Avoiding Pitfalls

Analyzing rental homes with magnifying glass

The surest way to stay in compliance while at your rental is to always keep your lease handy to reference often. Know your rights, know the rights of the property owner, take the right course of action when needed, and you will be more likely to avoid problems.

Recovering Your Deposit

Most landlords require you to pay a security deposit to cover any repairs needed when you move out or to cover your failure to pay the last month’s rent. By law, landlords cannot refuse to return the deposit without a valid reason. If you give your landlord your new address in writing, and you do not receive your deposit or an explanation within 30 days of your departure, contact the landlord. If you cannot resolve the problem satisfactorily, you may wish to consult an attorney. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau or your local tenant’s council. You can also file a complaint with the office of the Attorney General of Nevada.

Deductions for Damages

The landlord must return the deposit within 30 days – less any amount deducted for damages. Do not forget to leave a forwarding address so the deposit can be sent back to you. If the landlord withholds part or all of your deposit, he or she must give you an itemized list of deductions with a description of the damages.

Normal Wear and Tear

The landlord may not charge you for normal wear and tear on the premises and may only charge for actual abnormal damage. For example, if the carpet simply becomes more worn because you and your guests walked on it for a year, the landlord may not charge you for a new carpet. If your water bed leaks and the carpet gathers mildew as a result, you could be charged.

Advance Notice Requirements

You should check your rental agreement to see if it requires you to give the landlord advance notice that you are moving. Many leases require 30 days notice as a condition of returning your deposit.

Rent Increase

The landlord has the right to raise your rent if not prohibited by a lease agreement. However, a 45-day written notice of the increase must be mailed to the tenant before the increase goes into effect.

Renters Insurance

Although not required by Nevada law, an affordable way to safeguard against unforeseen occurrences and protect against personal losses is renters insurance. Depending on the policy, renters insurance averages under a hundred dollars a month for thousands of dollars worth of coverage. Your lease likely contains a clause which states that the owner will not be liable for any damages to the resident’s personal belongings or to that person. Only if a disaster occurred due to the owner’s own negligence will the resident have a cause of action.


It is normal to want to share the amenities that have drawn you to your apartment but landlords usually have policies about your guest and amenity usage. Whether it is a maximum number of guests allowed per tenant or necessary accompaniment with your guest, it is best to avoid breaking the rules by inquiring with the landlord first.