Last week I launched this blog with an examination (subsequently republished in the Nevada Independent) of Southern Nevada’s out-of-control epidemic of evictions. (If you didn’t read it go do that and then come back and do this). It was a pretty long piece, but there were still a few points/odds & ends I didn’t manage to shoehorn in there, and I think they’re worth noting:
- There is an evidently thriving Las Vegas eviction industry, firms that provide all manner of services to landlords: deliver the eviction notice to tenants, file court documents, oversee the removal of tenants in conjunction with the constable (the latter effectively a public collection agency), store property, rekey the rental unit, etc. One area service’s toll-free number is 855-KIK-M-OUT. Another one calls itself the “Eviction King.”
- Despite tweaking – or attempted tweaking – over several years, Nevada is still considered a friendly, even permissive, state for the payday loan industry, and a Pew study found that nationally, 1 of 10 first-time payday loan store customers were borrowing money to pay for housing.
- Legislators are not expected to revisit Nevada’s “lightening fast” eviction process this year. However, they are expected to take up a bill that would further limit the amount of money a bill collector is allowed to garnish from paychecks while executing a judgment. A similar measure, opposed by the apartment industry, passed the Legislature in 2013. Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed it.
- From bed bugs and mold to a no air-conditioning in July, habitability – livability – can be a huge problem for renters in Southern Nevada. Tenants have a right to give landlords notice of a habitability problem, and if landlords fail to address it, tenants are entitled to withhold rent. But even if the problem isn’t fixed and the tenants, not surprisingly, just leave, they might find themselves described as evicted for non-payment by their former landlord when they apply to rent somewhere else, making it harder and more expensive to find better housing.
I would also like to report that state and local elected officials are working hard to aggressively confront the evictions/affordable housing problem with the urgency and seriousness it so obviously deserves. So if anyone knows if there is any evidence of that, please let me know, and I’ll report it.