Summary of Nebraska Renters Rights
Renters in Nebraska are entitled to certain rights within the landlord-tenant laws of the state. Here is a brief summary of those rights in the areas of security deposits, habitability, and other key areas of a rental relationship.
Security Deposit Maximum: 1 Month's Rent
Landlords are allowed to charge a security deposit that is equal to one month of rent. If pets are allowed at the rental unit, an additional 25% can be added to this amount.
Security Deposit Return: 14 Days
Tenants are required to make a demand for their security deposit after moving out. They must also designate to the landlord where they would like the remainder of their deposit sent. A security deposit can only receive deductions for payment of rent owed or damages that a landlord has suffered because of noncompliance to the rental agreement.
Withholding Rent: Yes
Tenants are allowed to withhold paying rent on time if there are habitability violations with their rental unit. This generally means that they have a lack of heat or a lack of water, but other essential services also qualify. A tenant must notify their landlord in writing of the situation, specify the violation, and then procure an adequate amount of the essential service they require. The actual amount of this service is what can be withheld from the rent.
Deducting Repairs From Rent: No
Tenants are not allowed to deduct repairs from their monthly rent. Landlords must be given at least 14 days' notice of a maintenance issue. If the repairs are not made, then a tenant is allowed to terminate the lease with a 30 day notice. They may also contact the local housing code enforcement agency or pursue other legal remedies that may be locally allowed.
The Right to Mitigate Damages: Yes
If a tenant abandons a rental unit for 30 days or 1 rental period, then a landlord is allowed to take immediate possession of the unit. Nebraska requires landlords in this situation to make a reasonable effort to find a new tenant. The moment a new rental agreement is created is the moment the previous rental agreement will be considered terminated.
Amount of Notice for Nonpayment of Rent: 3 Days
If a tenant does not pay their rent on time, they are entitled to receive a 3 day notice to pay or quit from their landlord. If the lease violation is other than a payment issue, a 14 day notice is required instead. Tenants who do not cure the situation in that 14 day period can have their lease terminated in 30 days. A second violation of the same issue within 6 months allows a landlord to terminate a lease without the option to cure in 14 days.
Amount of Notice Required for Entry: 1 Day
A 24 hour notice is required for landlords to enter a rental unit. Landlords may only enter at reasonable times, but can enter to show the unit for sale, make non-emergency repairs, or to inspect the premises.
The Right to Trash Services: Yes
Landlords must provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for the removal of trash and other debris from a rental unit. Arrangements must also be made for the pickup of this trash or debris.
The Right to Appliances: Maybe
Landlords are required to keep any appliances in good working order that were in the unit when the renter first inspected it. Air conditioners qualify as an appliance under Nebraska law, as do other facilities that may be required for safe habitation of a unit. If an appliance was not present during the initial inspection, then a landlord may not be required to provide it as part of the rental agreement. Each situation is different, so check with local codes and statutes.
Retaliation Is Never Allowed In Nebraska
If a tenant has made a complaint to the local code enforcement office or submitted a repair request for an essential service, then a landlord is not allowed to retaliate against the tenant in three specific ways: raising the rent, threatening to evict or starting eviction procedures without good cause, or cutting off essential services.
The Right To Change Your Mind: Yes
If a renter discovers issues with a rental unit that were not known about when the lease was signed, then a written notice to terminate the new lease in 5 days is allowed. This also applies if the unit is not ready for move-in when anticipated. This action only applies if the rental unit is not in compliance in some way with the lease or Minimum Dwelling Code or if the rental unit is not available when indicated. This summary of Nebraska renters rights is intended to serve as a guide only. Always seek out professional legal assistance if you have questions about a specific situation. In doing so, you will have the best opportunity to protect all of your rights that are granted to you under state and local laws.
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