Landlords and tenants will face legal issues during the rental process, but not every issue needs to involve the courts. This article will help you learn how the laws in your state handle everything from security deposits to termination notices so you can navigate these with ease.
This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change and may vary by county or city. You are responsible for performing your own research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.
If you have legal questions or concerns, we recommend consulting with the appropriate government agencies and a qualified lawyer in your area. Your state bar association may have a referral service that can help you find a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant law.
Official Rules and Regulations
Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1401 – 76-1449 – Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 76-1450 to 76-14,111 – Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Act
Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 69-2301 to 69-2314 – Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act
[ GUIDE ] Lincoln Housing Authority – Landlord Tenant Law (PDF)
[ GUIDE ] Legal Aid of Nebraska – Landlord and Tenant Handbook (PDF)
[ CHECKLIST ] Legal Aid of Nebraska – Landlord-Tenant Move-in/Move-out Checklist (PDF)
Security Deposit Maximum: One months’ rent, plus a pet deposit of no more than one quarter of one months’ rent if pets are allowed and the tenant has a pet. (§§ 76-1416(1))
Security Deposit Interest: No statute.
Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute.
Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: Limited to no more than one quarter of one months’ rent (§§ 76-1416(1)).
Non-Refundable Fees: No statute.
Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 14 days “after demand and designation of the location where payment may be made or mailed” (§§ 76-1416(2)).
Permitted Uses of the Deposit: The security deposit may be used to pay for:
Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (§§ 76-1416(2)).
Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute.
Receipt of Deposit: No statute.
Failure to Comply: If the landlord fails to comply with statutory obligations for returning the security deposit, the tenant may recover the money due, plus reasonable attorney’s fees (§§ 76-1416(3)).
Lease, Rent & Fees:
Rent Is Due: Unless otherwise agreed, rent is due at the beginning of each month, or at the beginning of any periodic term of one month or less (§§ 76-1414(3)).
Rent Increase Notice: As agreed to in the lease (§§ 76-1414(1)).
Rent Grace Period: No, rent is due without demand or notice as agreed to in the lease. (§§ 76-1414(3))
Late Fees: As agreed to in the lease (§§ 76-1414(1)).
Prepaid Rent: Prepaid rent held by the landlord may be applied to the payment of rent owed at the time the tenancy is terminated (§§ 76-1416(2)).
Returned Check Fees: $10, plus any reasonable handling fee imposed by a financial institution onto the landlord (§§ 28-611(5)).
Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes, tenants must give landlords written notice specifying the violation and may then procure reasonable amounts of the essential service and deduct their actual and reasonable cost from the rent. See statute for other options available to tenant (§§ 76-1427).
Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No. Tenant remedies for landlord’s failure to make repairs in violation of statutory Landlord Duties include:
giving written notice to landlord that tenant will terminate the lease 30 days from the date of the notice if the landlord does not fix the problem within 14 days;
contacting a local housing code enforcement agency (if any);
notifying the landlord in writing that landlord needs to fix the problem within 14 days or tenant will pursue other legal remedies. See Legal Aid of Nebraska’s Landlord and Tenant Handbook for more details.
Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: No. The lease may include a provision for the tenant to agree to pay the landlord’s attorney fees, but parties may recover reasonable attorney fees in some circumstances. (§§ 76-1415(1)(c))
Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes. If the tenant abandons the unit by being totally absent from the premises without notice to landlord for one full rental period or 30 days, whichever is less, the landlord may take immediate possession and shall make reasonable efforts to rent it. If the landlord rents the unit for a term beginning prior to the expiration of the abandoning tenant’s rental agreement, the prior agreement is terminated as of the date the new tenancy begins (§§ 76-1405 and §§ 76-1432(3)).
Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute.
Notices and Entry:
Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is required as the lease simply ends.
Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30 days prior to the periodic rental date specified in the notice (§§ 76-1437(2)).
Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: Seven days prior to the termination date specified in the notice (§§ 76-1437(1)).
Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: No statute.
Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute.
Notice of Termination for Nonpayment: Three days’ written notice (§§ 76-1431(2)).
Termination for Lease Violation: For tenant violations of the rental agreement or statutory tenant duties, the landlord may give written notice describing the violation and stating that the agreement will terminate in 30 days if the violation is not remedied within 14 days. For a second such violation within six months of the first, the landlord may terminate the agreement with a 14-day written notice specifying the breach and the date the agreement shall terminate (§§ 76-1431(1)).
Required Notice before Entry: One-day notice required and the landlord may enter only at reasonable times (§§ 76-1423(1)).
Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes (§§ 76-1423(1)).
Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (§§ 76-1423(1)).
Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (§§ 76-1423(2)).
Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Yes, during any absence of the tenant longer than seven days (§§ 76-1432(2)).
Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute.
Lockouts Allowed: No (§§ 76-1436).
Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (§§ 76-1436).
Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:
Name and Addresses: Prior to the beginning of a tenancy, the landlord must provide, in writing, the name and address of the property manager, as well as the name and address of the landlord or person authorized to act on behalf of the landlord for the purpose of service of process and for the receipt of notices and demands (§§ 76-1417)
Copy of the Lease: No statute.
Domestic Violence Situations: No statute. The Nebraska Coalition provides references to support organizations by county. The Nebraska Judicial Branch provides information about domestic violence and harassment protective orders.
Landlord’s Duties: (§§ 76-1419)
Compliance: Comply, after written or actual notice, with the requirements of the applicable minimum housing codes that materially affect health and safety;
Repairs: Make all repairs and do whatever necessary, after written or actual notice, to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;
Common Areas: Keep all common areas in a clean and safe condition;
Maintenance: Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied;
Trash: Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of trash and other waste incidental occupancy and arrange for their removal;
Heat: Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.
Tenant’s Duties: (§§ 76-1421)
Compliance: Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable minimum standards of building and housing codes that materially affect health or safety;
Cleanliness: Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit;
Trash: Dispose from his dwelling unit all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste in a clean and safe manner;
Plumbing: Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;
Appliances: Use, in a reasonable manner, all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises;
Damages: Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so;
Quiet Enjoyment: Conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
House Rules: Abide by all bylaws, covenants, rules or regulations of any applicable condominium regime, cooperative housing agreement, or neighborhood association not inconsistent with landlord’s rights or duties.
Retaliation: Landlord may not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening eviction of a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a government agency or has been involved in a tenants’ organization. See statute for additional provisions (§§ 76-1439).
Lead Disclosure: Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.
Limits: $3,600 (§§ 25-2802(4))
Statute of Limitations
Written Contracts: Five years (§§ 25-205).
Oral Contracts: Four years (§§ 25-206).
Business License Required: No statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies
Realtor, Landlord, and Tenant Associations
Tenant and Affordable Housing Organizations