Leases and rental agreements are immensely practical (and legal) documents that spell out crucial business details—many of which are covered by state law. For example, you'll want to be sure that your security deposit policies don't violate Nevada law (which sets a deposit limit of three months' rent and specific rules for when and how you return deposits).
Here's how to make sure your Nevada lease or rental agreement gets it right—and avoids legal problems and hassles with tenants.
Name all tenants. Every adult who lives in the rental unit should be named as a tenant and sign the lease or rental agreement. This makes each tenant legally responsible for the full amount of the rent, the proper use of the property, and other terms of your agreement.
Limit occupancy. Your agreement should clearly specify that the rental unit is the residence of only the tenants who have signed the lease and their minor children. This will give you grounds (if necessary) to evict a tenant who moves in a friend or relative, or sublets the unit, without your permission.
Specify the term of the tenancy. Every Nevada rental document should state whether it is a rental agreement or a fixed-term lease. Leases set a specific beginning and expiration date, and obligate both landlord and tenant to a specific term, typically a year. In contrast, rental agreements usually run from month-to-month and self-renew unless terminated by the landlord or tenant. Under Nevada law, landlords and tenants must give each other at least 30 days' notice to end a tenancy under a rental agreement, and landlords must give tenants 45 days' notice before increasing rent.
Provide specific details on the rent. This includes the amount of rent; when it is due (typically, the first of the month); whether there's any grace period before rent is considered late; the amount of any late fees if rent is not paid on time; how rent is to be paid, such as by check sent by mail; and any bounced-check fee you'll charge if the tenant gives you a check that the bank will not honor (by law in Nevada, you may charge no more than $25).
Spell out all details on security deposits. Include the dollar amount of the security deposit (Nevada limits this to a maximum of three months' rent); how the deposit may be used; and when and how you will return it.
Be clear on utilities. Nevada law requires landlords to describe the respective responsibilities of the landlord and tenant as to the payment of utilities.
Clarify tenants' maintenance responsibilities. You'll typically want to set out the tenant's responsibility to keep the rental premises clean and sanitary and to pay for any damage caused by his or her abuse or neglect; include a requirement that the tenant alert you to defective or dangerous conditions in the rental property; and restrict tenant repairs and alterations without your permission. In addition, Nevada law requires that all rental agreements include a signed inventory of the condition of the premises being rented.
State how much advance notice you will provide the tenant before entering the rental unit. Nevada law requires that landlords give tenants at least 24 hours' notice of entry (except in case of emergency).
Set restrictions on tenant illegal activity. To avoid trouble among your tenants, prevent property damage, and limit your exposure to lawsuits from residents and neighbors, you should include an explicit lease or rental agreement clause prohibiting disruptive behavior, such as excessive noise, and illegal activity, such as drug dealing.
Be clear about pets. If you do not allow pets, be sure your lease or rental agreement says this. If you do allow pets, you should identify any special restrictions, such as a limit on the size or number of pets or a requirement that the tenant will keep the yard free of all animal waste.
Make all legally-required disclosures. Federal law requires landlords to make certain lead-based paint disclosures before tenants move in. Nevada sets out additional disclosure requirements, such as informing the tenant whether the premises is the subject of a foreclosure proceeding, and the rights of tenant to display the U.S. flag.
Include any special rules and regulations, such as regards parking and use of common areas. Nevada sets out distinct guidelines for landlord rules and regulations.
For Nevada rental documents, including leases and rental agreements, see Real Estate and Rental Property Forms section of Nolo. These ready-to-use legal forms include detailed, clause-by-clause instructions, that cover the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in Nevada. Options include the following: