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Month: June 2019

Governor Sisolak Signs Bill Adding Tenant Protections to Nevada Landlord/Tenant Laws, Despite Property Manager, Realtor Protest

LAS VEGAS – Despite fierce push-back and lobbying efforts on the part of local realtors, Nevada lawmakers – via a last-minute amendment made to Senate Bill 151 (SB151) – added what they referred to as “tenant protections” to the proposed bill that would make some significant changes to the state’s currently Landlord/Tenant Laws. That bill was officially made into the law of the land when it passed both houses and landed on the desk of Governor Steve Sisolak, who then signed on the dotted line.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak during the National Governors Association annual winter meeting in February 2019. Sisolak signed 75 bills on June 12, 2019 including SB151. Photo credit: C-SPAN.

As per the newly ratified SB151, the changes to the Landlord/Tenant Laws will take effect on July 1st, 2019; however, what are the changes that landlords and their tenants can expect to see, and why are Nevada residential realtors so up in arms over them?

First, some are taking exception to SB151 because certain provisions that had been previously a part of SB256 – a bill that was previously considered dead and buried – were basically revived and incorporated into SB151 on the very last day of the legislative session. The deeply-unpopular provisions in question – touted as “tenant protections” – centered on specific aspects of the eviction process, including a late-fee cap on overdue rent and a window of time afforded to evicted tenants to re-enter their former rental property to retrieve belongings.

The most significant aspect of SB151 when it comes to landlords is the inclusion of a 5 percent cap on late fees when it comes to overdue monthly rent; that is, a landlord can no longer charge over 5 percent of the periodic fee the renter normally pays when they are delinquent; previous penalties that many landlords employed, such as cumulative daily late fees, are no longer allowed.

Another provision of SB151 is that evicted tenants are now given up to 5 days to re-enter a vacated home or apartment in order to retrieve what the bill refers to as “essential personal effects,” such as medication, before they are permanently locked out. A tenant may also file a motion with the court regarding how the landlord has chosen to handle the tenant’s property – including storage costs or removal procedures – after the 5-day period has passed. If the court finds in the tenant’s favor, they may be granted additional time and access to their former dwelling, as well as damages up to $2,500 if the judge rules that the landlord handled the property in question in an improper manner.

Other changes include an increase of the approved “pay or quit” eviction notice time period from 5 days to 7 judicial days; if a tenant manages to pay within the 7 judicial day time frame, the landlord is now obligated to accept it, even if the amount paid does not include any additional late fees or other charges that may have been applied to the overall amount owed. And finally, landlords and property managers can no longer serve an eviction notice themselves- now, only a sheriff, constable, or licensed process server may do so.

Many property mangers and realtors protested the changes represented by SB151 argue that these changes – which allegedly tip the perceived scales between tenants and landlords too far in the tenants’ favor – will discourage Nevada Landlords from renting out their homes and condos at a time when affordable housing is already scarce, in addition to leading to higher rents and more frequent lawsuits.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Eldorado Resorts Purchases Caesars in $17 Billion Deal, Creates Casino Megapower with Presence in 16 States

LAS VEGAS – Eldorado Resorts has announced that they will be purchasing Caesars – and in the process acquiring over 35 of their casinos – in a deal comprised of both cash and stock valued at over $17 billion, according to reports. The deal will result in Eldorado essentially becoming a casino mega-power, with a total of approximately 60 casinos and resorts to its name as a result of the purchase.

The acquisition, which took place on Monday of this week, now gives Eldorado a presence in 16 states and makes it one of the largest entertainment and gambling entrepreneurs in the country, according to a statement released by Eldorado Chief Executive Tom Reeg.

“Together, we will have an extremely powerful suite of iconic gaming and entertainment brands,” he said, “as well as valuable strategic alliances with industry leaders in sports betting and online gaming.”

The overreaching company in charge of this empire will be dubbed Caesars – taking advantage of the internationally-recognized brand name – and will be headquartered in Reno, Nevada, in addition to having a “significant corporate presence” in Caesars’ hometown of Las Vegas.

The deal will see Eldorado paying $8.40 per share of Caesars’ stock, as well as an exchange of $12.75 in Eldorado stock for each share of Caesars stock; in addition, Eldorado will assume approximately $8.8 billion of Caesars’ debt. According to the details of the transaction, Caesars is currently valued at about $8.6 billion; in 2017, the casino giant had emerged from federal bankruptcy protection, but has continued having financial difficulties since then.

