November 17, 2014
By Daniel Gutierrez
Channel 13 News

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Some of the biggest complaints we get at Action News involve rental properties.

We recently spoke to one local man who says he moved into a filthy house, crawling with bugs, and even a green pool in the backyard.

"It looks like they never cleaned after the last tenants," said Anthony Lund.

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Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Some of the biggest complaints we get at Action News involve rental properties.

We recently spoke to one local man who says he moved into a filthy house, crawling with bugs, and even a green pool in the backyard.

"It looks like they never cleaned after the last tenants," said Anthony Lund.

He moved his family here from Ohio, just two weeks ago. He and his wife searched for rental properties online and came across a home near Torrey Pines and West Lake Mead.

"We went off the pictures we found on Craigslist," said Anthony.

Because Anthony was starting a new job right away, he decided to sign a lease before seeing the property. But when they got to the house, he said it was filthy with unfinished renovation projects, a nasty pool, and worst of all, lots of spiders and roaches.

"You've seen all the pictures of the bugs. And that's not even accounting how many I killed," said Anthony.

He called to complain, and said his landlord is fixing things. But he reached out to Contact 13, because he feels it never should have come to this.

"Spend the money to have preventative maintenance. Don't just wait for a tenant to come in," said Anthony.

Contact 13 called the landlord for answers. He said he's working to make sure every issue is corrected. And as a sign of good faith, he hasn't even collected the entire move in deposit.

So what are your rights as a renter, in case you find yourself in a situation like Anthony?

"A landlord is obligated to turn over the property in a habitable condition," said Jim Berchtold with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.

He said you should never sign a lease, before you see the property. But if you do, there's something you should know, and listen carefully, it has to be before you actually move in.

"If you want to just terminate the lease, you can give the landlord a 5 day written notice, saying I'm not accepting this property. I'm terminating the lease," said Berchtold.

He said you must explain in writing, why the home doesn't comply with the lease agreement. And if the landlord decides to sue, make sure you take plenty of pictures, supporting your claim.

Here's the Contact 13 bottom line: If you find there's an issue or repair needed at your rental, contact your landlord in writing. Make sure the landlord signs something, acknowledging that they're going to fix the issue. A promise doesn't mean anything, unless it's in writing.