Senate bill proposes to even the playing field between landlord and tenant

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 5:39 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It’s estimated here in Nevada up to 50% of residents rent. During COVID when residents lost their job or had their income slashed, paying rent, falling behind on that rent, and evictions became a problem.

Senator Julia Ratti says Senate Bill 218 hopes to help renters with shelter. As well as makes the renting process transparent with fees and deposits better understood.

“Any fee that a landlord is going to put into place, has to be clearly described on the front page of the lease so when a tenants signs the lease they know what to expect.,” said Senator Ratti of one of the provisions of the bill.

Ratti’s bill also stops the practice of charging multiple potential renters from having to pay a background check when there is only one unit available. A three-day grace period for payment would also be afforded to the renter. Landlords would also have to itemize the cost of repairing damage caused by the renter and what that means to the renter’s initial deposit. The remainder of that deposit must be refunded in 21 days rather than 30.

The bill had supporters.

“Retaliatory and predatory things like lightbulb fees and microwave fees have no place in equitable housing policies,” Wesley Juhl from the ACLU testified.

Property owners and landlords were on hand to testify against SB 218. They say Ratti’s bill will do the exact opposite of what it professes to do--that is it will place affordable housing even more out of reach for those who need it.

“This bill will only harm Nevada families, and if passed SB 218 will mean dangerous consequences and their ability to find sustainable housing,” said Tiffany Banks who represented the Nevada Realtors.

The Senate Judiciary Committee took no action on Senate Bill 218 during the March 24, 2021 meeting.

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