A Nevada eviction process is formally called a Summary Eviction process or an Unlawful Detainer action. It can differ from county to county, but they all more or less follow the same process:
Every eviction process is different and dependent on the information in the lease/rental agreement signed by the tenant and the landlord. It is always best to exercise meticulous file-keeping to avoid errors that could be exploited by the tenant, especially history of rent payments and notices with a return receipt from the tenant.
Filing an eviction action takes time and patience. It can cost a landlord more money than it's worth. For example, merely filing a complaint in Clark County court will already cost the landlord $270.
Most landlords are advised to try to work things out with a tenant outside court either by themselves or through an eviction mediation program. It is only in extreme cases when a landlord resorts to file for an official Summary Eviction process.
This article details a summary for landlords to refer to when evicting a tenant. Confirm procedures and information with your justice court to make sure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.
Alternatively, a landlord can also ask for legal advice from an attorney for more information on the rules for eviction. The best legal advice will come from an attorney who is well-versed in Nevada legal law.
A landlord is advised to be wary of the service fees associated with an attorney. But despite all that, an attorney can be of huge service to a landlord when it comes to the court hearing.
The first step all evictions must take is providing an eviction notice called a Notice to Pay or Quit. There are only some states which do not require a Notice to Pay or Quit, and even then it depends on the reason for eviction.
The eviction notice serves to notify the tenant that they are in danger of eviction by providing the reason for eviction and how long a tenant has to pay, comply, or leave before the process begins. A landlord cannot evict any tenants without this eviction notice.
In the state of Nevada, there are four main reasons to file for a formal eviction process:
- Failure to pay the rent
- Violation of the lease/rental agreement
- Conducting illegal activity
- Non-renewal of lease after the end of the rental period
Learn about the formal eviction procedures for each reason for eviction. Information such as appropriate notice periods can be found below.
1. Notice Requirements for Nonpayment of rent
The most common reason for eviction is failure to pay the rent. A landlord can evict a tenant for failing to pay the rent on time.
Rent is considered late in Nevada a day past its due. For example, if rent was due on the 24th and the tenant has not been able to pay by the 25th, rent is due.
However, a grace period to extend payment before needing a notice to pay the rent may be available if the landlord and tenant were able to include that stipulation in the lease/rental agreement.
Before a landlord can start with the eviction action for failure to pay past due rent, the landlord must give the tenant a written 7-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. This 7-day notice to pay rent means a tenant is required to either pay rent or quit within 7 days.
Tenants who are being evicted for failing to pay the rent on time can either pay the rent in full or vacate the property. Paying rent stops the eviction process.
A landlord can file for an eviction lawsuit for tenants who do not vacate or leave the rental premises by the end of their notice period.
2. Notice Requirements for Violation of the lease/rental agreement
A rental agreement can vary depending on the tenant. It contains the responsibilities of each party during the entire duration of the tenant's stay.
A tenant may face eviction for a lease violation. Landlords and tenants are required to uphold the terms of the lease at all times.
The landlord can evict the tenant for a lease violation. The landlord must give them a 5-Day Notice to Comply. This allows the tenant 5 days to cure the lease violation or move out of the rental property.
An example of lease violations in Nevada includes:
- Damage to the rental unit
- Smoking in non-smoking areas
- Housing a pet in a pet-free rental unit or rental premises, etc.
The landlord may continue with an eviction action if the tenant remains inside the rental unit after the given notice period.
3. Notice Requirements for Conducting illegal activity
In the state of Nevada, landlords have to give their tenants an eviction notice called a 3-Day Notice to Quit before proceeding to file for a Summary Eviction if a tenant has engaged in illegal activity on the rental premises,
An example of illegal activity includes:
- Activities involving a criminal gang
- Starting an illegal or unlawful business
- Involvement in the creation, distribution, or consumption of a controlled substance
Should the tenant remain on the rental premises after their notice period ends, the landlord may continue with filing for an Unlawful Detainer action.
4. Notice Requirements for Non-renewal of lease after the end of the rental period
A Nevada eviction process does not allow a landlord to evict a tenant without good cause. As long as the tenant does not violate any rules, they can stay until their rental period ends.
A landlord can evict a tenant who stays in the property even a day after their written lease ends (and has not arranged for a renewal).
