Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Nebraska and understand their responsibilities.
Quick Facts for Nebraska
- Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent, violation of rental agreement & illegal behaviors
- Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 7-Day Notice to Pay Rent
- Notice Required to Terminate without Cause: 30-Day Notice to Vacate for tenants at will
- Notice Required for Lease Violations: 14-Day Notice to Remedy (if not cured, tenant must move out within 30 days)
- Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: 5 days (via termination notice)
- Evicting a Tenant With No Lease: 30-Day Notice to Quit; if tenant refuses, file a Petition for Restitution
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant?
The eviction process is always unpredictable. Much of the unpredictability associated with the timeframe an eviction takes in the state of Nebraska is related to the amount of notice a landlord is required to provide to a tenant when he/she is seeking an eviction as well as the tenant’s willingness to fight the eviction process.
At the best of times, an eviction can be timely and costly. Each state has established a process that landlords are expected to follow to protect tenants from wrongful eviction. In the state of Nebraska, the amount of time a landlord is required to provide before he/she may proceed with the eviction process varies widely depending upon the reason an eviction is being sought. The length of the notice the landlord is required to provide ranges in time from five days to 30 days.
Once a notice has expired without successful resolution, the landlord must make a claim with the court. In all cases court processes may prove timely and expensive. The amount of time it takes for a landlord to reclaim possession of a rental property after filing a Petition for Restitution depends largely upon the tenant’s willingness to fight the process.
Reasons for Eviction
As all states, the state of Nebraska has established a set of reasons that a landlord may legitimately evict tenants. These reasons include:
- Failure to pay rent
- Violation of the terms of the lease or rental agreement
- Illegal activity
Illegal activities that may justify an eviction in the state of Nebraska include:
- Threat or physical assault
- Illegal use of or threatened use of a firearm
- Illegal possession of a controlled substance
- Any activity or threat to the health or safety of another person
When a landlord is seeking to evict a tenant in the state of Nebraska, he/she must first provide the tenant with a written notice. The length of the notice is determined by the reasons the landlord is seeking an eviction and may be delivered by hand, delivered by using first class mail, or delivered by posting on the rental property.
Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent
When a tenant fails to pay rent within the amount of time specified in the lease, the landlord is required to provide him/her with a written Notice to Quit N.R.S. 76-1431(2). If the tenant fails to pay the outstanding rent within seven days of the written request, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Petition for Restitution with the court.
Eviction if Rent has Been Paid
When a tenant is renting a property without benefit of a written lease, he/she is considered an
“At-will” tenant and may be evicted without cause. In order to evict an “at-will” month-to-month tenant the landlord must first provide a written 30-Day Notice to Quit before he/she can continue with the eviction process. If the tenant continues to remain on the property beyond the end of the 30 days allowed on the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Petition for Restitution with the court.
Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease
In the state of Nebraska, a landlord is required to provide the tenant with a written 14-Day Notice to Cure when there is a possibility for the tenant to rectify a violation to the terms of the l-ease or rental agreement (N.R.S. 76-1431(1). In the case of a violation of terms, the tenant is required to move within 30 days if he/she has not remedied the cause for which the landlord is seeking correction.
Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior
In the state of Nebraska, a landlord may evict a tenant for illegal behavior (N.R.S. 76-1431(4). The landlord may provide the tenant with a 5-Day Notice. This notice may allow the tenant to rectify the issue if this is a possibility. However, the landlord is not required to offer the tenant the opportunity to rectify the situation. If the issue is not corrected, or the landlord does not offer this option, and the tenant fails to move from the property within the amount of time allowed in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Petition for Restitution with the court. The landlord may seek to evict the tenant when the tenant, a member of the tenant’s household, a guest, or any other person under the tenant’s control or who has been given permission by the tenant to be on the property, engages in any violent crime, illegal drug sale, or any other behavior that places the safety or health of other tenants at risk.
The landlord may not seek the eviction of a tenant if the tenant has sought a protective order, restraining order, or other legal relief in regards to the person that committed the illegal activity. The landlord is not allowed to seek the eviction of the tenant if the tenant reported the illegal activity to a law enforcement agency in an attempt to initiate criminal action against the person participating in the illegal activity.
How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant When There is no Lease?
When a tenant is renting without benefit of a written lease, the landlord may seek to evict him/her without cause. When the tenant is renting on a month-to-month basis, the landlord must first provide a written 30-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant fails to vacate the property within the thirty days allowed, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Petition for Restitution with the court.
When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted
In the state of Nebraska, it is illegal for a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant for filing a complaint regarding unsafe living conditions with a health inspector or government agency. It is illegal for a landlord to seek to evict a tenant for forming or joining a tenants’s union or to base an eviction on a tenants age, race, religion,, color, sex, familial stauts, or disability status as well.
After the Notice Has Expired
The landlord may file a Petition for Restitution with the county or district court where the property is located. The landlord must also file a Summons and Complaint within three days of the filing of the Petition for Restitution. The landlord may use the Sheriff’s Civil Division to serve the tenant with these papers. If personal service can not be completed, a copy of the documents may be posted at the property with a second copy mailed to the tenant’s last known address.
The Summons and Complaint will provide the tenant with details regarding the complaint along with the time and place of the trial and the Answer Date. The trial will be held between 10 and 14 days after the summons is issued. Either party may request a jury trial, and the tenant may ask for up to a seven-day continuance. Special consideration may be given and a longer continuance provided if the tenant provides evidence of extraordinary circumstances and provides a surety bond to the court.
The tenant must appear in court is he/she wishes to fight the eviction or bring a counterclaim. If the tenant fails to appear in court, the judge may provide a default ruling in favor of the landlord so long as he/she can prove the tenant breached some provision of the lease.
Once Eviction Occurs
If the court finds in favor of the landlord, the court will declare the rental agreement ended and will, upon request, issue a Writ of Restitution. The writ directs the sheriff or constable to return the rental property to the landlord. The sheriff or constable will tell the tenant when they must vacate the property. This tenant will generally have between three and ten days to vacate the rental property. If the sheriff is required to physically evict the tenant, the landlord must arrange for someone to physically remove any of the tenants remaining personal property. The sheriff will then remove any tenant who remain on the property and advise them that they will be charged with trespassing if they return. Requests for rent, fees, and/or court costs must be brought in a separate legal action.
Make sure to read Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1431 before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.