Faced with Onslaught of Evictions, Nevada Sets Up Tenant-Landlord Mediation Program
Wednesday, August, 19, 2020
The Nevada State Senate created a mediation program for tenants and landlords dealing with eviction issues after hearing testimony from residents faced with financial woes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
There had been an eviction moratorium in place, but it is set to expire on September 1st. This created a potential wave of evictions, which could leave hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Estimates range from nearly 135,000 households according to the State Treasurer’s office to higher numbers estimated by the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities at 270,000 households.
Nevada State Senate Bill 1 was slated to be the first legislation heard by the Senate during a special session. The goal of the bill is to stay an eviction for 30 days or less to give tenants and landlords a chance to mediate a new arrangement. The bill would allow the courts to determine how the program will run and provide guidelines for how mediation should take place. It is expected that a plan would be in place by October 1st.
Last year, Nevada courts dealt with nearly 46,000 evictions. It is expected that number could triple in the 2020 and 2021 due to the fallout from COVID-19. Not only would a mediation program help landlords and tenants, but it would also take some of the pressure off the courts.
There is concern the bill could hurt landlords who are still responsible for mortgage payments in many cases. There is also concern that the program would be unable to run efficiently enough to truly help those involved.