Eldorado most likely made the move to acquire Caesars in light of the increased popularity of casinos in general, with sports betting growing in market share after successful legalization efforts in recent years. If approved by gaming regulators and shareholders from both companies, the deal is expected to be closed in early 2020, reports say.

Caesars Entertainment, Inc. was a Las Vegas Valley, Nevada based business that was the largest owner, operator and developer of casinos throughout the world. It was part of the Hilton Hotels chain and was spun off from Hilton as Park Place Entertainment in 1998, and renamed as Caesars Entertainment in 2003. The company was acquired in 2005 by Harrah’s Entertainment, which later took on the Caesars Entertainment name.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Multi-Million Las Vegas Circa Hotel Project Showing Progress Towards 2020 Opening

Multi-Million Vegas Circa Hotel Project Showing Progress Towards 2020

LAS VEGAS – Circa, a multi-million-dollar downtown Las Vegas hotel project being constructed by developer Derek Stevens, is underway and targeting a December 2020 opening date, provided everything goes according to plan.

Circa, a multi-million-dollar downtown Las Vegas hotel project being constructed by developer Derek Stevens, is underway and targeting a December 2020 opening date. Renderings credit: Steelman Partners.

Over 600 workers on various shifts are firing on all cylinders to meet that projected opening date, according to reports, with crews following an aggressive 24-hour-a-day, 7 days-a-week schedule in order to erect the 1.25 million-square-foot, 44 story hotel and resort. This week, in order to help achieve the established December 2020 opening goal, a new crane was installed at the site, and the first delivery of steel is scheduled for July.

Over 600 workers on various shifts are firing on all cylinders to meet that projected opening date, according to reports, with crews following an aggressive 24-hour-a-day, 7 days-a-week schedule. Renderings credit: Steelman Partners.

The 600 workers are split up for numerous projects; at any given time, 200 are assigned to the Circa site, with another 40 or so concentrating on the site’s parking garage – a proposed nine-story, 1,201-space structure dubbed Garage Mahal – while up to 100 others are handling form and rebar building. On top of that, there are many members of the project’s support staff on-hand at any given time as well, usually consisting of approximately 150 managers and engineers, according to reports. Rebar and support structures are delivered to the construction site for installation after having been created at a different location.

Work is anticipated to continue at the current 24 hour-a-day pace and last throughout the end of the construction phase. Renderings credit: Steelman Partners.

Work is anticipated to continue at the current 24 hour-a-day pace and last throughout the end of the construction phase, with developer Stevens noting that the public should be treated to some excellent views of the Circa as it begins to take shape and form. The 2020 release date is considered a lock for Stevens, as he would be able to take advantage of local tax breaks if the hotel opens its doors for business by that point.

The hotel-casino initially announced at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center in January 2019, holds the distinction of being the first downtown Vegas resort to be built from scratch. Renderings credit: Steelman Partners.

The Circa has been designed by architecture firm Steelman Partners, in conjunction with contractor McCarthy Building Companies Inc. The hotel-casino, initially announced at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center in January 2019, also holds the distinction of being the first downtown Vegas resort to be built from scratch – as opposed to the renovation or re-purposing of an existing structure – since 1975.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Demand for “Tiny Homes” in Las Vegas is Growing

LAS VEGAS – You may have seen it on any number of television home improvement shows- the current hot trend of “tiny homes” that is sweeping the nation. Typically consisting of a house that is anywhere from 300-600 square feet large – or even smaller.

According to reports, the demand for tiny homes in Las Vegas is growing in connection with the increase of young professionals moving to the rapidly expanding job market. File photo: Pixabay.

The allure of owning a tiny home in today’s often expensive housing market is that it encourages people to do without many of the perceived luxuries of living in a larger dwelling. This includes a reliance on possessions in favor of a more stripped-down, simpler existence where only your bare necessities are provided for. Some people do this out of sheer financial necessity, while others simply desire a simpler way of life. But either way, one region of the country where this trend of tiny homes is growing the most in recent months is in Las Vegas, Nevada, an area in the middle of a large economic and real estate boom that is seen housing prices – while still quite affordable compared to some other areas of the country – experiencing a record-setting rise in the past few years.

