by Zac Slotemaker, Jordan Hicks
Volume 90% <p>Over the next few weeks, the City of Reno will assist Washoe Legal Services is hosting three public seminars on renters’ rights.
RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Over the next few weeks, the City of Reno will assist Washoe Legal Services is hosting three public seminars on renters’ rights.
Monday evening, Washoe Legal Services discussed the first of the three meetings, Bedbugs and Code Enforcement.
During these seminars, the community is invited to learn about the rights and protections that tenants have against such issues as unsanitary housing conditions and illegal evictions, and how renters may seal prior eviction records.
The meetings will be held on October 14, and October 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Reno City Council Chamber, located at 1 East First Street.
According to Washoe County Health District, apartments are different from facilities in the county. Apartments are not required to be licensed by the health district.
However, the landlords are subject to the City of Reno Code Enforcement citations if, after investigating a claim, they are in clear violation.
Reno City Councilmember Oscar Delgado says this is why it is crucial to know what your rights and what you are able to do as a tenant:
It is vital, especially this day and age when you know that people, in many different ways are being taken advantage of. They are paying astronomical amounts in terms of rent monthly, we want to make sure they are paying for a decent house. That is very important for us at the city council especially for our mayor. Making sure we are working with those landlords but also calling out the slumlords.
To involve the City of Reno’s Code Enforcement you can call 334-INFO.
There are two types of considerations for apartment conditions: essential services and habitability.
Essential services are considered anything that creates an emergency such as no water, no heat in winter, and a clear safety hazard.
Habitability problems include bed bugs, any kind of infestation, leaks, molds, or anything that is non-emergency by not livable.
According to Code Enforcement Manager, Alec Woodley, they are quicker to investigate essential service problems than habitability problems.
Either way, the city does have the power to enforce proper conditions if found in violation.
According to Woodley,
We have multiple tools in the toolshed. We have the ability to issue civil citations, we have the ability to place leans on a property and if necessary, very seldom is the case but we, unfortunately, do it twice a year, we do pursue criminal charges against a landlord if necessary.
In addition to filing a claim with the city, Washoe Legal Services also recommends going a civil route by sending a formal letter to your landlord.
If your landlord does not fix the essential or habitability problem, you can do two things after sending a notice that requires 14 days for the problem to be fixed under NRS 118A.
One, you can personally repair the problem and then provide proof of the repair cost to deduct it from next month’s rent.
Two, you can either terminate the rental agreement, sue to recover damages, seek help in the courts, and withhold rent.
For a full look at FAQs surrounding tenant and renter problems, click here.
The schedule and topics of discussion for the three seminars are as follows:
- October 7: Bedbugs and Code Enforcement
- October 14: Eviction Rules and Procedures
- October 21: Eviction Sealing
A Spanish language translator will be available, and the seminars will be live-streamed on the City of Reno’s Facebook page.