In Nebraska, a landlord must carefully follow all the rules and procedures provided by Nebraska law when evicting a tenant. If the landlord does not follow all the rules and procedures, the eviction might not be valid. This article will explain what a landlord or property manager must do when evicting a tenant in Nebraska.
A landlord must have legal cause to evict a tenant. Nebraska law defines legal cause as failing to pay rent or violating the lease or rental agreement. To evict the tenant for one of these reasons, the landlord must first terminate the tenancy. The landlord does this by giving the tenant written notice. The type of notice required depends on the reason for the eviction.
A landlord who wants to evict a tenant but does not have legal cause, must wait until the tenancy has ended before expecting the tenant to move. In some cases, the landlord may still need to give the tenant written notice to move.
To end a month-to-month tenancy without legal cause for eviction, the landlord must give the tenant at least 30 days’ notice to move. This notice must inform the tenant that the landlord is ending the month-to-month tenancy and that the tenant must move out of the rental unit by the end of 30 days. If the tenant does not move out of the rental unit by that time, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant (see Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1437). Nebraska Notice Requirements to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy has more information.
A landlord who wants to end a fixed-term lease but does not have legal cause to evict the tenant, must wait until the lease has expired before expecting the tenant to move. The landlord does not need to give the tenant notice to move unless the terms of the lease require it. If the tenant has not moved out of the rental unit by the end of the lease term, then the landlord should not accept any further rent from the tenant and can bring an eviction lawsuit against the tenant in court.
Even though a landlord has valid legal cause to evict a tenant, the tenant might still decide to fight the eviction. The tenant could have a valid legal defense against the eviction, such as the landlord discriminating against the tenant or failing to maintain the rental unit. The tenant’s decision to fight the eviction could increase the costs of the eviction lawsuit or allow the tenant more time to remain living in the rental unit. Tenant Defenses to Evictions in Nebraska has more information.
The only way a landlord can remove a tenant from a rental unit is by winning an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. Even at that point, the landlord is not authorized to actually evict the tenant. Only a law enforcement officer with a court order can remove the tenant from the rental unit. Nebraska law has made it illegal for the landlord to try to force the tenant to move out of the rental unit, and the tenant can sue the landlord for trying. Illegal Eviction Procedures in Nebraska has more information on this topic.
After the tenant has been evicted, the landlord might find some of the tenant’s personal property left behind in the rental unit. The landlord must take inventory of the property and send a notice to the tenant, allowing the tenant time to claim the property before the landlord disposes of it. If the landlord gives the notice to the tenant in person, then the tenant will have seven days to claim the property. If the landlord mails the notice to the tenant, then the tenant will have 14 days to claim the property. If the tenant does not claim the property, then the landlord can dispose of it, either through sale or otherwise. If the property is worth less than $1,000, then the landlord can either keep the property or throw it away (see Neb. Rev. Stat. § § 69-2303 and 69-2304).
Landlords must carefully follow all the rules and procedures required by Nebraska law when evicting a tenant; otherwise, the eviction may not be valid. Although these rules and procedures may seem burdensome to the landlord, they are there for a reason. Evictions often occur very quickly, and the end result is serious: the tenant has lost a place to live. The rules help ensure the eviction is justified and that the tenant has enough time to find a new home.