This type of notice or eviction usually only applies if the landlord wants to end the tenant's lease. The required notice time given to a tenant depends on their tenancy type (such as a 5-Day Notice to Quit, a 7-Day Notice to Quit, or a 30-Day Notice to Quit).
Should the tenant remain in the rental premises even after their notice period ends, the landlord may continue to file an Unlawful Detainer action in order to get the tenant to leave the property.
Filing a Complaint
The next step is filing an Unlawful Detainer action in the correct justice court. Costs for filing may be pricey, so be ready to pay the fees. For example, in Clark County court, filing fees are $270.
To begin a formal eviction process, a landlord must file a complaint only after the notice period has passed. Successful evictions rely on correct filings, so the landlord must file all the forms correctly.
1. Steps in filing an eviction action
- Proceed to the justice court the rental property belongs to
- Fill out the forms
- Pay the filing costs
It takes 3-30 days, depending on the reason for eviction before a landlord can file a complaint.
Serving the Tenant
The next step in an eviction procedure is serving the Summons and Complaint to the tenant. The landlord must not serve the documents by themselves. The Summons and its supporting documents must contain information such as the date and time of the court trial.
Nevada allows a sheriff, deputy sheriff, certified process server, or individuals who are uninvolved in the case over the age of 18 to serve these documents. The timeframe to serve the documents to the tenant depends on the service method.
1. How to serve documents to a tenant
The Summons and its corresponding documents must be served on the tenant through one of the following methods:
- Personal Service: The Summons and Complaint is served to the tenant in person
- Substituted Service: A copy of the Summons and Complaint may be left at the tenant's place of residence or rental unit with someone who lives with them.
2. After serving the Summons and Complaint
In the state of Nevada, a tenant must file an answer if they wish to dispute the landlord's complaints. The tenant must attend the hearing if they wish to provide their own defense. The time they have to do this depends on the reason for eviction:
Should the tenant fail to file an affidavit, the judicial officer may give the landlord a default judgment without hearing the tenant's side.
Either party may request for a continuance of 5 days, but a tenant can extend this to 30 days.
The timeframe for serving the Summons depends on the chosen service method. The tenant has 3-30 days to file their answer. A continuance can extend the process by 5-30 days.
Asking for Possession
1. Filing a Motion to Obtain Judgment and get a Judgment for Possession
To win and accomplish this step, landlords have to provide a strong argument backed up by solid evidence against the tenant. Should the tenant fail to show up to the hearing or abide with the order to show cause, the landlord may win by default.
The tenant may appeal the judgment within 10 days from the time Judgment for Possession was issued by the court in favor of the landlord.
2. Next procedure if the tenant disagreed and filed an answer
Filing an answer is necessary for an eviction hearing to be held or scheduled.
Should the tenant be unable to attend the hearing, the judge may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord. This means the tenant must move out of the rental property.
However, if both parties are present, the landlord has to support their claim with evidence and show it to the judge. This includes, but is not limited by the following:
- Copy of the deed and the lease/rental agreement
- Bank statements
- Witness statements
- Photo and video documentation of the violations committed by the tenant
The judicial officer may also issue an order to show cause that requires the tenant to lay out their own defense. This order to show cause may extend the eviction process.
A hearing for an eviction action is scheduled as early as 7 days depending on the availability of the justice courts.
1. After the landlord wins the case and gets an Order for Removal
The Order for Removal is a court order that informs the tenant that the tenant must move out of their housing on the property. If the tenant fails to do so, they will be forcibly evicted.
Once the landlord wins the case and provided the tenant does not file for an appeal or reconsideration, the court will issue an Order for Removal immediately after the court rules in the landlord's favor. However, the issuance of the Order for Removal is extended to 5 business days for evictions where the tenant fails to pay rent.
If the tenant pays all past due rent within these 5 days, the entire Summary Eviction process is stopped.
2. Move out process
This final step in the eviction process is to move the tenant to leave the property. Nevada law dictates that a tenant has 24-36 hours to vacate the property before they will be removed if their eviction is about nonpayment of rent.
There is no specific timeframe for law enforcement officers to evict a tenant for other types of evictions.
Only the appropriate authorities are allowed to remove the tenant by force. Even if the landlord wins the case, they cannot engage in illegal methods of eviction.
