agreement that results in lower fees. However, the outcome of that discussion will depend on whether the landlord is willing to negotiate.

What Are the Landlord's Rights When a Tenant Decides to Break a Lease Early?

Early termination rights allow the landlord to enforce penalties for breaking a lease before it expires. Those rights include asking for a penalty fee to cover any lost rent, keeping the security deposit, and others.

If the landlord doesn't receive the full amount of money they were entitled to, then they may seek further legal action through a small claims court. Landlords, overall, have the right to hire a landlord-tenant attorney and get legal advice on what they can do.

Is Breaking a Lease Because of a Physical or Mental Disability Legal?

Yes. Those with a qualified mental or physical disability may be able to break their lease if they're able to provide the landlord with proof that they need to get treatment or care they cannot receive on their property.

The same applies to those who are 60 years old (or older) and can no longer live on their own. In any case, the tenant must provide the landlord with at least 30 days of notice within 60 days once the person relocates somewhere else.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!