The tiny house movement is an architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. As of 2019 there is no set definition as to what exactly constitutes a tiny house; however, a residential structure under 600 to 300 square feet is generally considered a tiny home, and some people have even managed to live in dwellings 160 feet and smaller. In contrast, the current average size of a new single-family home is approximately 2,662 square feet.

With the national recession hitting in the mid-2000’s, the tiny house movement attracted more attention as it offered affordable, ecologically friendly housing options. Overall, however, it currently represents a very small part of real estate transactions nationwide, with only 1 percent of home buyers acquiring houses of 1,000 square feet or less. Tiny houses typically cost about $20,000 to $50,000 to construct, and have received a large amount of media coverage in recent years, including several television shows dedicated to their construction and the offbeat lifestyles of those occupying them.

According to reports, the demand for tiny homes in Las Vegas is growing in connection with the increase of young professionals moving into the area to take advantage of the rapidly expanding job market. In fact, according to some real estate professionals, there is a waiting list for these diminutive units that are currently under construction. Typically, the increase in interest for these smaller homes range from people over 50 years of age to millennial ages, with the ladder experiencing 63 percent in growth as far as being purchasers of tiny homes of the last few years.

Some of the more popular locations in Las Vegas for communities consisting of tiny homes are Ferguson’s Downtown, the Veteran’s Village in Downtown Las Vegas, as well as several mobile home parks located in Henderson.

Another reason cited by people for wanting a tiny home is the freedom to pick up, move, an experience living in different areas of the country; to that end, some tiny houses are constructed on wheels so they can be transported from one location to another. While some people have reported that downsizing and living with less in a smaller space can be difficult, many people say that the experience has not only improved them for the better, and helped save a lot of money in the process.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Nevada Passes New Housing Laws Governing Construction, Housing Development, Evictions

LAS VEGAS – Lawmakers in Nevada have recently passed a number of new pieces of legislation that are aimed at governing certain aspects of the housing market in the state, such as the eviction process, defect claims on construction projects, and the development of affordable housing.

Nevada lawmakers are hoping that a number of new bills including Assembly Bill 421, Senate Bill 103, and Senate Bill 151 will assist with construction, housing, evictions and of affordable housing for low-income residents. File Photo: Pixabay.

To start with, the state Legislature – currently under Democratic control – enacted a law to counter one passed four years ago when the lawmaking body was under Republican control. The new law enables victims that allege that a contractor has engaged in sub-standard construction work to have an easier process if they wish to sue said contractor for damages in court. Due to take effect on October 1, 2019, Assembly Bill 421 enables customers of a contractor to report alleged defects in housing and building development projects in “reasonable detail” when presenting a notice to the contractor; previously, the law in place was more exacting, requiring “specific” and “exact” levels of detail. In addition, plaintiffs now have 10 years in which to file a lawsuit against a contractor, as opposed to the six years allotted under the old law.

Next was a new law aimed at potentially providing a boost to the construction of affordable housing for Nevada residents of limited financial means. Due to go into effect on July 1, 2019, Senate Bill 103, gives local municipalities the ability to apply discounts on some of the fees that are typically levied on affordable housing projects. In addition, Senate Bill 448 – due to come into force on January 1, 2020 – adds to the support of affordable housing construction by allowing Nevada officials to provide financial assistance to new projects with the ability to issue transferable tax credits in the amount of $10 million per year

State lawmakers are hoping that these bills will assist with the issue of affordable housing for low-income residents, which number at approximately 73,000, according to reports. Currently, developers construct about 1,000 units annually that are aimed at this population; these bills could increase that output to as much as 1,600 per year.

And finally, Senate Bill 151, due to kick in starting July 1, 2019, would increase protections for those renting properties by granting more time to tenants before they are able to be evicted by landlords for lack of payment on their rent; in addition, late fees for delinquent rent payments will be capped at five percent of the full amount of the tenants regular rent amount, and more time will be granted – seven business days, as opposed to the previous five –  for tenants to pay overdue rent to landlords to avoid eviction. Evicted tenants will also be allowed to enter their former dwelling to procure “essential” belongings, such as medicine, for up to five days.
Whereas the previous laws could be seen as overly favoring renters and developers, some are saying these new laws have swung the pendulum too far in the opposite direction, while others are applauding the new bills.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Home Prices in Las Vegas Remain Relatively Unchanged for Last Several Months; Is Southern Nevada Finally Reaching Plateau?

