COVID-19 Legal FAQs for Renters in
This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information. Your local city or county may have additional protections for renters.
This page was last updated on July 7, 2020. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.
Its information is taken from these sources:Princeton Eviction Lab's COVID Policy ScorecardsColumbia Law School COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria analysisEnergy and Policy Institute Utility Disconnect TrackerGovernor emergency directiveExecutive order updatesLegal aid know your rights information
- Are there any special protections for renters during the emergency? How long do they last?
Yes, Nevada's Governor ordered a halt to all evictions, except for evictions ordered before March 12, 2020, until the end of the state of emergency. On June 25, 2020, the Governor signed an executive order which suspended residential eviction proceedings for non-payment and foreclosures until September 1, 2020. Other residential evictions can resume on Augut 1, 2020. Commercial evictions have resumed as of July 1, 2020.
You also may be eligible for national protections, check here to see if you are.
- What do the protections mean for renters?
The protections mean that until the end of the state of emergency in Nevada:
- Your landlord cannot give you a notice to quit or seek an eviction order against you -- unless you are engaging in behavior that seriously endangers the public or other residents, you are engaging in criminal activity, or you are causing significant damage to the property.
- Hearings are stayed.
- The court may not issue a new order, judgment, or writ of eviction against you.
- An eviction order may not be enforced, unless it was issued before March 12, 2020.
- Do I still have to pay rent during the emergency?
Yes, Nevada renters still need to pay rent during the emergency, but landlords cannot charge late fees.
Also check with your local city or county government to see if they give renters any additional protections if they are struggling to pay rent during the emergency.
If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:
- Communicate with your landlord: Send a written letter or email to your landlord as soon as possible. Explain why you cannot pay the rent because of COVID-19 impact. You can also try to negotiate with your landlord to make a payment plan or get a temporary rent reduction. Get help here for drafting and mailing a letter to your landlord. You can also use this letter-writing tool here.
- Get written records of all communication: Keep copies of any letter or email you send, and any responses from the landlord. Keep receipts for any payments you make. If you make a payment plan or rent agreement, make sure to get it in writing.
- Keep proof of COVID-19's impact on you: Collect documents about your COVID-19-related employment problems, health care issues, or other issues that affect your ability to pay rent. This includes letters from your employer, doctor, insurance provider, child care provider, schools, etc.
- Check for help: If you need financial assistance for housing costs, you may be able to get help.
- Can my landlord evict me during the emergency?
During the emergency, most Nevada renters cannot be evicted.
You can still be evicted if you fit in any of these circumstances:
- An eviction was ordered against you before March 12, 2020,
- You are engaging in activity that seriously endangers the public or other residents,
- You are engaging in criminal activity, or
- You are causing significant damage to the property.
Please note: your landlord cannot claim you seriously endanger the public or other residents if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or if you have potentially been exposed to COVID-19.
Once the emergency period ends, landlords can begin to enforce evictions against renters once again.
If you receive a notice to quit from your landlord, or an eviction lawsuit, reach out for legal help.
Also, if you receive an eviction notice or your landlord is threatening to evict you while the order is in effect, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online or over the phone at 1-888-434-9989.
- Can my utilities be shut off during the emergency?
Some Nevada utility companies have suspended shutoffs for the duration of the crisis. Check with your local providers to see if you have any protections.
Renters must still pay their utility bills. If you need financial assistance for utility costs, you may be able to get help.
Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.
- Are you eligible for U.S. national protections against eviction?
Renters in 3 categories have special national protections against being evicted during the Emergency Period of March 27, 2020 to July 24 or 25, 2020. These national protections add onto any state and local protections you have.
Do you fit in any of these 3 categories?Your home’s owner has a federally backed mortgage loan or other guarantee (like through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae). Search if your home is covered.You pay rent through a federal assistance program like the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Rural Development Voucher, or other 'covered housing' program.You live in Public Housing, where the government is your landlord.
If you are a renter in one of these 3 categories, the federal CARES Act section 4024 gives you these protections. (Remember, these protections add onto any state and local protections you have)
- Your landlord cannot file a new eviction lawsuit against you for not paying your rent during the Emergency Period. They can still evict you for other behavior, like drug abuse, other criminal activities, or other lease violations.
- Your landlord cannot charge you new fees or penalties for not paying your rent during the Emergency Period.
- After the Emergency Period ends, your landlord may not be able to evict you immediately.(Different states interpret the protections ending on July 24 or 25. Check with local lawyers to see about your state). If you have not paid your rent in full during the Emergency Period, your landlord must wait until the period ends before giving you a notice to vacate. For example, they may give you a notice on July 26, and you must be allowed until at least August 25 to leave the property.