Pursuant to Nebraska law, (Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Act) if an oral or written rental agreement exists or a landlord accepts rent in exchange for inhabiting a property, then tenants have certain rights. These rights include a safe and habitable premises and the right to take some forms of alternative action.
Landlords also have certain rights, such as the right to collect rent, be reimbursed for damages in excess of normal wear and tear, and pursue eviction in case of a lease violation.
Note: These rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
Landlord Responsibilities in Nebraska
In Nebraska, landlords are required to provide a habitable dwelling and make requested repairs in a timely manner (14 days). If they do not, then Nebraska tenants may withhold rent provided they provide written notice to the landlord
Nebraska landlords are or are not responsible for the following amenities under the state’s warranty of habitability.
|Heating and cooling||Yes|
Landlords may not evict tenants in retaliation for exercising their right to habitable premises.
Tenant Responsibilities in Nebraska
Aside from making regular rental payments, Nebraska tenants must:
- Keep the unit safe and habitable
- Remove garbage and maintain proper sanitation
- Make small repairs or maintenance when necessary
- Not disturb other tenants or neighbors
Evictions in Nebraska
- Nonpayment of rent – If a tenant does not pay rent, then after any applicable grace period, the landlord may issue a 7-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. If the tenant does not pay, then the landlord can pursue formal eviction.
- Lease violation – If a lease violation occurs then the landlord can issue a 14-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. If the behavior is not remedied in the specified timeframe then they have 30 days to move out before facing eviction.
- Illegal acts – If a landlord has documentation of illegal activity occurring on the premises then they may issue a 5-Day Unconditional Notice to Quit.
At-will tenants in good standing are entitled to at least 30 days of advanced notice before moving out. With-cause evictions are handled the same as with leaseholders.
It is also illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant as a form of retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Security Deposits in Nebraska
- Standard Limit/Maximum Amount – 1 month’s rent.
- Time Limit for Returns – 14 days.
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – If a landlord wrongfully withholds a security deposit then they may be liable to pay up to twice the security deposits amount.
- Allowable Deductions – unpaid rent, damages that exceed wear and tear.
Lease Termination in Nebraska
Notice requirements. If a tenant wishes to break a lease, then they must give the following amount of notice.
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Needed|
Early termination. Nebraska tenants may legally break a lease early for the following reasons:
- Early lease termination clause
- Active military duty
- Uninhabitable unit
- Landlord harassment
If a tenant breaks a lease early then they may be responsible for paying rent until the end of the original term. Nebraska law requires landlords to make a reasonable effort to re-rent the unit.
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Nebraska
- Rent control. Nebraska law neither enforces nor prohibits rent control. As such, landlords can charge whatever they want for rental prices, but rent control policies could be instituted in the future.
- Rental increases. In the absence of a lease provision stating so, landlords are not required to provide advanced notice before raising the rent and there is no limit to how high they can raise rental prices.
- Rent-related fees. Landlords can charge whatever fees they want as long as they are included in the lease agreement. Returned check fees are limited to $10.
Housing Discrimination in Nebraska
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex, or disability. This rule does not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations. Nebraska does not enshrine extra protection for any groups not outlined in the Fair Housing Act.
Discriminatory acts & penalties. The Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission handles cases relating to housing discrimination. The following behaviors may be considered discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected group:
- Refusing to buy or sell on a bona fide offer
- Offering different lease terms of conditions
- Falsely denying unit availability
- Offering different finance options
If you feel like you have been the victim of housing discrimination then you can file a complaint with the state commission online here or through the phone.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Nebraska
Landlord Right to Entry in Nebraska
Landlords must provide at least 24-hours advanced notice before entering a property. Landlords can enter without permission in cases of emergencies.
Small Claims Court in Nebraska
Nebraska’s small claims court will see rent-related cases amounting to less than $3,500. The statute of limitations on written contracts is 5 years and is 4 years for oral contracts.
Mandatory Disclosures in Nebraska
Nebraska landlords are only required to make 2 mandatory disclosures:
- Lead-based paint. For homes that were built before 1978, landlords must provide information about the concentrations of lead paint used in the building.
- Authorized agents. Landlords must provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and operating the property.
Changing the Locks in Nebraska
Nebraska tenants may be able to change their locks provided the lease agreement does not expressly forbid it. Alternatively, landlords are not permitted to change the locks on a tenant as a form of eviction.
Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Resources
Please check your local county or municipality for extra rules and regulations. To learn more, please refer to the below digital resources.
Landlord and Tenant Handbook – Produced by Legal Aid of Nebraska, this handbook goes into greater detail about many common landlord-tenant laws, as well as their implications for both parties.
Filing a Small Claims Case in Nebraska – This primer through the Nebraska Judicial Branch website is designed to educate landlords and tenants alike on the process of filing a small claims court case.
Landlord-Tenant Checklist – Nebraska landlords in particular can use this example checklist to ensure that they are providing all of the necessary amenities assigned to them under the state’s warranty of habitability.