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Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Laws

Nebraska Landlord Tenant LawsThis article is intended to be an online resource for Nebraska landlords.  We summarize key Nebraska Landlord-Tenant laws that are most applicable to residential rental units.

This article is not qualified for legal advice.  Individuals seeking guidance need to work with a legal advisor who is qualified in the jurisdiction.  Nebraska Landlord Tenant Laws and statutes may vary from county to county or city to city, this article provides state-level laws and statutes. 

Also, laws and statutes are subject to change and may cause sections of this article to be outdated.  We provide links to assist landlords and tenants to the state statute page for further research.

Click here if you are seeking renters insurance in Nebraska.

 

Quick Facts for Real Estate Investors Considering Nebraska

Nebraska landlord-tenant laws are considered Landlord-friendly.

There are 1.9 million residents in Nebraska.  Major metropolitan markets in Nebraska are:

  1. Lincoln: Estimated population of 949,442, which 38% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $811.
  2. Omaha: Estimated population of 357,887, which 35% of residents are renter occupied.  The average rent is $891.

 

 

 

SECURITY DEPOSIT LAWS IN NEBRASKA

 

Does Nebraska require security deposits? 

Nebraska does not require security deposits.

 

Is a security deposit receipt required in Nebraska? 

No Statute.

 

How much security deposit can a landlord charge in Nebraska? 

Nebraska sets a maximum of 1 month’s rent, plus a pet deposit capped at one-quarter month’s rent.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1416(1))

 

 

Storage Requirements for Security Deposits in Nebraska: 

No Statute.

 

 

Can security deposits be commingled with other assets in Nebraska? 

Landlords can commingle deposits with their personal assets as there are no storage requirements.

 

Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in Nebraska? 

Landlords do not have to share the interest earned.  No statute.

 

 

When must a landlord return the deposit by in Nebraska? 

Landlords must return the security deposits within 14 days to the mailing address or instructions provided by the tenant.  If no instructions or addresses were provided, the landlord shall mail, by first-class, the remainder of the security deposit to the tenant’s last-known mailing address.

If the mail is returned as undeliverable or the balance remains outstanding after 30 days, the landlord must deposit the security deposit with the State Treasurer by the 60-day mark after the mailing.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1416(2))

 

 

When can a landlord in Nebraska withhold a security deposit?

At the end of a lease, the landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit.  However, landlords may withhold all or portions of a tenant’s security deposit for (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1416):

 

  • Unpaid rent and/or fees
  • Damages from tenant’s noncompliance of the rental agreement or statutory Tenant Duties

 

 

 

Nonrefundable fees: 

No Statute.

 

Pet Deposits and Additional Fees:

Pet deposits cannot exceed one-quarter’s monthly rent.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1416(1))

 

Require a written description / itemized list of damages and charges?

Landlords are required to provide written and itemized list of damages sent per tenants instructions or certified-mail.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1416(2))

 

What happens to Nebraska landlords that fail to comply with returning the security deposit?

No Statute defining penalties for landlords.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RENTAL AGREEMENT LAWS IN NEBRASKA

 

Rental agreements required in Nebraska:

Rental agreements are required for leases 12 months or longer.  We always recommend having a legal lease agreement to prevent future complications.

If you need a lease, Burbz offers an online Nebraska rental lease agreement.

 

What are the required lease provisions in Nebraska?

Nebraska requires certain provisions to be included in the lease agreement.  Besides both the landlord and tenant names, the landlord should also list:

  • Landlords name, address and phone number
  • Address of rental property
  • Rent Amount and Due Date.  A grace period, if any is included.
  • Security deposit amount and terms
  • Length of the lease agreement
  • Condition of occupancy
  • Adequate description of premises/property
  • Process for requesting maintenance and repairs
  • Subleasing policy
  • Landlord’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
  • Tenant’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
  • Late Fees and Penalties
  • Pet policies
  • Cleaning Fees
  • Other fees

 

Landlords cannot include (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1415):

  • Tenant agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies under the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
  • Tenant confesses judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement
  • Tenant indemnify or limits the liability of the landlord, including costs or attorney fees
  • Tenant agrees to pay for the landlord’s attorney’s fees
  • Penalty:  Tenants may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees if the landlord deliberately uses a rental agreement containing these provisions.

 

 

What are the rental agreement notice requirements in Nebraska: 

Fixed-End or Year-to-Year: Both lease types expire and do not require any notice.