A tenant has 24-36 hours to leave the rental premises from the moment the Order for Removal is delivered to them if the eviction was about nonpayment of rent.
Nevada Eviction Timeline
It takes an average of 1 week to 6 weeks for a complete Summary Eviction action.
Eviction hearings are scheduled in court as soon as 7 days after the tenant files their answer.
1. How to keep good records
If the tenant disagrees with the eviction request and they reply to the court, it’s important that you keep extremely good records of everything so you can provide proof to the judge and win your case. This part can make or break your entire eviction request in the event of a dispute.
You can stay organized by:
- Keeping a physical paper trail - This can get very difficult to search through, takes up a lot of storage space, and could get lost, damaged, stolen, or burnt in a fire.
- Scanning documents - Scan every document into your computer. A great scanner is the Brother ADS-1700W for under $200 or the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 for $400.
- Backups - Store and backup every file using Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or any other option that is easily searchable.
- PMS - Use a property management software to save everything from lease agreements, signed documents, violations, emails, notes, invoices, payments, reminders, maintenance requests, pictures, videos, and anything you can imagine. This is most beneficial when you save every document.
2. Evidence to show for not paying rent
If the tenant doesn’t pay rent, and they dispute that claim, it’s important that you show the judge the following:
- Your lease agreement - Showing the terms of the agreement, when rent is due, and any penalties for late payment can help you in your court case.
- All payments - Showing all previous payments, how they were normally made (check, credit card, ACH, etc…), and what date they were normally paid on.
- Any payment returns - If their check bounced, their bank account had insufficient funds, or they did a chargeback dispute on their credit card, show this to the Judge. Also, show any fees your bank may have charged you, and any penalties you are owed according to your lease agreement.
- All messages - If you sent your tenant automated or manual payment reminders by text, email, a letter, or mail, it can be very beneficial to show this information. While it’s usually not needed, it’s still good to show that they were aware of the situation and were given time to cure and make payment. This is why it’s always best to have everything in writing instead of any phone calls or face-to-face meetings.
3. Evidence to show for lease violations
If you are evicting the tenant for lease violations, for example, noise complaints, unauthorized pets, or property damages, it’s important to show proof from any of the following methods:
- Security Cameras - If you have a surveillance system that can show them committing the crime or lease violation, you can be confident that you will be favored in the court case.
- Video - If you didn’t catch them in the act, the next best thing is to record a video with your phone of any damages or the lease violation.
- Pictures - They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, a picture could be worth thousands of dollars! Even if you take a video, it’s important to show the Judge any pictures too as it’s usually easier to see by email or printed.
- Lease Terms - Once again, show the court which term they violated in their lease agreement. It could still be against the terms even if it’s not specifically written in the agreement. If the violation is bad enough, it might not be needed to have it written. As a good practice though, start adding all of the potential reasons to evict a tenant into your agreement.
Can you kick someone out without an eviction notice in Nevada?
No. A landlord could be sued for forceful eviction of a tenant if they skip the proper eviction processes.
It is against Nevada law to not provide tenants with the appropriate eviction notices before proceeding with an Unlawful Detainer action.
In the state of Nevada, tenants can sue their landlords for whichever is greater between $2500 or actual damages. Landlords may also be charged the tenant's court costs.
Which eviction methods are considered illegal?
Self-help eviction is illegal. An example of such acts include (but are not limited to):
- Cutting off the tenant's electric, water, and/or heat supply
- Changing the locks to prevent the tenant from entering the property
- Vandalizing or destroying the tenant's property
What are the potential penalties for a self-help eviction?
According to Nevada Civil Code, you may be liable for Tenant’s Court Costs & Attorneys’ Fees. The statute also gives the tenant the right to stay.
A tenant can sue you for actual damages plus violations. Tenants may ask for an injunction prohibiting any further violation during the court action.
What other laws should I be aware of?
A landlord should be aware of any information regarding the COVID-19 Eviction Policies.
Landlords must also check out information about laws on Security Deposits. One needs to learn how these deposits can protect the landlord.
A landlord also needs to read about Landlord-Tenant law and the Nevada revised statutes so that they have some information on the rules of the state when it comes to evictions.
Knowing at least one of these laws will help a landlord win an eviction lawsuit.