A Taste of Things to Come...
The recent Nevada legislative session had many bills presented and voted on that will have lasting effects on owning apartment units in the Silver State. You do not have to go far to see a story on TV or in the newspaper about a tenant that is living in squalor who’s rent payment is rising at a rate they cannot afford. These stories propelled bills being written that could have had drastic affects on the value of apartment units.
In this issue of the Multi-Family Review we will look at SB 151 as it affects apartment ownership. A foot in the door and a feather in some lawmaker’s hat, the changes brought on by SB 151 are not that drastic but could be a foreboding of things to come.
Here are changes that will affect apartment ownership brought on by this bill:
- Serving Notice: Unless it is in the terms of the lease any notice to vacate will need to be served by a licensed professional server. This can include the Sherriff, attorney or licensed process server.
- Late Fees: Tenants can be charged a maximum of 5% of the lease rate for late fees.
- Notice to pay rent or quit: The 5 day period for the tenant to come up with the rent has been extended to 7 judicial days after notice is served. This can have a huge impact on the time required to remove a tenant.
The facts are the population of Washoe County is growing and will continue to grow due to strong job growth and Californians leaving and relocating to Washoe County. Many of the jobs being created do not pay well enough to afford the new “Luxury Apartments” being built. The inventory of apartments that can be rented below $1,000 a month is not rising. We have a housing crisis in the lower end of the market that is bad with every indication of getting worse. My fear is that this crisis will spawn more legislation that will only make apartment ownership less attractive and therefore less affordable.
The fix for the housing crises will require a paradigm shift. Alone, the Government or the private sector cannot solve the problem. Legislation restricting the rights of the apartment owners will not solve the problem because it will add to the cost of doing business which will only get passed down to the tenants. The solution lies in government and the private sector working together to lower the cost of development and a paradigm shift in architecture making small spaces do more.
You can find more detailed information on SB 151 and also SB 256 affecting Landlord/Tenant laws at the Nevada Electronic Legislative system website: