Repairs and Deductions

Who should I contact if I need repairs done?
At the time of the rental agreement, tenants are to be given in writing the following information:  the name and address of persons authorized to manage the property, a person within this state to receive notices and demands, and the principal or corporate owners. Tenants are also to be given a telephone number of a responsible person to be called in case of emergency. The persons listed should be the first person called for repairs and then sent a written notice.
NRS 118A.260

What repairs are the landlord's responsibility?
Under Nevada law the landlord in private housing must maintain your house, apartment or mobile home in a habitable condition. A dwelling is not habitable if it violates provisions for housing or health codes concerning the health, safety, and sanitation of the dwelling or if it substantially lacks the basic systems needed for habitation.
NRS 118A.290

What repairs are the tenant's responsibility?
A tenant is responsible for the cost of repair for damages caused by the tenant, his family or guests that are above normal wear.
NRS 118A.290(2)

A landlord and tenant may agree that the tenant is to perform certain specified repairs, maintenance and minor remodeling only if the agreement is entered into in "good faith" and it does not diminish the landlord's obligations to other tenants in the premises. NRS 118A.290(3) clarifies that such agreements are not considered to be in "good faith" if the landlord has a duty to perform these repairs and has refused to do so.

What are considered emergency repairs?
Any repairs to your heat, running water, electricity, gas, hot water, or other essential services are considered emergency repairs. See Section IV of this pamphlet entitled "Essential Services."
NRS 118A.380

What are considered non-emergency repairs?
Non-emergency repairs are minor repairs to wall, floors, doors, windows, ceilings, roof, rodent and insect control, weatherproofing, and other non-emergency services that do not affect health and safety.

What should you do if you need non-emergency repairs to be performed?
If your landlord fails to perform needed non-emergency repairs Nevada law offers you two (2) alternative courses of action. One option is to proceed under NRS 118A.360 to give the landlord a written notice that unless he/she makes the needed repairs within 14 days, you will cause the repairs to be made yourself (pay someone else to do it or do the work yourself in a workmanlike manner) and deduct the cost from your next month's rent i.e., "repair and deduct". You may do this only if the repair costs are less than one month's rent; and only once within a 12-month period.

Another option is to proceed under NRS 118A.355 to give the landlord a written notice to perform the repairs within 14 days. If your landlord does not fix the problem or make a "good faith" effort to do so, you may (a.) terminate the rental agreement, (b.) sue to recover actual damages, (c.) seek other relief in a court or (d) withhold rent during the landlord’s noncompliance. Rent withheld must be deposited in an escrow account with Justice Court.

Written notice to the landlord under both options may be given either by the tenant (see sample letters) or by a government agency authorized to inspect for violations of building, housing or health codes. You should date, sign, and keep a copy of the repair notice. It is recommended that you either hand-deliver the notice in the presence of a witness or mail the notice by regular mail from a post office and obtain proof that you mailed the notice. The proof is called a certificate of mailing.

It is also recommended, in addition to sending written notice yourself, that you ask your local health or building inspector to come to your premises to inspect the problem. The inspector may order your landlord to make the needed repairs or face a possible fine.

What can you do if the landlord fails to make the repairs within 14 days?
If the repairs are not made:
You may cause the repairs to be done yourself or by another qualified person in a workman-like manner, then deduct the cost from the next month's rent, if you gave the "repair and deduct" notice under NRS 118A.360. Again, you may use this option only if the repair costs are less than one month's rent; and only once within a 12-month period.

If you sent notice under the NRS 118A.355 option, you may terminate the rental agreement immediately, vacate the premises, and demand the remainder of the month's rent and security deposit. You may also sue for any actual damages and seek other proper relief from a court or withhold rent during landlord’s noncompliance. Rent withheld must be deposited in an escrow account with Justice Court.

When must a tenant hire specific repair or service people?
If the landlord has specified in the rental agreement or otherwise that work done must be performed by a named person or firm qualified to do the work, then the tenant must hire that person.

What can I do if needed repairs are due to fire, flooding, or other casualty?
If the premises are damaged by fire, flooding or other casualty to the point that use/enjoyment is substantially impaired you are governed by NRS 118A.400. Your landlord may terminate the rental agreement. Alternatively you also have the right to immediately vacate and notify the landlord in writing of your intent to terminate the rental agreement. If the rental agreement is not terminated by either party and if continued occupancy is lawful, you may recover damages by a reduction in the rent in proportion to the portion of the dwelling that you are unable to use. The reduction should be based on the value of the unusable portion of your house until repairs are made. It should begin with the 1st day after the expiration of the 14 day notice. For example, if due to water damage you are unable to use one room of your five room house, compute the daily rent by dividing 30 into the monthly rent. Then reduce the daily rent by 1/5 each day until the repairs are completed.

WARNING: It is important to keep your rent current, especially when requesting and making repairs.

Sample NRS 118A.360 (Repair and Deduct) Letter

Sample NRS 118A.355 (Habitability) Letter

Additional information