Legal group attributes drop in eviction filings to new tenant protection law

evicted
Inner City Law Center, video still shot
evicted
Inner City Law Center, video still shot

With a decreased number of eviction filings in July, some are suggesting that newly enacted legislation that slightly extends the time frame for evictions is responsible.

There were 2,075 eviction filings in July compared to 2,704 in June — July 2018, there were 2,968. “This is the first month but we are hoping it’s a trend,” said Bailey Bortolin, the policy director with Nevada Coalition of Legal Service Providers. “It’s a significant decrease. Those are the lowest eviction numbers we’ve seen.”

Nevada lawmakers passed Senate Bill 151, which changed the time in which the eviction could happen.

“By giving tenants more time to respond to a notice to pay, it allows people to catch up and pay rent,” she said. “It removes the necessity to file the eviction altogether.”

On the last day of session, lawmakers added amendments to the already-passed bill to allow people to retrieve essential items such as medication, basic clothing and baby formula following an eviction, and limit late fees for unpaid rent to 5 percent. The move sparked a backlash from Realtors, who tried to pressure Gov. Steve Sisolak to veto the legislation.

The bill was signed and went into effect July 1. Later in July, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported property management companies, citing SB 151, were planning to reduce the grace period for tenants to pay rent — a move companies walked back.

Bortolin said she was skeptical about the correlation between the proposal and the legislation.

“It’s unfortunate a bill that was passed is being used as a cover for them to seek additional profit,” she said.

Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

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