Though it seems a simple question — what is the process that must be utilized to evict a tenant in Nevada? — the answer is far from simple. This is because the required process varies depending upon several factors associated with the tenancy and the eviction. The most important factor is what grounds are being asserted as the basis for the eviction. The grounds for an eviction generally vary from circumstance to circumstance. However, this article will consider two circumstances: first, an eviction based upon the nonpayment of rent; second, an eviction based upon the breach of a material term of the lease other than the payment of rent.
Evictions based upon the nonpayment of rent are permitted to utilize a summary eviction proceeding.
The first step in the process is for the landlord to have served upon the tenant a notice to quit informing them they have not paid rent and they must vacate the premises within a statutorily dictated period of time. There are statutory requirements associated with the manner of service, thus the landlord must ensure the service is properly completed and the notice complies with the statutory elements. The notice further notifies the tenant they have the right to file a document with the court requesting a hearing and if they do so a hearing would be scheduled.
If a hearing is requested the eviction process, or invalidity of the eviction process, would be determined by the court at that hearing. If no hearing is requested, at the expiration of the notice period, the landlord can file an affidavit with the court requesting an order evicting the tenant to be evicted within 24 hours after service of process. The order, once obtained, must be served upon the tenant immediately in compliance with the statute and the court’s direction. At the expiration of the period allotted in the order the landlord may evict the tenant and change the locks. If the tenant it still on the premises, then it’s advisable to request the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office at the time the tenant is escorted off the property and the locks are changed.
Evictions for breach of a material term of the lease, other than the nonpayment of rent, don’t utilize the summary proceeding but instead require substantial additional steps. Generally speaking, the process for an eviction on grounds other than the nonpayment of rent mirrors the basic litigation process.
The landlord begins the process by preparing and filing a complaint for unlawful detainer with the court. The complaint and summons are then served upon the tenant who has the opportunity to answer and defend. Unless settled, this process requires the parties to engage in a trial and all of the preliminary steps associated with a trial. Only after the trial is the eviction truly complete. Nonetheless, there’s the option during this process for possession of the property to be temporarily transferred from the tenant to the landlord. This occurs if the landlord files a temporary writ of restitution and satisfies the requirements for issuance of such a writ. If a temporary writ of restitution is issued the landlord is going to be permitted to recover possession of the premises. However, it’s important to note such possession is likely temporary and permanent possession of the premises can’t be granted until the completion of the trial and entry of the judgment by the court.
Obviously there are numerous factors which affect the eviction process in Nevada, many more than are discussed herein. However, as a general rule, depending upon your circumstances, the basic process for any eviction will utilize one of the two procedural outlines discussed above.
Jennifer Mahe has practiced law in the Northern Nevada area since 2005 focusing on general civil matters such as real estate, business, litigation and estate planning. She can be reached either via the Mahe Law, Ltd. website, www.mahelaw.com, or at 775-461-0992. If you have a legal topic related to general civil law which you would like to see addressed in this column in the future please send that topic to the Nevada Appeal.