Jim Valentine: The Legislature is in session | NevadaAppeal.com

Jim Valentine: The Legislature is in session

Jim Valentine

This is the "other year," the every other year when the Nevada Legislature is in session. So, what can happen in 120 days every other year? Actually, a lot depending on who has the "next great idea" on how to save us from ourselves. When you look at what other government entities do to their constituents involving their real estate, it hardly seems likely that it could happen here in Nevada. Be aware, it can and it might.

Rent control has been an egregious affront to private property rights in some major cities. It limits what an owner can charge for rent and can control their ability to vacate and change the circumstances of the property. The tenant ends up in control of the property of which they have no financial investment. Such controls do not consider the rental, or real estate, market; rather, they protect the tenant at the expense of the property owner. Some might consider that a method of uncompensated taking. Regardless, there are rumors of such controls coming to Nevada. Pay attention and talk to your legislative representatives.

One reason investors move their portfolio from California to Nevada is our protection of the property owner. This includes our reasonable eviction laws. California laws have evolved to such a protective wall for the tenants that it can cost the property owner much time and money to get a tenant out of a property. Another legislative rumor is that of a new law extending the time for eviction for nonpayment of rent. Unbelievable that we would have legislators mirror what is going wrong in our neighbor state, but it appears as if some of them have moved here from there and want to make this more like what they left. Hmm.

Once things start tipping toward the absurd, there is no end to where it can go. There are jurisdictions around the world where you are charged a percentage of your property value if it is vacant. Not using it, not receiving income, but in a governmental effort to create housing they make a law to force the owner to have it occupied or experience financial harm. Other governmental bodies have limited dual agency, interfering with your ability to choose the agent of choice even if that agent is representing the other side of the transaction. Oftentimes, such transactions save time and make things smoother, sometimes not. It should be up to the customer/client, however, to choose, not government to dictate.

Then, there is the practice of "shadow flipping" in which the purchase contract is sold prior to the transaction being consummated. While it isn't prevalent here, it can be in more populated or in high demand areas. If a buyer wants to buy a property from someone that has a controlling contract on it, why should they not be allowed to buy what they want. It will save redundant closing costs and everyone goes away happy. Why should government get involved with private commerce in this manner? They do in other areas.

Real property taxes affect everybody, owner and tenant. If taxes go up, they will be passed through to the tenant. Talk of raising real property taxes should be carefully considered.

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Legislators should consider the longterm consequences of their actions. Don't just grab money for government at the expense of property owners, but run a smooth government with what you have that is working. Pay attention here, folks. Also, watch that games aren't played with the Real Property Transfer Tax. It seems harmless to grab money from real estate transactions, but it can have unintended consequences that will have an adverse affect on the state economy.

Our advice: Regardless of your political affiliation or beliefs, it is important that we all work together to protect our private property rights and keep real estate real. It impacts us all and should be respected, not taken lightly. Be diligent and protect your investment and your "castle." Watch the Legislature!

The government is of the people. We are the people — remind your legislators if they get goofy. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704, dpwtigers@hotmail.com.