Month-to-Month: Must provide at least 30 day’s written notice prior to a periodic rent due date.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1437(2))  Read our guide on Month-to-Month rent.

Week-to-Week: Must provide at least 7 day’s written notice prior to a periodic rent due date. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1437(1))

 

 

What happens when the tenant remains without consent after the rental agreement expires or terminates?

Landlords bring an action for possession if the tenant remains.  Holdover in bad faith, the landlord may recover up to 3 month’s periodic rent or 3 times the actual damages.  Whichever is greater.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1437(3))

 

 

Does the lease automatically renew in Nebraska? 

Leases will expire upon the stated end date in the lease.

 

Rent Increase Notice:

Landlords can include a provision defining the rent increase notice as long as the terms and conditions are not prohibited by the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, or any other rule of law regarding rent and agreements.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1414(1))

 

Rent Grace Period for Residential:

Nebraska does not have a grace period.  Landlord is allowed to begin the eviction process the day is delinquent.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1414(3))

 

 

Prepaid Rent:

Landlords are allowed to collect prepaid rent, no statute defining the limits.  However, any prepaid rent may be applied to the payment of rent and the amount of damages as of the result from the tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1416(2))

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATE FEES AND LIMITS IN NEBRASKA

Late Fees for Residential:

Landlords can charge a late fee / penalty.  Nebraska does not define a maximum.  The late fee should be stated in the lease agreement. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1414(1))

 

 

 

 

NEBRASKA LEASE TERMINATIONS / NOTICES TO QUIT

 

In Nebraska, lease agreements between landlords and tenants can be terminated.  Read our blog for landlords about handling early lease terminations.  Here are the cause and effects:

 

What is the Pay or Quit for Nonpayment requirement in Nebraska?

Nebraska requires the landlord to send a 7 day notice.  If rent is not paid, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1431(2))

 

 

How many days must a landlord allow before terminating for a Lease Violation?

Landlords must provide a 14 notice to remedy or cure the violation.  If tenants fail to do so, the rental agreement can be terminated within 30 days after the receipt of the notice of the breach.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1431(1))

 

Nebraska allows immediate lease termination if the tenant is responsible for:

Landlords may send a 5 day written notice without the right to cure if the tenant (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1431(4)):

  • Tenant, occupant, or member of the household engages in any violent criminal activity on the premises
  • Tenant is involved in the sale of any controlled substance on the premises
  • Tenant is involved in other activity that threatens the health or safety of other tenants, landlords, or agents
  • Tenant threatens or actually damages property

 

 

 

 

NEBRASKA LAWS ON REPAIRS

 

Nebraska requires landlords to provide a habitable property for tenants to live and enjoy.  There are specific provisions defining how tenants can remedy repairs if the landlord fails to do so. 

How many days must the tenant give for non-emergency repairs? 

Tenants must provide written 30-day notice and allow the landlord 14 days for needed repairs. If the repairs are not completed by the end of 14 days, the tenant can terminate the rental agreement.  If the same non-compliance issue recurs within a 6 month period, the rental agreement may be terminated.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1425)

 

Can tenants withhold rent for landlords’ failure to provide essential services (i.e. water, heat, etc.)?

Nebraska does not allow tenants to withhold rent.  Tenants can send a notice for the landlord to remedy the issue within 14 days or the lease agreement can be terminated.  Nebraska currently does not have any statute allowing rent to be withheld or deducted.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1425)

 

 

 

NEBRASKA LANDLORD LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Landlords have an obligation to the tenants, which include:

  • Comply with all applicable building and housing codes affecting health and safety
  • Maintain in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, HVAC and other appliances, such as elevators
  • Shall make repairs and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition
  • Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition
  • Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for ashes, garbage, rubbish.
  • Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times

 

According to (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1419)

 

 

NEBRASKA TENANT LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Tenants must dispose of all rubbish and garbage, refrain from unreasonable use of electrical, heating, and plumbing fixtures, meet all obligations lawfully by the code enforcement agency, refrain from willfully destroying or damaging the structure, take in additional occupants, rent or sublease without the owner’s consent. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1421)

 

 

 

 

 

NEBRASKA EVICTION LAWS

 

Can landlords do a ‘self help’ eviction?

In Nebraska, it is illegal for landlords to cause the tenant to quit the rental unit involuntarily.  Except in the case of abandonment or surrender of the property.

Are landlords allowed to lock out tenants by changing locks?

The landlord cannot change or remove the doors or locks. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1436)

Are landlords allowed to turn off utilities?

