Proposed legislation would extend “lightning” eviction process

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

Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation to lengthen Nevada’s eviction process — derided by attorneys and tenant advocates as one of the most “lightning” fast eviction processes in the nation.

Under the current law, landlords are required to serve a notice in writing informing tenants they have to either pay the rent or leave the property within five days. Tenants can also challenge landlords in court, though court officials and tenant rights advocates say more often than not tenants do not do so. 

Senate Bill 151 would double the time period tenants have to respond from five days to ten.

If a court rules against the tenant, a sheriff or constable can remove the person within 24 hours. The bill would also increase that time frame to 48 hours.

Eviction Lab, a data-driven project led by sociologist Matthew Desmond, frames America’s eviction process as the result of deeper social issues such as the failure to adequately address poverty and the affordable housing crisis. “Eviction functions as a cause, not just a condition of poverty,” Desmond says.

The project estimated 25,000 eviction filings in Nevada in 2016, with about 13,000 resulting in evictions. According to lawyers and renters’ advocates, most evictions aren’t brought to the court so don’t show up in data.

State Sen. Julia Ratti, who plans to introduce several bills this legislative session to address affordable housing, was listed among the primary sponsor alongside senators Yvanna Cancela, Pat Spearman and David Parks.

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.


  1. Don’t try to solve governments problem of affordable housing on the backs of private enterprise. Leave the law as it is now!!!

  2. Evictions usually result when people don’t pay their rent on time. Since the first of the month falls on the exact same date every month, no tenant should be surprised when rent is due. Further, it’s rare that a tenant will inform the landlord that they will be late with the rent– and when they refuse to respond, they get an eviction. This isn’t about “addressing poverty.” this is about lazy-ass tenants, who many times can magically come up with the rent once they’ve been served. You start screwing around with the landlord-friendly eviction process and less people will invest in rentals and you’ll end up with Soviet-style concrete house with drains in the middle of cement floors.

  3. Agreed that eviction is often rooted in deeper causes, such as poverty and unemployment. Because of this, action to delay evictions is reasonable as it provides more time to understand what happened to each individual. I was facing eviction back when I was laid off from my job. Fortunately I found which really helped me with the process. This reform is definitely going to make things easier.

  4. Does anyone realize that property owners have a house payment and utilities to pay every month? Most of us are just little ma and pa’s with a single property and payments on a mortgage. My investment home is almost always rented out to single moms as it is in a great school district and rented for hundreds less than the market rate because we care about our tenants and respect their lives. Why are you demonizing people like us? It is basically a small business. If you make it unprofitable for us ma and pa’s or the liability untenable, then guess what? We have to sell our hard earned investment property to a big investment firm that can afford missed payments and lawsuits and will impose the highest rents possible to remedy it. How does that help the landlords or the renters? Why are small business owner landlords being attacked by the new government who promised to help hard working families? We are a hard-working family and so is our renter and this would hurt us both.

  5. Just because other states evict more slowly than Nevada does not make Nevada unfair. 1 state will always have the shortest timeline (or be tied with others for the shortest) just like 1 state will always have the longest (or be tied). I am sorry that sometimes people cannot pay their bills… truly. I have been in that position myself more than once, and I don’t expect someone else to carry my burden unwillingly. Charity should be voluntary, not forced by law, and when the law makers require a landlord to extend timelines, they are forcing their charity. If the landlord extends voluntarily, that is that persons decision.


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