Nevada Security Deposit Laws
As a landlord, requiring security deposits from tenants can be extremely beneficial. A security deposit can help landlords protect their rental property and make any repairs that may need to happen should the tenants cause any damage to the unit. These are some of the many benefits that may come with collecting a security deposit:
- Unpaid utilities: When a tenant is renting out a unit on a landlord’s property, most, if not all, of the utilities will be their responsibility to pay for. Should they fail to make these payments, a security deposit can be used to cover the costs by the landlord.
- Excessive cleaning costs: In most cases, every rental agreement clearly states that the tenant is responsible for leaving the rental unit in the same condition it was when they moved in, aside from normal wear and tear.
If the tenant is excessively unclean in the unit (ex. Allowing garbage to pile up for long amounts of time), then a landlord may withhold part of the security deposit to cover cleaning costs.
- Unpaid rent: If a tenant fails to make their rental payment on time, then they are breaching the lease or rental agreement. Should this situation arise, Nevada landlords are entitled to withhold the tenants’ security deposit.
- Lost income: If a tenant unfortunately decides to break their lease early and abandon the property, then the landlord is permitted to withhold a reasonable amount of the deposit or surety bond.
- Damage to the property: If a tenant abuses the property or causes damage beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord may use the deposit to pay for the repairs upon the end of the tenancy.
Every state has different laws and regulations when it comes to security deposits, and Nevada is no exception. So, here is a guide to Nevada’s security deposit law.
Nevada’s Security Deposit Limit
Most state laws include a limit to how much a landlord can charge their tenants for a security deposit. In Nevada, the maximum amount a landlord can charge is 3 months’ rent. If both the landlord and tenant agree, surety bonds may be used as security deposits.
A Nevada landlord may also ask for an additional pet deposit if applicable, and this is usually between 1-2 months’ rent. However, due to the Federal Fair Housing Act, landlords may not ask for a pet deposit from tenants with service animals.
Some states may allow non-refundable fees, however Nevada does not. With the exception of a rental agreement that may include a reasonable, non-refundable cleaning fee, no rental agreement may contain any non-refundable security deposit fees.
Storing a Tenants’ Security Deposit
Many states have rules and regulations when it comes to how a landlord may be allowed to hold the security deposit funds. However, Nevada has no specific laws on this matter, other than being required to provide a receipt in writing to their tenants after collecting the security deposit funds.
Written Notice After Security Deposit Receipt
A landlord in Nevada is required to provide their tenants with a signed written receipt for the security deposit or surety bond if the tenant requests it.
Reasons a Landlord May Withhold Security Deposit Fund in Nevada
In Nevada, a landlord may only use a tenant’s security deposit after the tenant has vacated the rental property. The funds can only be used to cover the following reasonable costs:
- Rent that has not been paid.
- The cost of repairs needed for damage caused by the tenant. This damage must be a result of the tenant failing to comply with their responsibilities, and the security deposit cannot be withheld for any reasons related to normal “wear and tear” in the unit.
- Cleaning costs deductions.
A Walk-through Inspection
In many states, a walk-through inspection prior to the tenant’s move-in date is required by the local landlord-tenant laws. This is not the case according to Nevada law. Landlords are not required to provide a move-in checklist or walk-through at the beginning of the tenant’s lease.
However, it is strongly encouraged that the landlord and tenant are on the same page about the condition of the rental unit when signing the lease agreement to avoid future security deposit disputes.
Returning a Security Deposit in Nevada
A landlord in Nevada has 30 days after the end of the rental agreement to return the unused portion of the security deposit to the tenant, alongside an itemized list of damages that have been deducted. This statement should be given to the tenants in person or be sent via mail to the provided forwarding address.
If the tenant wishes to dispute any of the security deposit deductions mentioned in the itemized list, they can provide the surety with a written response. This must happen within 30 days of receiving the statement.
If a landlord fails to return the security deposit funds within 30 days of the rental agreement ending, the tenant will recover the full the security deposit, plus any legal fees that may have occurred while recovering the deposit in court.
Further, the court can decide that a sum may be granted to the tenant, however the amount cannot be more than the security deposit. The court will decide this by considering if the landlord acted in good faith, the degree of harm the landlord has caused the tenant, and the course of conduct between the landlord and the tenant.
Change in Property Ownership
In Nevada, if a landlord decides to sell or transfer the ownership of their rental property, they legally must do one of the following:
- Inform the tenant in writing of the new ownership of the property, and that the security deposit funds have been transferred over to them. They also must include the new landlord’s contact information.
- Return the security deposits to the tenants, minus any deductions.
For landlords who own a rental property in Nevada, it can be hard to stay up to date on all of the changing rental laws, including security deposit laws. If you’re having trouble navigate Nevada law, get in touch with the best property management company in the area, B&R Property Management.
Disclaimer: this article should not be used in place of legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws frequently change, and this post may not be updated at the time of you reading it. Please contact us for any questions that you may have on this subject or any other aspect of your property management needs.