This is a summary of Nebraska Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the Nebraska Revised Statutes and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about Nebraska landlord-tenant laws, Nebraska eviction laws, and Nebraska renters’ rights.
However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.
Rules and Regulations Governing Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Laws
- 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
Nebraska Lease Terms Provisions
- What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
The security deposit cannot exceed one month’s rent, except that a pet deposit up to one-fourth of one month’s rent may also be collected. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1416(1))
- Are security deposits required to earn interest?
No. There is no Nebraska law requiring security deposits to earn interest.
- Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account?
No. There is no Nebraska law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account. However, security deposits and prepaid rent must be promptly deposited into a trust account in a bank, savings and loan association, or licensed escrow agent.
- Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?
No. Pet deposit cannot exceed ¼ of one month’s rent (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1416(1))
- How long do landlords have to return security deposits?
14 days. If no mailing address or instructions are provided by the tenant, the landlord shall mail, by first-class mail, the balance of the security deposit to be returned, if any, and a written itemization of the amount of the security deposit not returned to the tenant’s last-known mailing address. If the mailing is returned as undeliverable, or if the returned balance of the security deposit remains outstanding for 1 year, it shall be considered abandoned property to be reported and paid to the State Treasurer in accordance with the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1416(2))
- Can landlords withhold security deposits?
Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover payment of rent and the amount of damages which the landlord has suffered because of the tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement or their failure to comply with their duties (see Tenant’s Duties). (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1416(2))
- Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?
Yes. Landlords must provide a written itemization of deductions. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1416(2))
- Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?
No. There is no Nebraska law requiring landlords to issue receipts for security deposits.
- Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?
No. There is no Nebraska law specifying record-keeping requirements.
- What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?
The tenant may recover the property and money due to him or her, court costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees. If the wrongful withholding is willful and not in good faith, the tenant may recover an amount equal to one month’s rent or two times the amount of the security deposit, whichever is less. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1416(3))
- Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)
No. There are no rent control laws in Nebraska.
- When is rent due?
Rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by the landlord and tenant. Unless they agree to a different arrangement, rent is due at the beginning of the month and will be paid in equal monthly installments. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1414(3))
- Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?
No. There is no Nebraska law requiring a certain payment method for rent.
- Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?
Yes. There is no Nebraska law forbidding late fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?
No. There is no Nebraska law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.
- Can landlords charge application fees?
Yes. There is no Nebraska law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- Can landlords charge returned check fees?
Yes. Landlords can charge a returned check fee up to ten dollars plus any reasonable handling fee imposed by the bank. (Neb. Rev. State. § 28-611(5))
Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Relations
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?
Yes. Tenants must be notified in writing of any rent increase by actual notice or by United States mail at least sixty days before the effective date of the increase. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1490)
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?
No. There is no Nebraska law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.
- What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?
No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease.
- What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic tenancy?
Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 7 days written notice. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1437(1))
- What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic tenancy?
Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 30 days written notice. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1437(2))
- Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?
There is no statute in Nebraska law covering this issue.
- When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
- To inspect the premises.
- To make necessary or agreed to repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements.
- To supply necessary or agreed services.
- To remove personal property belonging to the landlord that is not covered by a written rental agreement.
- To show the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1423(1))
- What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?
The landlord must provide at least 24 hours’ notice and enter only at reasonable times. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1423(3))
- When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?
- In case of an emergency.
- Under court order.
- When the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises.
- When the tenant has been absent from the property for more than 7 days without notice. (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1423(2), Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1423(4))
Landlord’s Duties (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1419)
- Landlords must, at the commencement of the term, deliver possession of the premises to tenant in compliance with the rental agreement (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1418).
- Landlords must comply with applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety after written or actual notice.
- Landlords must make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a habitable condition.
- Landlords must keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
- Landlords must maintain in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord.
- Landlords must provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for the removal of garbage and arrange for their removal.
- Landlords must supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat.
Tenant’s Duties (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1421)
- Tenants must comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
- Tenants must keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permits.
- Tenants must dispose of all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste cleanly and safely.
- Tenants must keep all plumbing fixtures as clean as their condition permits.
- Tenants must use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises in a reasonable manner;
- Tenants must not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises; or knowingly permit any person to do so.
- Tenants and their guests must conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
- Tenants must 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. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1421)
- Tenants must occupy the dwelling unit only as a dwelling unit. The rental agreement may require that the tenant notify the landlord of any anticipated extended absence from the premises in excess of 7 days no later than the first day of the extended absence. (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1424)
Required Landlord Disclosures
- Landlords are required to disclose in writing the names and business addresses of:
- the person authorized to manage the premises.
- the owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for service of process and receiving notices. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1417(1))
- Before renting pre-1978 property, 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. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65).
Nebraska Renters’ Rights
- What are Nebraska renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)
If a landlord’s failure to comply with the rental agreement or their legal duties materially affects health and safety, the renter may deliver a written notice to the landlord identifying the issue(s). If the landlord does not remedy the breach within 14 days of receiving notice, the lease will terminate after 30 days. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1425(1))
- Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?
Yes. If a landlord fails to supply running water, hot water, heat, sanitary facilities, or other essential services, the tenant may give written notice to the landlord specifying the breach and may immediately procure reasonable amounts of the essential service(s) and deduct their actual and reasonable cost from the rent. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1427(1))
- What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Nebraska renter’s rights?
Nebraska law prohibits landlords from increasing rent, decreasing services, or bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession if the tenant has complained to a governmental agency or has organized or become a member of a tenants’ union or similar organization. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1439(1))
Nebraska Eviction Laws
- What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Nebraska eviction laws?
- Nonpayment of rent (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1431(2))
- Violation of lease terms / rental agreement (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1431(1))
- Noncompliance with tenant’s duties materially affecting health and safety (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1431(1))
- Violent criminal activity, illegal drug activity, or any other activity that threatens the health or safety of other tenants, the landlord, or the landlord’s employees or agents (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1431(4))
- The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy) (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1437(1))
- What notice do Nebraska eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
- For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must give a 7-day notice to remedy the breach before starting the eviction process. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1431(2))
- For evictions based on material noncompliance with the rental agreement or Noncompliance with the tenant’s duties, the landlord must give a 30-day notice to remedy the breach before starting the eviction process. The tenant will have 14 days to remedy the breach. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1431(1))
- For evictions based on illegal activity, landlords must give a 5-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1431(4))
- For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide the notice required to end the tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1437(1))
- Do Nebraska eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities?
No. Nebraska law prohibits self-help evictions. (Neb. Rev. State. § 76-1436)
COVID-19 Changes to Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Laws
- The CDC’s national eviction ban was effective through August 26, 2021, and is no longer in place.
- The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is no longer effective.
- Nebraska Emergency rental Assistance Program accepts applications until September 9, 2022.
Squatter’s rights in Nebraska
Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.
Nebraska has no specific laws recognizing squatters.
The squatter must uninterruptedly possess the property for 10 years before claiming adverse possession (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-202).
- Nebraska Department of Insurance
- Nebraska Consumer Protection Division
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Nebraska
- Nebraska Real Estate Commission
- Nebraska Judicial Branch
- Nebraska Attorney General
- Nebraska State Bar Association – Volunteer Lawyers Project
- Legal Aid of Nebraska
- Nebraska Judicial Branch Online Legal Self-Help Center
- Lincoln Housing Authority
Attorney Referral Services
Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations
- Nebraska Realtors Association
- Omaha Area Board of Realtors
- Realtors Association of Lincoln
- Metropolitan Omaha Property Owners Association
- Lincoln Area Real Estate Owners and Managers Association