Current Issues in Residential and Commercial Leasing
April 15

These are confusing times for landlords and tenants of both commercial and residential property.  The purpose of this article is to provide some clarity to clients of Woodburn and Wedge and any other readers on current issues in leasing.

Following his declaration on March 12, 2020, of a state of emergency resulting from the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the State of Nevada, Governor Sisolak issued Declaration of Emergency Directive 008 (the “Directive”) on March 29, 2020.  The Directive had the effect of staying certain evictions and lockout proceedings, as well as foreclosure actions.

Since entry of the Directive and the Nevada Supreme Court, district court, and justice court orders that followed, a number of clients have contacted Woodburn and Wedge with landlord-tenant questions and issues.  Below is a brief summary of my current recommendations to clients.  For a more detailed analysis of the reasoning behind these recommendations, please visit the Current Issues in Residential and Commercial Leasing article.

  • The Directive did not effect a statewide moratorium on tenants’ (whether commercial or residential) obligation to pay rent. All tenants are specifically required to continue paying rent to their landlords.


  • The Directive and court orders that followed prohibit courts from accepting non-emergency landlord-tenant documents for filing. With limited exception, the courts remain open to most statutory tenant requests for relief, but landlord complaints for eviction relief are barred.


  • While landlords may not be specifically prohibited from serving unlawful detainer notices altogether, notices served while the Directive is in effect are likely to be deemed ineffective.


  • Even once the Directive expires, landlords may be required to certify that they worked with their tenants to negotiate payment plans or other agreements within thirty days of the termination of the Directive to allow “tenants to cure any defaults or missed payments,” before a court will grant eviction relief.


  • Even though no court filing is involved, the Directive likely prevents commercial landlords changing the door locks on commercial premises pursuant to NRS 118C.200 following a tenant’s nonpayment of rent.

Whether commercial or residential, I encourage my landlord clients to (i) be in communication with their tenants, (ii) remind their tenants of their obligation to pay rent, and (iii) work in good faith with their tenants to come up with payment plan workout agreements (including agreements concerning the amount of and frequency of rent payments while the Directive remains in effect).

This subject is moving rapidly.  Keep an eye out for further updates and helpful articles on this and other relevant topics.  Be well, and stay healthy.

Shay L. Wells is a shareholder at Woodburn and Wedge. His practice focuses on business and corporate law, entity selection and formation, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate and other commercial transactions.  He can be reached on his direct line at (775) 688-3012, or by email at