Most residential leases and rental agreements in Nebraska require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month's rent, that's intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying. Here’s a summary of Nebraska landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.
Does Nebraska law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?
Yes. Under Nebraska landlord-tenant laws, a landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of one month's rent for the security deposit for tenants who have no pets and one and one-quarter months' rent for tenants with pets; this rule is not applicable to housing agencies organized under the Nebraska Housing Agency Act.
To learn more about steps that tenants can take to protect their security deposit after they've paid it, check out Nolo's article Protect Your Security Deposit When You Move In.
What about when a tenant moves out? What is the deadline in Nebraska for returning a security deposit?
Under Nebraska law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 14 days after the tenant has moved out.
Learn more about tenants' rights and landlords' obligations when it comes to the return of the security deposit in Nolo's chart Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit and Nolo's article Get Your Security Deposit Back.
Is there additional information that Nebraska landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in Nebraska?
Not at the state level in Nebraska. But be sure to check your local (county, city, or town) laws to see if your municipality requires landlords to take additional steps when it comes to tenants' security deposits.
Where can I look up Nebraska law on security deposits?
If you want to go right to the source and look up Nebraska law on security deposits -- or if you're writing a letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law -- the relevant statute(s) can be found at Nebraska Revised Statutes § 76-1416. Your city or county might have different landlord-tenant and security deposit laws than those at the state level in Nebraska. For tips on looking up Nebraska state and local laws, check out Nolo's State Laws & Legal Research section.
You may also find useful information in the tenant guide available at http://www.legalaidofnebraska.org/node/27/landlord-and-tenant-handbook.