It is not uncommon for disagreements to arise between landlords and tenants during the renting process. Parties can try to minimize landlord-tenant disputes by ensuring they are clear about the terms of the rental agreement and by keeping communication open. When they reach an impasse and cannot resolve an issue on their own, mediation may be helpful. And if that proves unfruitful, landlords and tenants can take their case to court.
In Nevada, both landlords and tenants have certain rights they can exercise, as well as certain responsibilities they must uphold. If you are uncertain what your rights and responsibilities are or how to settle an issue you are having with your landlord or tenant, we encourage you to talk to an attorney.
What are some common disputes between landlords and tenants?
Landlords and tenants have disagreements about many different types of issues, from who is supposed to fix a window, for example, to rent increases. The root cause of most landlord-tenant disputes is money. For example, money issues can come in the form of missed payments, destruction of property, or repairs. Some of the most common disputes people have during the rental process include the following:
- Structures, appliances, or systems that the landlord or tentant leaves in disrepair
- Damaged property (e.g., the landlord clams the tenant stained the carpet, while the tenant claims the carpet was stained when she moved in)
- Rental increases
- Verbal agreements gone bad
- Pet policies
- Security deposits
- Tenants engaging in illegal or disruptive behaviors
- Responsibility for payment of repairs or improvements, e.g., pool maintenance, landscaping, fencing, etc.
- Non-payment and adjusted payments
- Landlords not giving sufficient notice of a canceled lease
- Tenants not leaving when the lease ends or leaving before the lease ends
How do you go about resolving a landlord-tenant dispute?
The optimal way to handle a dispute between a landlord and tenant is open communication. If possible, parties should try to discuss the issue, attempt a compromise, and try to reach an amicable solution. Obviously, this is not always possible. When the rental agreement was too vague or when one party has selfish motives or is being difficult, it may be impossible to settle the issue agreeably.
At this stage of the dispute, one party usually threatens to sue. But before the courts will hear your case, it may be helpful to participate in mediation. Mediation is simply a process where a third-party, unbiased mediator meets with both parties in a confidential setting and tries to help them reach a satisfactory agreement. This helps expedite an agreement without having to get the courts involved and pay huge legal fees.
If the parties still cannot resolve the dispute during mediation, the case may head to court. The type of claim you file and the forms you use vary depending on the exact nature of the issue and the court in which you file, but most often, tenants and landlords file claims with in small claims court in the jurisdiction where the rental property is located.
Do I need an attorney to help me resolve a landlord-tenant dispute?
Trying to settle your dispute on your own may be difficult. Having legal counsel assist you through the process can be extremely beneficial. An attorney will be able to explain exactly what your rights are and how best to pursue a remedy in the most cost-efficient and quickest manner.
If you are having a rental dispute in Las Vegas, Becker Goodey can help. The lawyers at our firm can help protect your rights and best interests, guide you through mediation, and fight for your rights in court, if need be.
If you are owed funds, we can also look for ways to help you maximize your award. We will be able to provide you with the overall potential value of your case after our evaluation.