Looking for clear and concise information on Nebraska landlord tenant law? Get all your answers from this plain English guide to the Nebraska Landlord Tenant Code.
NE Landlord Tenant Law:
The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. The fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging $25 to $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.
Before running background or credit checks on tenant applicants, landlords must first obtain the applicant's written permission. [Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)]
For landlords to run background and credit checks, the tenant application form needs to ask for the applicant's:
The federal Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from rejecting prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, nationality, sex, *familial status or physical/mental disability. *Familial status means landlords cannot reject someone for having one or more children under 18. Familial status also includes pregnant women and people planning to have (or adapt) children under 18.
A tenancy agreement (also known as a lease agreement or rental
agreement) can be written or verbal. We highly, highly recommend going
for a written agreement - There are just so many details in a tenancy,
and therefore just too many things that a landlord and tenant can
The landlord and tenant can choose between a month to month tenancy or fixed term lease. For a month to month tenancy, the landlord or tenant can change its terms and conditions at the end of every month. For a fixed term lease, the landlord and tenant CANNOT change the lease terms and conditions during its duration... unless there is written consent from both parties.
In the absence of a rental agreement, the tenancy shall be month to month by default. If the tenant pays rent every week, then the tenancy shall be week to week. [NE 76-1414.(4)]
Nebraska landlord tenant law requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:
According to Nebraska landlord tenant law, your lease agreement CANNOT:
The landlord can ask for up to one month's rent as security deposit. [NE 76-1416.(1)]
If the tenant keeps a pet (that is not a *service animal), the landlord can ask for an additional pet deposit. The maximum amount for this pet deposit is 1/4 of one month's rent and it can only be deducted for pet-related damages. *A service animal is an animal (usually a dog) that is trained to assist disabled people.
There are no Nebraska landlord tenant laws on security deposit holding methods and security deposit interest.
Nebraska landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions (under Nebraska landlord tenant law) include:
The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use.
Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a list of security deposit deductions and refund any remaining deposit within 14 days. This list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing. [NE 76-1416.(2)]
If the landlord fails to follow Nebraska landlord tenant law for returning security deposits, the tenant may recover all money due and attorney fees. [NE 76-1416.(3)]
Omaha, Nebraska NE
The tenant has to pay the rent without demand or reminders. As long as the landlord and tenant are agreeable, they can choose the time, place and method of rent payment. [NE 76-1414.(3)]
By default, rent is payable once the tenancy begins and shall be paid on the same day at the start of every term of one month or less. Rent is to be collected at the rental property.
There are no specific Nebraska landlord tenant statutes on imposing charges for late rent payments. If the landlord wants to impose late rent charges, it must be specified in the lease agreement.
The penalty for a bounced check is $10 plus any handling fees paid by the landlord (to the financial institution). [NE 28-611.(5)]
There are no specific Nebraska landlord tenant statutes on raising rent.
We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:
The Nebraska Landlord Tenant Act requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition [NE 76-1419]:
For a single family residence, the tenant may take over the landlord's duties for waste disposal, heating, repairs and maintenance if ALL of the following conditions are met [NE 76-1419.(2)]:
Nebraska landlord tenant law also requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition [NE 76-1421]:
If the landlord fails to maintain the property (and it affects the
tenant's health and safety) OR severely violates the rental agreement,
the tenant can give the landlord a written notice stating the problem
and giving the landlord 14 days to correct it. [NE 76-1425.(1)]
If the problem is corrected within 14 days (of the landlord receiving this notice), the tenancy shall continue. If the problem isn't corrected within 14 days, the tenancy shall terminate in 30 days and the tenant can move out.
However if the landlord violates the tenancy agreement in a similar manner within six months, the tenant can send the landlord a 14 day written notice stating the landlord's violation and lease termination date. In this case, the tenancy will have to terminate.
In addition, the tenant can sue the landlord for direct damages and obtain a court order (that requires the landlord to do, or stop doing something). If the landlord's violations are deliberate, the tenant may also recover attorney fees and consequential damages. [NE 76-1425.(2)]
If the landlord fails to provide an essential service (such as heat, water, electricity, plumbing or sanitation), the tenant has three choices [NE 76-1427]:
1. The tenant can pay the bills and deduct the cost from rent
tenant has to inform the landlord in writing that he or she intends to
pay the utility bill(s) and deduct the cost from the rent. The tenant
should keep the receipts for all related costs. If the landlord did not supply essential services on purpose, the tenant can also recover up to one month's rent plus attorney fees.
2. The tenant can sue the landlord for damages
The tenant can recover damages based on how much the rental value of the property has fallen.
3. The tenant can move to substitute housing for the time being
The tenant can give the landlord written notice that he or she is moving into substitute housing. The tenant doesn't have to pay rent until the problem is fixed. If the landlord did not supply essential services on purpose, the tenant can also recover up to one month's rent plus attorney fees.