Landlords cannot turn off utilities. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1436)

 

Do landlords have to make a reasonable attempt to mitigate damages when re-renting the rental unit?

Yes.  Landlords must make reasonable efforts to mitigate damages. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1405)

 

 

 

NEBRASKA LAWS ON RETALIATION

 

Nebraska laws state a landlord cannot terminate a lease, refuse a lease renewal or raise rents when:

  • Tenant submitted, or threatened to, a complaint to government agency for building or health code violation
  • Tenant has organized or joined a tenants’ union, or similar organization

Nebraska does not define a period of time that would result in retaliating actions.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1439)

 

 

 

 

LAWS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

 

Nebraska has no statutes to protect a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, or stalking.  Burbz encourages landlords to work with these victims in good faith and help prevent or reduce the situation.  This includes changing locks or letting the victim out of their lease agreement to find a safer home.

If you are a victim, please search The Nebraska Coalition To End Sexual and Domestic Violence site for a help line:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

 

 

 

NEBRASKA LAWS FOR LOCKS AND LANDLORDS

Nebraska does not have any statewide laws regarding locks for landlords.  Tenant cannot remove, replace or add a lock without the written permission from the landlord.  If the tenant does with permission, they must provide the landlord with a key. 

 

 

 

 

NEBRASKA PET LAWS & PET POLICIES

Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Laws does not have any specific pet laws.  Landlords are legally allowed to create their own pet policies and requirements.  Including tolerance for breeds, size, types, and more.  Read our guide to pet policies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO LANDLORDS IN NEBRASKA NEED A RENTAL LICENSE?

 

According to Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Laws, landlords do not need a rental license in Nebraska.

Landlords and owners of residential rental property do not need to register the property.  Local cities may have different requirements, we recommend you research the local city-specific laws. Baltimore in particular has regulations for licensing.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTICE OF ENTRY LAWS IN NEBRASKA

Do landlords in Nebraska have to provide notice of entry? 

Nebraska requires the landlord to provide at least 24 hours notice of the intent to enter, only at reasonable times. This includes:

  • Non-emergency maintenance and repairs
  • Improvements to property
  • Inspections
  • Showing prospective tenants, contractors, mortgagees or buyers.

 

When can a landlord enter without notice:

Landlords may enter due to an emergency or if the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the property.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1423(2) & (4))

 

 

Can landlords enter for non-emergency maintenance and repairs?

Yes, with proper notice. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1423(3))

 

 

Can landlords enter for showings?

Yes, with proper notice. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1423(3))

 

 

 

Can landlords enter for emergencies without notice?

Yes. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1423(2))

 

 

Can landlords enter during Tenant’s extended absence?

Yes, when the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1423(4))

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEBRASKA SUBLEASE AND ASSIGNMENT PROVISIONS

Landlords should include a clause in the lease agreement to prevent subleasing.  Landlords may evict a tenant for subletting or earning rent without the knowledge and consent of the landlord.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1470)

 

 

 

 

TENANT ABANDONED PROPERTY IN NEBRASKA

 

Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Laws do not state any requirements for abandoned personal property left by the tenant.  We encourage landlords to make an attempt to notify the tenant of any valuable property left behind and provide a 30-day window to retrieve the property.  It is good practice to hold onto receipts and records for at least 1 year.

 

 

 

 

REQUIRED RENTAL AGREEMENT DISCLOSURES FOR NEBRASKA LEASES

 

Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Laws requires the following be included with all Rental Agreement Disclosures:

 

Lead Paint Disclosure:  Yes.  Federal law requires every landlord to disclose known information on lead-based paint and hazards.  Landlords must provide this EPA-approved pamphlet.

Name and Address of Owners: The landlord must disclose in writing the name and address of the property owner and property manager.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1417)

 

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ Chapter 76 : §§ 76-1401 – 76-14, 111:  Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ Chapter 69:  §§ 69-2301 to 69-2314 – Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act

Nebraska Department of Insurance

Nebraska Consumer Protection Division

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Nebraska

 

NEBRASKA RELATED COURT INFO & LINKS

 

Nebraska Small Claims Court Limits:

$3,500 is the limit for small claims court. 

 

 

Nebraska Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims:

No, landlord-tenants cases are held at the county or district courts.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1409) and (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1441)

Nebraska County Courts

Filing a Small Claims Case in Nebraska

Nebraska District Courts

Nebraska Judicial Branch

Nebraska Attorney General

Nebraska State Bar Association

Legal Aid of Nebraska

Lincoln Housing Authority

 

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