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CLARK BARS UPDATE - MAY 7th 2020
Law Offices of Scott M. Clark, PC
Date: May 7, 2020
Important Information: Updates on Eviction Practices, Governor Sisolak’s Directive, and Attorney General Complain
Dear Nevada Clients:
We have been monitoring the Governor’s actions lately, but he seems to have turned a blind eye to landlords. In his recent Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery, he does not mention evictions one time. When asked about evictions, he responded:
"I don’t have a timeline on the current order of evictions. I'm dealing with this plan right now and I'd have to work with the Attorney General in terms with what feedback he’s had. He's been handling in the eviction situation, in terms of people coming forward but I'd want to maintain the eviction order as we stand here today."
"This is another thing that is going to be important for the counties: the evictions that are necessary in Esmeralda are not the same as the eviction problems that we are facing in Washoe or Clark, our two biggest counties. I'll rely on those county commissioners to give us the feedback in terms of what they are facing in terms of the eviction situation and how best to handle it in their county."
This week the Governor extended the previous Directive until May 15, 2020, and stated the Declaration of Emergency shall remain in effect until the Chief Medical Officer notifies the Governor that the health event has been abated and the Governor issues an order terminating the emergency.
We understand this is a trying time for landlords and there is nothing we can do to prepare for the evictions that will need to be filed. They have essentially prevented us from managing any aspect of our communities. We are recommending all clients start calling the commissioner’s office to explain the hardships being faced and require a timeline for evictions be established. Hopefully, with enough calls to the commissioner the governor will see the pressing need to restore access to the court and allow for us to resume prosecuting cases against those tenants that are in violation of their contractual obligations under their lease.
Finally, we have been fielding Attorney General complaints for the past two weeks. The AG has been following up on every complaint at this time, and although they have been demanding a response within 24 hours for many of these, it does not warrant panic. We have resolved every one of the complaints to-date, and the AG has given us extensions on matters requiring additional time. For the most part, they are only evaluating whether the landlord is aware that they cannot evict or threaten eviction at this time. Some complaints result in a need to work with the AG to change the wording on a notice or stop a certain practice, but the AG has been seeking to cooperate with landlords rather than penalize.
We recommend at this time that communications with residents do not use any words of urgency or obligation to enter into a payment plan and avoid knocking on doors or leaving multiple voicemails with residents who are not responsive. The AG has made it clear that residents have no obligation to respond to landlords or sign a payment arrangement, and attempts to repeatedly contact them after they fail to respond may be considered harassment or coercion. Each situation is different, we understand, and we are here to advise you throughout this unprecedented time.
Please feel free to reach out to our office with any follow-up questions or special cases you may be unsure about how to handle. It is better at this time to seek advice beforehand rather than to handle an AG complaint after one has been made.