According to Nebraska landlord tenant law, the landlord is only allowed to enter the property for the following reasons [NE 76-1423.(1)]:
In the above situations, the landlord must inform the tenant at least 24 hours in advance before entering the property. The landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours. [NE 76-1423.(3)]
According to Nebraska landlord tenant law, the landlord may enter the property without permission in the following situations:
The tenant cannot deny access if the landlord has a valid reason to enter the property. [NE 76-1438.(1)] Otherwise the landlord can EITHER
In addition, the landlord can also sue the tenant for actual damages plus attorney fees.
The landlord must have a valid reason and obtain the tenant's permission (whenever required) to enter the property. [NE 76-1438.(2)] If the landlord fails to do so or harasses the tenant, the tenant can EITHER
In addition, the tenant can also sue the landlord for one month's rent plus attorney fees.
There are no specific Nebraska landlord tenant laws on subletting.
We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:
Lincoln, Nebraska NE
Before terminating a tenancy, Nebraska landlord tenant law requires you to give the other party a written
notice to quit in advance [NE 76-1437]:
Week to week tenancy
Month to month tenancy
If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:
Landlord failed to maintain property
Landlord violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties
Property damage due to fire, disaster or unavoidable accident
If the property is badly damaged by fire, disasters or unavoidable
accidents, the tenant can immediately move out and stop paying rent. The
tenant must inform the landlord that he or she intends to terminate the
tenancy within 14 days of moving out. The tenancy shall terminate once the tenant moves out. [NE 76-1429]
After the tenant moves out, the landlord must return the security deposit (after any deductions) to the tenant. The tenant won't have to pay rent starting from the date of the fire or natural disaster, so the landlord must also return any prepaid rent to the tenant.
If only part of the property is damaged, the tenant should move out of the damaged area. The rent amount will be lowered based on how much of the property is still livable.
According to Nebraska landlord tenant law, the landlord may evict the tenant from the property for the following reasons:
Tenant violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties
Tenant did not pay rent
Tenant or related person engaged in prohibited activities on property
If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement in a *significant manner, the landlord can send the tenant a 30 day written notice to terminate the tenancy. *Significant manner refers to situations that affects human health and safety. [NE 76-1431.(1)]
This written notice has to state what is the tenant's violation or failure in duty. If the tenant corrects the problem within 14 days, the tenant may stay.
However if the tenant violates the tenancy agreement (or fails in his or her duty) in a similar manner within six months, the landlord can evict the tenant by sending him or her a written 14 day notice. In this case, the tenant must move out.
In addition, the landlord can sue the tenant for damages and obtain a court order (that requires the tenant to do, or stop doing something). If the tenant's violations are deliberate, the landlord may also recover attorney fees. [NE 76-1431.(3)]
If the tenant did not pay rent on time, the landlord can send the tenant a three day written notice to terminate the tenancy. This notice must state the amount of rent owed and inform the tenant that he or she can choose to pay or move out. [NE 76-1431.(2)]
If the rent is paid within three days, the tenant may stay.
If the tenant (or tenant's occupant or tenant's guest) engaged in prohibited activity on the property, the landlord can evict the tenant by sending the tenant a written five day notice to quit. In this case, the tenant must move out. [NE 76-1431.(4)]
Examples of prohibited activities include:
According to Nebraska landlord tenant law, the landlord CANNOT force the tenant to move out by shutting off utilities (electricity, water, gas, sanitation), changing the locks, taking the tenant's belongings or taking possession of the property by force without a court hearing. [NE 76-1430]
If the landlord forces the tenant to move out with (the unlawful methods above) or shuts off utilities, the tenant can EITHER
If the tenant chooses to terminate the tenancy agreement, the landlord will have to return all prepaid rents and security deposit (after deductions) to him or her.
In addition, the tenant may also sue the landlord for three month's rent and attorney fees.
According to Nebraska landlord tenant law, the tenant has abandoned the property when he or she was absent from the property for a full rental period or 30 days (whichever is shorter) AND did not inform the landlord that he or she will be away. [NE 76.1432.(3)]
Once the property is abandoned, the landlord may immediately enter it, clean it, and re-rent it.
As long as the landlord makes a proper effort to re-rent the property at a fair rate, the abandoning tenant will be responsible for paying rent until the tenancy ends. If a new tenant is moving in before the tenancy ends, then the abandoning tenant can stop paying rent once the new tenant moves in.
If the tenant's personal belongings remain on the property after the lease has expired or the tenant has abandoned the property, the landlord has to deliver the tenant a written notice to the tenant's last known address. [NE 69-2303]
This written notice has to:
*The deadline shall depend on how this notice is delivered: If the landlord delivers this notice in person, the landlord has to give the tenant at least 7 days to recover the belongings. If the landlord sent this notice by first class mail, the landlord has to give the tenant at least 14 days to collect them.
In addition, this written notice has to contain ONE of the following statements [NE 69-2304]:
According to the Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act, the landlord can leave the belongings on the property or move them to another place for safekeeping. While the landlord has to make a reasonable effort to store the abandoned belongings, the landlord isn't responsible for any damage or losses... unless it's due to the landlord's abuse or neglect. [NE 69-2306]
Nebraska Landlord Tenant Law: Nebraska Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act