Most tenants who sign a lease for their rental unit or apartment typically plan to stay for the entire lease, which typically is just 12 months. However, there are certain situations that may require you to break your lease such as moving closer to your elderly parent, relocating for a new job, or moving in with your partner.
Leaving your rental unit or apartment before your lease is up without paying the remaining amount of rent due is known as breaking your lease.
Here’s the general breakdown of your tenant rights when breaking a lease in Nevada.
Tenant Responsibilities and Rights
A lease is an agreement between your landlord and yourself for a certain amount of time, which is typically 12 months.
Under a normal lease, your landlord will not be allowed to change their terms or increase or decrease your rent until your lease is over. Your landlord cannot make you move out until the end of your lease as well, unless you do not pay your rent, or you violate a clause that is in your lease. In most cases, landlords are required to follow very strict procedures to end your tenancy in their apartment or unit.
You as the tenant is legally responsible for paying rent for the entire duration of the lease, which is typically 12 months. Even if you choose not to live there, but there are some exceptions to this rule. We will go over them right now.
Situations When Breaking Your Lease in Nevada is Justified
There are a few certain situations to this very blanket rule where the tenant who will break their lease will still owe the remaining rent. However, with these situations, you will be able to legally move out before your lease is over. Here’s the situation:
You are Now on Active Military Duty
If you decide to enter active military duty after you sign your lease for your rental unit or apartment, you have every right to break your lease under the federal law.
You will be required to be a part of the “uniformed services.” This includes National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, armed forces, Public Health Service, or the activated National Guard.
However, when you need to break your lease because of your active duty, you will need to give your notice in writing and specify it is because of military reasons. Once you either the letter or hand deliver the letter, your lease will be terminated in 30 days after the rent is next due.
You are Over the age of 60 & Moving Due to Mental or Physical Disability
Under the Nevada Law, if you are 60 years of age or older, you can terminate your lease due to mental or physical disability. This is only permitted if you give your landlord a written notice specifying the conditions you are suffering.
Keep in mind, the lease can only be broken if the rental unit or apartment cannot handle the accommodations you need.
The Rental is Not Incompliance with Safety & Health Codes for Nevada
It is up to your landlord to provide you a habitable housing that abides by the state and local housing codes of Nevada.
If your landlord cannot provide you a habitable housing that abides by the state and local housing codes of Nevada, the court of Nevada will conclude that you were constructively evicted. Constructively evicted just means that the landlord was unable to provide you a habitable housing and has “evicted” you, so you have no further ties or responsibilities to pay rent for that unit.
The Nevada states that there are certain requirements that you will need to follow before you can move out and be constructively evicted. You will have to keep in mind these problems are going to have to be severe such as lack of heat or lack of air.
Landlord Violates Your Privacy and Harasses You
Under the Nevada Law, your landlord is required to give you at a minimum of 24 hours’ notice prior to entering your rental unit.
If your landlord continues to violate your right to your privacy and does things like remove your doors and windows, changing locks, turning off utilities, you can be constructively evicted. We talked about being constructively evicted above and the same would go for this situation as well.
Victim of Domestic Violence
Under the Nevada Law, it requires landlords to provide you early release from your lease, if you are a victim of domestic violence.
However, in this case, you will need to obtain a valid order of protection before you can get out of your lease first.
It is the Landlord’s Job to Find a New Tenant
Even if you don’t have one of the above reasons to justify breaking your lease, that does not mean you still cannot break the lease and not be on the hook for paying all the remaining rent.
Under the Nevada law, your landlord will be required to put in effort to re-rent your rental unit no matter why you left it in the first place. Instead of the landlord charging you for the remaining balance due under you lease, they will rent it out as quickly as possible to help ease the burden of rent loss.
The state of Nevada requires all landlords to take these steps to keep their rental losses to a minimum.
For instance, if you break your lease, the landlord is not going to sue you for the total amount left of the rent. The landlord is going to re-rent your unit as quickly as possible and subtract what rent they are getting from their new tenants to the rent you still owe them.
Typically, depending on how long it takes the landlord to re-rent your unit, you will only oversee paying for the time that the rental unit was vacant.
There will be times when you will end up having to pay your entire remaining balance, if you do not live in a heavily sought-after area. However, landlords do have a cap of being able to charge you $10,000 in the state of Nevada.
Consequences of Breaking a Lease Early
The last thing you ever want to do is leave early. It brings out a lot of consequences you may not have thought of.
The major consequence is financial. You will be paying for your old place alongside your new place. Many people cannot do this. Even if your landlord can get a new tenant in quickly, you may still be on the hook for a month or two of rent at your old place while paying rent at your new place as well.
Another consequence is it will make your rental history look a little sloppy. When landlords are looking to pick a tenant, they look at the tenant’s rental history. They want a tenant they will not only take care of their property, but also will stay for the remainder of the lease. This could very well deter a landlord from renting to you in the future.
If your reason for breaking your agreement is justified as mentioned in one of the above situations, you do not have to worry about having sloppy rental history. If you are breaking your lease just because that is a whole other ball game and it will not look good for your future landlords. It is best to stay where you are until your lease is up to maintain a perfect rental history, so future landlords will want to rent to you.