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I think I have to escrow my rent to the court until a repair…

Hi. I think...

Hi. I think I have to escrow my rent to the court until a repair is done. How do i do that?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Nevada

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

I've given notice of witholding rent, I just need to know how to open the escrow at the court

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No that's all, thanks,

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Answered in 6 minutes by:
8/28/2017
ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,161
Experience: Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Here's the specific law:

NRS 118A.355  Failure of landlord to maintain dwelling unit in habitable condition.

5.  Justice courts shall establish by local rule a mechanism by which tenants may deposit rent withheld under paragraph (d) of subsection 1 into an escrow account maintained or approved by the court. A tenant does not have a defense to an eviction under paragraph (d) of subsection 1 unless the tenant has deposited the withheld rent into an escrow account pursuant to this subsection.

It needs to be in the local justice court, and each one maintains their own rules. For example, Las Vegas has the following rules:

Rule 44.  Rent deposits relating to claims of uninhabitability under NRS 118A.355.

(a) In an eviction action, if the tenant proceeds under NRS 118A.355 and raises a claim of uninhabitability relating to his dwelling unit, the tenant may not raise as a defense that the tenant is entitled to withhold rent under NRS 118A.355 unless the tenant deposits the withheld rent into an escrow account maintained by the Las Vegas Justice Court in accordance with this rule. The deposit(s) may be paid by cash, money order, debit card, MasterCard, or Visa. Deposits may not be paid by personal check.

(b) At the time that the tenant files an answer to the eviction action, the tenant must indicate in the answer that he has withheld rent pursuant to NRS 118A.355, and he must deposit the current accrued withheld rent with the Las Vegas Justice Court.

(c) If the tenant fails to make the deposit required by this rule, the tenant does not have a defense under NRS 118A.355.

(d) Prior to the hearing on an eviction action, a landlord may file a written opposition that explains why the tenant is not entitled to withhold rent pursuant to NRS 118A.355.

(e) When the eviction action proceeds to a hearing, the court may order:

(1) The withheld rent to be returned to the tenant;

(2) The withheld rent to be forwarded to the landlord; or

(3) Any distribution of the withheld rent that is just and equitable under the circumstances.

(f) If a tenant files a Motion to Stay or a Motion to Vacate, either before or after the issuance of an Order for Summary Eviction, and in lieu of an answer, the tenant must still make the deposit required by this rule in order to raise a defense under NRS 118A.355.

(g) A tenant may not withhold rent under NRS 118A.355:

(1) For a condition caused by his own deliberate or negligent act or omission or that of a member of his household or other person on the premises with his consent;

(2) If the landlord adequately remedies the failure or uses his best efforts to remedy the failure within 14 days after receipt of the notice required pursuant to NRS 118A.355;

(3) If the landlord’s inability to adequately remedy the uninhabitability issue or use his best efforts to remedy the failure within 14 days is due to the tenant’s refusal to allow lawful access to the dwelling unit as required by the rental agreement or by NRS Chapter 118; or

(4) If the tenant has not fully complied with NRS 118A.355.

(h) This rule does not apply to rent that is withheld under NRS 118A.380 for a landlord’s failure to supply essential services.

(i) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Dwelling unit” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 118A.080.

(2) “Eviction action” means:

(A) A summary eviction action pursuant to NRS 40.253 or NRS 40.254; or

(B) A formal civil eviction pursuant to NRS 40.290 to 40.420, inclusive.

(3) “Uninhabitability” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 118A.290.

[Added; effective August 11, 2010.]

In short, you need to contact your nearest justice court and inquire about the local rules to withhold rent and deposit that rent into the escrow account. It's going to be the local justice court that handles the matter, and each one sets their own rules.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

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Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,161
Experience: Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
Verified
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I've already filed a claim of uninhabitability for non-essential items, giving him a 14-day window to make the repair or I will withhold rent. The window ends on Sept 10. However, rent is due tomorrow. I have not rec'd the registered letter receipt yet. Am I obligated to make the rent payment due tomorrow or can I withhold, even without proof of receipt (yet) and the 14 days haven't passed?

Yes you can go ahead and withhold as long as you deposit it into the escrow. There's a doctrine known as constructive receipt, meaning that it's assumed to have been received when sent, and for all practical purposes the judge will go easy on it if you sent that letter.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
OK. I called the justice court, where the rent would be escrowed, and they said they can't open an account until there's a case number (i.e., eviction, etc.). Is there an alternate way to escrow it until a case is filed (which it will almost certainly be)?

You could always file a case against them for damages related to the issues. Then you have a case number, and can escrow the rent.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Is there an alternate way, like a trust company or something?

Ultimately whether that's acceptable to the court is up to the judge. The law only states the justice court.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Urgh. OK, thanks.

You're welcome. I'm sorry I couldn't give you better news, but the law is what it is...

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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