29 Mar Nevada Tenant Rights Activists Call for Reform to Summary Evictions in Bill Testimony
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2023
Will Pregman, firstname.lastname@example.org, (702) 752-0656
Nevada Tenant Rights Activists Call for Reform to Summary Evictions in Bill Testimony
Carson City, NV — Today, the Nevada Housing Justice Alliance (NHJA) mobilized Nevada tenants to testify in favor of Assembly Bill 340. AB340, which makes changes to the summary eviction process in Nevada level the playing field for tenants and landlords was supported by those asking lawmakers to prioritize the best interests of communities in Nevada, rather than the bottom line of real estate corporations or corporate landlords.
Organizations which are members of the NHJA released the following statements:
“In a 2022 survey of Culinary Union members, 21% said that their rent had gone up $500, 21% said that they are charged monthly fees in addition to rent, and 15% said that they pay more than $100 in fees each month,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Rent increases have outpaced wage growth: From the 1st quarter of 2019 through the 2nd quarter of 22, market-rate rent in Las Vegas increased 33.1% while average weekly earnings only grew 21.4%. In 2021, investors bought 18% of homes in Las Vegas metro, in some areas of the metro, investor purchases accounted for as much as 26%, over a quarter, of homes sold. According to the January Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, 49.8% of adults in Nevada experienced ‘difficulty paying for the usual household expenses in the last 7 days.’ In the first week of 2023, Las Vegas had the most eviction filings among major U.S. cities. Nevada must change the filing order for summary evictions because tenants should have the right to due process when threatened with losing their home. Nevada’s summary eviction process is unique in the United States and it is the only civil procedure in Nevada that requires the defendant to file the initial notice with the court. This is bad and confusing public policy which negatively impacts Nevadans and Culinary Union Members. Every Nevadan deserves an affordable and stable home, and an eviction should never be a surprise so the Culinary Union urges the Nevada Legislature to support and pass AB340.”
“I was born and raised in Las Vegas, but I feel like I’m being pushed out by landlords that don’t even live here. I had been living in my home since 2017, but the moment the COVID-19 pandemic hit, my landlord started trying to evict me,” said Kimberly Ireland, a bell desk dispatcher on the Las Vegas Strip and a Culinary Union member for 14 years. “The landlord stopped fixing things, had the water shutoff on me, and even the AC stopped working. The landlord wasn’t working with rental assistance programs, so I started the process for a court mediation, but that didn’t happen. Once the court date for my eviction was set, it seemed like the law was on the side of the landlord and as a tenant, I felt like the system completely let me down. I now have an eviction on my record and it’s been hard to find a quality, long-term, and affordable home to rent. The eviction process is confusing and hurts working families. I support AB340 because it would protect Nevadans like me.”
“Evictions are among the most important court proceedings to a person’s life, and Nevadans are being left out in the cold because our system of summary evictions is uniquely burdensome and complex,” said ACLU of Nevada Policy Manager Lilith Baran. “In fact calling it a ‘court proceeding’ may be too generous, because it’s actually a tactic that landlords use against renters with no oversight or accountability. The Nevada Legislature has a golden opportunity with this bill to stop enabling bad behavior and to move us toward a system with due process baked in. I hope it’s clear to lawmakers that failing to advance housing justice policies this session will only lead to growing inequities and more people sleeping on our streets.”
“The financial, emotional, and psychological toll that summary evictions has on families cannot be understated. Many parents and children faced evictions during this last unprecedented winter and were confronted with insurmountable hardship and unreasonable time constraints in order to find new housing. All Nevadans are entitled to a fair eviction hearing and access to adequate resources in court.” said Shelly Speck on behalf of the Children’s Advocacy Alliance.
“The summary eviction process has been abused against Nevada tenants for far too long,” said Annette Magnus, Executive Director of Battle Born Progress. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, despite state and federal eviction moratoria, we saw corporate landlords trying to kick families out on the street during a public health crisis. It was disgusting, but sadly allowed to happen, due to unscrupulous landlords taking advantage of summary evictions, knowing their often low-income or otherwise vulnerable tenants would be unprepared to respond, without outside resources or legal assistance. All Nevada tenants deserve the chance for an eviction hearing. Tenants should have access to resources and interventions when coming to court, and should have adequate time to find new housing. The current summary eviction process does not allow this, but, if passed, AB340 will be a strong step towards giving tenants the fair opportunity to defend themselves, or, at the very least, to find a new living situation before they are evicted.”
“Only those who have faced eviction can truly understand the deep fear of losing your home,” said Make the Road Nevada Housing Justice Organizer Andy Romero. Summary evictions add a heavy burden to tenants to initiate the court proceedings holding the tenant at fault. Often with no reason or intention to evict. These proceedings negatively affect the health of the tenants and their families, ultimately risking lives and contributing to the issue of homelessness in Nevada.”
“Summary eviction is the insidious symptom of a broken system; it’s the mechanism that allows property managers to abusively expel children and parents from their homes at a moment’s notice,” said Bryce Rogers on behalf of Northern Nevada Democratic Socialists of America. “Tenants have to fight in court to avoid automatic loss, while landlords and corrupt investment companies can issue eviction notices on your door via printer paper and Scotch tape.This is a backward, violent process which preys on already-vulnerable populations.”
“Nevada’s current summary eviction process is yet another example of profit-first, people-last policies that have led to the housing crisis we are facing today,” said Laura Martin, Executive Director of PLAN. “Housing is the key to ensuring Nevadans can thrive, but as of right now, a summary eviction leaves tenants with the burden of legal process, while also doing the near impossible task of attempting to secure housing in less than 5 days. Passing AB 340 means Nevada families are not being kicked out into the streets in the most inhumane and speedy process available in the nation.”
“I was personally impacted by a summary eviction.,” says Isheika Paisley, a member of Faith in Action Nevada. “I received a 7-day eviction notice from my apartment after I was late on rent. I was so frustrated because I have nowhere else to go with that amount of time. I’m a single mom with my young son. I went to the Sierra Courthouse to get help with the eviction but I had to pay a fee for the court on top of everything and all the stress. I was able to get help but a lot of people don’t know what they can do with the eviction notices.”
“Landlords have always had the upper hand over their tenants and Nevada’s unique and unfair summary eviction process causes an even larger power imbalance,” said For Our Future Nevada State Director Gariety Pruitt. “The current summary eviction process creates uncertainty for thousands of working families by placing an undue legal burden on them and denying them their day in court. The crucial tenant protections in Assembly Bill 340 will improve housing security and result in brighter economic futures for Nevada families.”
Make it Work Nevada issued the following statement:
Working alongside community members and families who have been directly affected by the summary eviction process, makes this issue one that hits pretty close to home. I have had friends who, during the height of pandemic, were threatening homelessness or was.
Currently Nevada’s summary eviction process tenants are given notice to pay or quit. They can either catch up on their rent, move out, or file an answer. The tenant then has an opportunity to respond, and a court date is scheduled, but often don’t realize something is happening until they get a notice from the Constable’s Office that they’re going to be locked out of their home.
The way that landlords have been able to legally exploit renters has been unfair for too long. While there are YouTube videos that will instruct landlords on how to evict someone within days, Make It Work Nevada is proud to stand in support of AB340, giving tenants the right to due process amidst crisis.
About Nevada Housing Justice Coalition: The Nevada Housing Justice Alliance (NHJA) is a coalition of grassroots organizers and community advocates who work with Nevada tenants to develop solutions and advocate for community investments that solve the root causes of housing insecurity.