The Nebraska Landlord and Tenant Act provides regulations that explain the rights and responsibilities of a landlord and tenant. The act also provides legal remedies for both landlords and tenants in the case of a dispute. The Act is used for residential tenants only – commercial tenants have an entirely different set of rules and regulations.
Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
The Nebraska landlord is required to maintain habitable rental units for the tenant. This includes providing major and minor repairs as requested, performing regular maintenance on home systems such as electrical wiring, and keeping common areas safe and clean. The rental unit must adhere to all local housing, building, and health codes. The landlord must deliver possession of the premises to the tenant before collection of rent can begin. If a previous tenant is refusing to leave, the landlord must proceed with legal action to evict him.
The landlord has two major rights. The right to know, and the right to enter. The right to know requires a tenant to inform a landlord if the property is going to be left unoccupied for more than seven days. The right to enter gives the landlord the ability to enter the home without notice for emergency repairs, or with one day notice for repairs, inspections, or showing the home to prospective tenants.
Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
The tenant rights start with the right to have a habitable home. The tenant is required to notify the landlord in writing if repairs need to be performed to make the home habitable. If the landlord refuses to make the repairs, the tenant has the ability to repair the home himself and deduct the repair costs from the rent.
A tenant is responsible for keeping the house safe and clean as well. Like the landlord, all local housing, building, and health codes must be followed. A tenant removes garbage and other waste from the property, whether to a landlord provided dumpster or another garbage receptacle. The tenant is responsible for not disturbing neighbors with noise, and is also responsible for any visitors. Willful or negligent damage to the rental unit is prohibited.
Nebraska Mobile Home Tenant and Landlord Act
Nebraska has a slightly different legislation set down for mobile home owners who rent lot spaces from a mobile home park. This does not affect tenants who rent mobile homes, as that arrangement is covered under the normal Landlord and Tenant Act. The Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Act establishes regulations for park owners and mobile home owners. A mobile home owner's responsibilities are primarily the same as tenant responsibilities: The lot must be kept clean and safe, noise levels must not disturb other tenants, and visitors are the responsibility of the tenant.
The main difference comes from the park owner's responsibilities and rights. A park owner must disclose all fees prior to renting out the lot. Fee increases are permitted but only with a 30-day written notice. The park owner does not have the right to enter a mobile home on the lot. He must provide outlets for utilities, and can make rules and regulations provided they are applied fairly and given to the tenant in written form before he moves in.
Disposition of Personal Property
This section of the Landlord and Tenant Act regulates what a landlord can do with property left behind by the tenant. The landlord provides written notice to the tenant within six months of her moving out. The written notice can be seven days for hand delivery, or 14 days if not. The written notice includes what property was left and the amount of storage fees.
If the tenant does not retrieve his personal items, the landlord can use the property if it is under $1,000, or sell the property. The sale must be advertised in a local newspaper or other local notice area. The landlord keeps the cost of storage and advertising fees, and sends the rest to the Nebraska State Treasurer. The Treasurer attempts to contact the tenant to provide the remainder of the money.
One major part of the Nebraska Landlord and Tenant Act is providing regulations for the legal process of eviction. A landlord legally evicts for three reasons in Nebraska: Unpaid rent, lease violations, and ending periodic tenancy (such as month-to-month leases). The landlord serves the tenant with a written notice describing the reason for eviction and move-out date. This date is seven days from date of notice for unpaid rent, 30 for ending periodic tenancies, or 14 for lease violations. If the written notice is ignored the landlord goes to court, filing an Unlawful Detainer suit.