Nevada homeowners fared better than expected during '21 Legislature
Now that the dust has settled from the recently concluded session of the Nevada Legislature, leaders of Nevada Realtors say homeowners actually fared better than it seemed they would when the session started.
“Overall, the results from the 2021 legislative session were actually better than initially expected for our members and for property owners in Nevada,” 2021 NVR President Brad Spires said.
As much as anything, Spires said “it was encouraging to see Nevada lawmakers recognize that landlords are housing providers and that they play a crucial role in our state.”
He said this recognition is reflected in bills like Assembly Bill 308, which takes effect July 1. Among other things, this law mandates a three-day grace period before landlords can charge late fees for overdue rent.
Another newly passed state law that NVR leaders say came out better than it could have when the session started was AB486, a bill signed into law June 1 by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak that ensures federal rental assistance reaches tenants and landlords who need it by allowing eligible landlords who own one or a few properties to apply for and access rental assistance directly.
“During very difficult circumstances, we were pleased that Nevada lawmakers were able to strike a balance between the interests of landlords and tenants,” Spires said. “For the first time, state lawmakers recognized the needs of property owners in our state by providing financial assistance directly to landlords. This was a key part of AB486.”
NVR leaders also supported Senate Bill 276, a law creating new technology fees that will help Nevada consumers identify and find out more information about local real estate agents.
“Basically, we supported a bill that taxes our industry because we believed it was the right thing to do,” Spires explained.
Finally, he said NVR was “especially grateful for legislative leadership in both houses” this session.
During the session, NVR released the results of research it commissioned showing that many of the landlord-tenant laws proposed in Nevada and other Western states are more likely to harm homeowners, renters and the housing market. In partnership with Strategic Guidance Systems and Portland State University, NVR developed a comprehensive overview of landlord-tenant legislation in the West. The resulting report examines the history of such legislation, as well as the need for affordable housing to address supply constraints.
State lawmakers have increasingly turned to legislation in an attempt to address the limited supply of affordable housing, as well as to limit evictions — especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. According to the report, most of these proposals aren’t working, and many are counterproductive.
“While landlord-tenant legislation often aims to address a lack of affordable housing, this study suggests that such efforts ultimately fail,” the report concluded. “Yet, as the supply of housing is often filled by the private sector, these concerns may be headed off with meaningful changes to permitting, zoning and incentivizing positive growth.”
View the report at bringhousinghome.org.