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04/14/2019

9 Risks to Evaluate When Signing A Lease Agreement As A Tenant | Why It’s Critical To Lease Residences Managed by Reputable, Licensed Property Managers.

Luxury Real Estate Advisors (LRA) is the preeminent property management firm, representing past and present Board of Directors at Waldorf Astoria, Veer Towers, Turnberry Towers, Sky Las Vegas, The Martin, and Panorama Towers.

Terms To Examine

  • Regulatory Oversight

Even though landlords are operating mini-businesses, they are not required to obtain licenses, attend classes on landlord-tenant law/discriminatory statues and have no regulatory oversite at the local level. Disputes must be settled via small claims court.

  • Application Process/Fair Housing Laws/Discrimination

There are no rules/standards/process required regarding the handling of your confidential information, which often includes social security numbers, employment history, tax or credit score information.

Fair housing laws make it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Landlords who state “we don’t want kids” living in their residence is a Fair Housing violation.

We have encountered countless landlords who are ignorant of Fair Housing Laws. Furthermore, some property managers are unaware of either. Real world example, tenant applies for a residence and discloses that his elderly grandmother was going to occupy. Due to the age of the grandmother, the landlord had concerns about her “dying in residence” and declined the application. In a display of incredible ignorance, the property manager plays a recording of the landlord claiming that is why they are rejecting the application. Two problems, the property manager, created bullet-proof evidence of a fair housing violation AND committed a misdemeanor by recording the landlord because, in Nevada, recordings are only lawful if all parties to a conversation agreed to record the call.

  • Move In Inspection

Documenting any issues with the residence both in writing and taking pictures is critical. The standard inspection form is insufficient, and we have witnessed landlords exaggerate damage to retain the security deposit.

It is essential to lease residences with local, licensed property managers governed by the Nevada Real Estate Division.

  • The Sale Of Your Residence During Your Lease Term

Your lease remains intact however you can expect requests for access for tours, inspections, etc.

“The landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. Except in case of emergency, the landlord shall give the tenant at least 24 hours’ notice of intent to enter and may enter only at reasonable times during normal business hours unless the tenant expressly consents to shorter notice or to entry during nonbusiness hours with respect to the particular entry. NRS 118A.330″

The team at Luxury Real Estate Advisors is sympathetic to tenants in these scenarios considering they are paying market rate yet are disturbed by showings. LRA requires 48 hours’ notice for showings AND that any buyer wanting access has been vetted to ensure they are legitimate vs. “window shoppers.

  • Lease Term Variables

Section 26, of the standard GLVAR lease agreement, states: “TENANT agrees to notify LANDLORD of any water leakage and/or damage within 24 hours of the occurrence. TENANT understands that TENANT may be held responsible for any water and/or mold damage, including the costs of remediation of such damage. TENANT shall be responsible for any MINOR repairs necessary to the Premises up to and including the cost of S_________ p/instance”.

Key terms: Report everything and in writing via email, we also believe anything above $250 regarding minor repairs as being unreasonable.

  • VIOLATIONS OF PROVISIONS: “A single violation by TENANT of any of the provisions of this Agreement shall be deemed a material breach and shall be cause for termination of this Agreement. Unless otherwise provided by the law, proof of any violation of this Agreement shall not require criminal conviction but shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.”

This section can be used in a predatory effort. By signing the lease, “TENANT hereby agrees to abide by the Governing Documents (INCLUDING Declarations, Bylaws, Articles, Rules and Regulations) of such community and further agrees to be responsible for any fines or penalties levied as a result of failure to do so by TENANT, TENANT’s family, licensees or guests. Noncompliance with the Governing Documents shall constitute a violation of this Agreement.”

Simply put, any HOA violation including simple reminders about leaving garbage cans out or weeds, is a breach of the lease agreement which can be a basis to evict.

We have been a party to over 1,000 leases and have not witnessed this happen because most landlords want to keep tenants provided, the rent is paid on time, however, if an owner wants to sell the residence to a buyer who wants to occupy, they may use this provision to void the lease.

Another reason you need a local, competent, ethical, licensed property manager as a facilitator and mediator between you and the landlord. Luxury Real Estate Advisors (LRA) is the preeminent property firm in Las Vegas.

  • Landlord Obligations

Security: Limitation on amount or value.

 1.  The landlord may not demand or receive security or a surety bond, or a combination thereof, including the last month’s rent, whose total amount or value exceeds 3 months’ periodic rent.

NRS 118A.242  Security: Limitation on amount or value; surety bond in lieu of security; duties and liability of landlord; damages; disputing itemized accounting of security; prohibited provisions.

     1.  The landlord may not demand or receive security or a surety bond, or a combination thereof, including the last month’s rent, whose total amount or value exceeds three months’ periodic rent.

     2.  In lieu of paying all or part of the security required by the landlord, a tenant may, if the landlord consents, purchase a surety bond to secure the tenant’s obligation to the landlord under the rental agreement to:

      (a) Remedy any default of the tenant in the payment of rent.

      (b) Repair damages to the premises other than normal wear and tear.

      (c) Clean the dwelling unit.

      3.  The landlord:

      (a) Is not required to accept a surety bond purchased by the tenant in lieu of paying all or part of the security; and

      (b) May not require a tenant to purchase a security bond in lieu of paying all or part of the security.

     4.  Upon termination of the tenancy by either party for any reason, the landlord may claim of the security or surety bond, or a combination thereof, only such amounts as are reasonably necessary to remedy any default of the tenant in the payment of rent, to repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant other than normal wear and to pay the reasonable costs of cleaning the premises. The landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized written accounting of the disposition of the security or surety bond, or a combination thereof, and return any remaining portion of the security to the tenant no later than 30 days after the termination of the tenancy by handing it to the tenant personally at the place where the rent is paid, or by mailing it to the tenant at the tenant’s present address or, if that address is unknown, at the tenant’s last known address.

      5.  If a tenant disputes an item contained in an itemized written accounting received from a landlord pursuant to subsection 4, the tenant may send a written response disputing the item to the surety. If the tenant sends the written response within 30 days after receiving the itemized written accounting, the surety shall not report the claim of the landlord to a credit reporting agency unless the surety obtains a judgment against the tenant.

      6.  If the landlord fails or refuses to return the remainder of a security deposit within 30 days after the end of a tenancy, the landlord is liable to the tenant for damages:

      (a) In an amount equal to the entire deposit; and

      (b) For a sum to be fixed by the court of not more than the amount of the entire deposit.

      7.  In determining the sum, if any, to be awarded under paragraph (b) of subsection 6, the court shall consider:

      (a) Whether the landlord acted in good faith;

      (b) The course of conduct between the landlord and the tenant; and

      (c) The degree of harm to the tenant caused by the landlord’s conduct.

     8.  Except for an agreement which provides for a nonrefundable charge for cleaning, in a reasonable amount, no rental agreement may contain any provision characterizing any security under this section as nonrefundable or any provision waiving or modifying a tenant’s rights under this section. Any such provision is void as contrary to public policy. We have seen leases agreements which require a “pet fee” which is non-refundable, regardless if the damage was caused by the pet. These provisions may be unlawful and we are exploring this issue.

      9.  The claim of a tenant to security to which the tenant is entitled under this chapter takes precedence over the claim of any creditor of the landlord.

  • Disclosure of foreclosure proceedings on premises to prospective tenant; willful violation constitutes deceptive trade practice by landlord.

      1.  A landlord shall disclose in writing to a prospective tenant if the property to be leased or rented is the subject of any foreclosure proceedings. NRS 118A.275

“If the landlord fails to comply with the rental agreement, the tenant shall deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that the rental agreement will terminate as provided in this section. If the breach is remediable and the landlord adequately remedies the breach or uses his or her best efforts to remedy the breach within 14 days after receipt of the notice, the rental agreement does not terminate by reason of the breach.” NRS 118A.350

Procedure for disposal of personal property abandoned or left on premises.

The landlord may dispose of personal property abandoned on the premises by a former tenant or left on the premises after eviction of the tenant without incurring civil or criminal liability in the following manner:

      (a) The landlord shall reasonably provide for the safe storage of the property for 30 days after the abandonment or eviction or the end of the rental period and may charge and collect the reasonable and actual costs of inventory, moving and storage before releasing the property to the tenant or his or her authorized representative rightfully claiming the property within that period. The landlord is liable to the tenant only for the landlord’s negligent or wrongful acts in storing the property. NRS 118A.460

  • Provisions allowing a tenant to terminate the lease without penalty

“Notwithstanding any provision in a rental agreement to the contrary, if a tenant, co-tenant or household member is the victim of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking, the tenant or any cotenant may terminate the rental agreement by giving the landlord written notice of termination effective at the end of the current rental period or 30 days after the notice is provided to the landlord, whichever occurs sooner.”NRS 118A.345

Luxury Real Estate Advisors Rental Listings

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-118a.html

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/fair_housing_rights_and_obligations

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