On December 19, 2012, the City of North Las Vegas became the most recent local government in Nevada to adopt an ordinance requiring foreclosing mortgage holders to inspect, register and maintain certain properties. The North Las Vegas City Council approved Ordinance No. 2619, which emulates the vacant property foreclosure registry programs previously implemented in the City of Las Vegas and unincorporated areas of Clark County, which, all together, cover approximately 88 percent of the population in the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area. The North Las Vegas Ordinance is more expansive than the other foreclosure registry programs as it requires foreclosing mortgage holders, or those in receipt of a deed in lieu of foreclosure, to register the property regardless of whether or not it is vacant.

This alert describes the main features of the registry programs that are in effect in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and unincorporated areas of Clark County.

Las Vegas

The holder of a first-priority security interest (beneficiary), who commences the foreclosure of a commercial or residential property that is vacant or “appears to be vacant” and is located within Las Vegas, must comply with inspection, registration, maintenance and posting obligations. Under certain circumstances, a beneficiary may obtain a waiver from the requirements of the ordinances.

The beneficiary must have the property inspected within 15 calendar days after the foreclosure is commenced. If the property is vacant, then the beneficiary must designate a property manager and register the property with the city within 10 calendar days after the inspection. The beneficiary must pay a $200 initial registration fee and a $50 fee for each modification to the initial registration. The beneficiary must post the name and contact number of the beneficiary or property manager, and the property must be inspected and maintained on a monthly basis in accordance with the applicable standards until the property is no longer vacant or subject to foreclosure.

A beneficiary may be subject to criminal prosecution or a civil action for violations of the city ordinances. A violation is a misdemeanor and may result in fines of up to $1,000 per day or imprisonment for a maximum term of six months.

North Las Vegas

North Las Vegas imposes substantially similar obligations upon foreclosing lenders, but the program is broader because it includes both foreclosing lenders and holders of deeds in lieu of foreclosure and the obligations apply to both vacant and non-vacant property located in the city of North Las Vegas. Under certain circumstances, a beneficiary may obtain a waiver from the requirements of the ordinances.

In addition to a $200 initial registration fee and a $50 fee for each modification to the initial registration, the beneficiary must also pay $200 annually for continued registration. The beneficiary is subject to the same posting and maintenance requirements as well as the same noncompliance consequences as those in place in the city of Las Vegas.

Clark County

Clark County imposes substantially similar inspection, registration, maintenance obligations on beneficiaries foreclosing upon residential property that is vacant or “appears to be vacant” and is located within the unincorporated areas of the county. The county ordinance does not apply to commercial property and expressly provides that the county may seek equitable relief against a non-complying beneficiary, including injunctive relief or compelled abatement of a nuisance.

Similar to the Las Vegas and North Las Vegas ordinances, Clark County requires an inspection within 15 calendar days after the commencement of foreclosure as well as registration of a vacant property and designation of a property manager within 10 calendar days after the inspection. The county ordinance also imposes ongoing monthly inspection and maintenance obligations upon the beneficiary. The registration fee is equal to the actual cost to the county in an amount not to exceed $200. Under certain circumstances, a beneficiary may obtain a waiver from the requirements of the ordinances.