LAS VEGAS – After several years of nonstop, skyrocketing growth, the Las Vegas real estate market appears to have finally begun to stabilize as the median sales price of single-family homes have remained relatively flat throughout spring of 2019, according to reports.

So far, throughout March, April, and now May of 2019, the median sales price of single-family homes – particularly pre-owned ones, which make up the largest segment of the market currently – have remained at approximately $300,000.

The Vegas real estate market reached its highest price point in June of 2006, when a median house would fetch approximately $315,000 on the open market. File photo: GLVAR.

To drive the point home, the price of a single-family house in May of 2018 saw an increase of 18 percent from the same period in 2017; in May of 2019, however, that increase amounted to only 1.7 percent, which represents the smallest year-to-year increase in seven years, according to reports.

The slowdown in Las Vegas’ real estate market has been becoming more noticeable in the last few months. Not only has it been apparent in the smaller increases in housing prices, but sales overall have decreased from the shocking levels they attained over the past few years, with the amount of available listings on the market increasing slowly but steadily. This is only natural in a market where real estate has experienced a nearly unprecedented amount of growth in such a short amount of time.

Previously, availability was becoming so scarce – and prices growing so quickly – that affordability concerns were being expressed by many moving to the region.

Strong demand is clearly still out there for housing in the Southern Nevada region, with resale prices still increasing in Las Vegas. This, experts say, is just a sign that the market has reached the point where pricing on real estate must stabilize in order for it to still remain viable.

The Las Vegas real estate market reached its highest price point in June of 2006, when a median house would fetch approximately $315,000 on the open market. That amount, of course, plummeted after the real estate bubble burst shortly thereafter, leading to the national recession.

Regardless of the fact that prices have remained rather flat during the spring, re-sales continue to do well in Las Vegas, with over 3,200 single family homes selling in May, an increase of 4.5 period from the same period one year prior. However, over 7,800 houses were on the market without offers by the end of last month, representing a 90 percent difference from the same period in 2018. Developers, who recently have been scrambling with construction projects in order to keep up with housing demands, have also noted that they have been selling fewer units in recent months.

Again, while still one of the most active and profitable real estate markets in the country, Las Vegas appears to finally be experiencing a plateau, and it is important for sellers to recognize this and make appropriate adjustments to their sales models in order to ensure continued growth.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Sands Corp, Madison Square Garden Announce General Contractor Behind 18,000 Seat MGS Sphere Project

LAS VEGAS – According to reports, AECOM, a Los Angeles-based construction and engineering firm, was named as the general contractor of the upcoming MSG Sphere performance venue slated to be built off of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

The futuristic music venue MSG Sphere, a joint venture between Sands Corp. and Madison Square Garden, will be a 400,000-square-foot, 18,000-seat, 360-foot-tall globe-shaped arena slated to be constructed on 63 acres of property located behind the behind the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The exterior of the sphere will feature 36 miles of variable intensity LED lighting, enabling the structure to allow outside spectators to peer through a transparent facade to watch the concert within; at higher lighting intensities, outside vision will be obscured. In addition, images of Las Vegas taken via a camera system could be projected upon the sphere.

New video of the proposed MSG Sphere was shown at a Clark County Commission meeting in 2018 according to KTNV 13 Las Vegas, a Scripps TV Station Group news program.

The venue will typically not feature sporting events, but rather cater to musical performances and concerts; however, the occasional boxing or MMA contest could be held there if needed. A 180,000-square-foot ceiling with massive video screens and a floor-based bass speaker system should give the venue a multi-genre and event capability.

AECOM is no stranger to construction projects in southern Nevada. The company, which has offices in Las Vegas, was also the builder of the T-Mobile Arena, a project that was completed three years ago for a cost of 375 million dollars. They are also responsible for the construction of the Mercedes-Benz stadium and State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as the USTA Billie Jean King national tennis center in Queens, New York.

AECOM has been doing preliminary work on the site since February, excavating dirt and preparing the structure’s foundation. Ground was officially broken on the site in late September of 2019.

The MGS Sphere project, according to reports, could create up to 3,500 construction jobs during its creation and an additional 4,400 permanent jobs on-site once the venue is completed and open for business. Currently, the projected cost of the project is now yet known, nor is the estimated date of completion. However, if it holds true to its ambitions design goals, the MGS Sphere will indeed be an extremely impressive attraction in Las Vegas’ already flashy and busy skyline.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Report: Las Vegas – Southern California High-Speed Rail Project Expected To Be Delayed by Two Years or More

LAS VEGAS – A $4 billion high-speed railway project that would have provided a direct connection between Las Vegas and Southern California that was scheduled by Virgin Trains USA has been delayed for possibly as much as two years, according to reports.

Virgin Trains, formerly known as Brightline, most recently had constructed a similar high-speed rail system in Florida, joining Orlando and Miami. Photo credit: Twitter/Gobrightline.com

The issue at hand, reports say, is that Virgin Trains USA was unable to secure the necessary tax abatements during the current legislative session, despite Virgin Trains’ vice president of government affairs Robert O’Malley having spent the past month in Carson City, Nevada, attempting to secure them. Due to the failure to do so, the high-speed railway project could be delayed as much as 24 months, if not longer.

The project is slated to take the form of a 185 mile long, dual rack system that would run along Interstate 15. Aside from the abatements, Virgin noted that they are not asking for any additional money from local government, such as grants or tax credits; the project will otherwise be privately funded.

Abatements are a critical part of the financing of any construction project, with many companies seeking them from those municipalities that they are conducting work within; especially is such work serves a vital public interest.

Virgin Trains has noted that they will attempt to once again secure the abatements when the 2021 legislative session begins, however, without these tax exemptions the project may not come to fruition. 

Virgin Trains, formerly known as Brightline, most recently had constructed a similar high-speed rail system in Florida, joining Orlando and Miami, with the company receiving the required abatements from state government in order to take on the work. Virgin representatives have touted the boon to the local economy and job market that the construction of a cross-state railway would provide for the Southern Nevada region. In addition, they also noted that a modern train system provides a more efficient and convenient transportation option for local residents – reportedly removing 4.5 million cars from I-15 annually – as well as one that produces far less in terms of environmental pollution overall.

It is not currently known why Nevada lawmakers were against the abatements to Virgin during the current legislative session, despite having done so for other companies in the recent past.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

Home Prices in Las Vegas Climb at Twice National Average

LAS VEGAS – While the prices of new home sales in Las Vegas have showed some signs of slowing in recent months – clearly indicating that the red-hot real estate market is approaching the maximum buyers are willing to pay – those prices are still growing at rates that are twice the average elsewhere in the United States, according to reports.

While prices of new home sales in Las Vegas have showed some signs of slowing in recent months those prices are still growing at rates that are twice the average elsewhere in the United States, according to reports. File photo, Pixabay.

In March 2019, the national average growth in home prices, year-over-year, was 3.7 percent, which contrasts sharply with the prices in Las Vegas, which are up 8.2 percent from the same period last year. S&P Dow Jones Indices released their S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index recently, which indicated that Southern Nevada continued to feature the fastest-rising prices in the 20 markets that the report covers, and has remained at the top of the list for the past 10 months.

In contrast, growth overall throughout the rest of the nation has slowed recently, reports indicate. Bucking that trend, Las Vegas’ August 2019 home prices represented a whopping jump of nearly 14 percent from the same period in 2018.

After Las Vegas recovered from the mid-2000’s burst of the housing bubble and subsequent economic recession, demand rose sharply for affordable housing as money and businesses began flocking to Southern Nevada due to the relatively low cost of living when compared to many other regions in the United States. However, the market – due to demand – saw house prices and mortgage rates steadily rise as sellers looked to take advantage of the desperate scramble for their wares. 

Experts have been predicting that eventually these sellers would hit a wall when prices began to get too high, and it appears that we are rapidly approaching that point now. Sales are reported beginning to drop and the once emaciated amount of houses available on the market has begun to slowly grow once again.

Las Vegas, according to experts, is still considered a fantastic seller’s market; the median sales price of a single-family home in April was $300,000, which represents an increase of 3.8 percent from 2018. However, in order to ensure that the market remains strong, sellers should consider having more realistic outlooks for pricing models to ensure stability for the real estate market in the long-term, especially in light of recently increased inventory due to the output of developers looking to get sorely-needed affordable homes and apartment complexes built and on the market.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.