Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How can I print the information on this website?
A. Download our renters' guide here.
Q: Where can I get a copy of Nebraska's Landlord/Tenant laws?
A: Click here
Q: Does the information on this site work for states other than Nebraska?
A: Landlord/tenant law is state specific. If you are not in Nebraska, you should contact your local Community Action or Legal Aid for information on your state's landlord/tenant law.
Q: My lease says that I am not allowed to have pets. Does this include smaller animals such as fish or a hamster?
A: Yes, the term ‘pets’ in a lease includes all animals, no matter how small. This is an easy way to violate your lease. For more clarification on what type of pets are allowed in your unit, ask your landlord or read your lease. Therapy animals are not considered pets. For more on pets click here.
Q: What kind of notice does a landlord have to give before they can enter a unit?
A: A landlord or an agent of a landlord (repairman, etc.) must give a one-day notice to enter a unit unless there is an emergency. Examples of an emergency would be a burst pipe or fire. A landlord may only enter a unit to inspect the property, to make agreed or necessary repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, to supply necessary or agreed services, or to show the property to actual purchasers, mortgages, tenants, workmen, or contractors. For more information including options for when a landlord is abusing the right to access, see Access.
Q: What can I do if my landlord won't make a repair in my unit, even after I've asked them to multiple times?
A: No matter how many times you've spoken or texted with your landlord, write your landlord in either an email or a letter in the mail requesting the repair be made (see Requesting Repairs). Keep a copy of the request for yourself. It may seem redundant, but this step is necessary for the courts and your documentation. If your landlord continues to not make the repair after receiving the request, the tenant may contact their local building and safety or local building codes office. The tenant may also send a 14/30-day notice, but the tenant should be prepared to move before doing this.
Q: I signed a year lease, and I’ve been living here for over a year. My landlord never had me sign a new lease. Am I still under a lease?
A: Yes, you are still under a lease, the terms depend on what your lease says. Most year leases automatically convert to month-to-month after the term of one year (or however long the lease was for). This means that either the tenant or the landlord can terminate the lease by giving the other party a 30-day notice, unless your lease contains a provision of automatic renewal. Some leases state that at the end of the year, it is automatically renewed for another period of time, such as 6 months or a year.
All other parts of your original lease remain the same, both you and your landlord must adhere to the terms of the lease. No other parts of the lease can be changed without a 30-day notice.
Q: My landlord is raising my rent. Can they do that?
A: If you are under a periodic lease (such as a year lease or a 6-month lease) then a landlord cannot change any part of your lease, including the amount of rent due, until the end of the time in the lease. At the end of your periodic lease or if you have a month to month lease, then your landlord can raise the rent with a 30-day notice. If you have a month-to-month lease, your landlord can raise your rent at any time with a proper 30-day notice.
Q: My landlord is harassing me. He is constantly calling me, texting me, demanding rent, and being very disrespectful. Is there anything I can do?
A: As long as your landlord is satisfying his obligations as a landlord, a landlord can choose any fashion he wants to ask the tenant for rent. You do not have to take your landlord's calls, you may communitcate with him thorugh letters and emails, but it is always advised to keep communication with your landlord.
Q: Is there a law making all apartments smoke-free?
A: No. Whether or not smoking is allowed in an apartment is determined by the lease. Nebraska’s anti-smoking laws only apply to public buildings, not residences.
Q: I got a “Failure to Pay Rent” or “3 days to pay or vacate” notice on my door/in the mail. Am I going to be evicted in 3 days?
A: A 3-day notice is not an eviction notice, it means that you are late in paying rent. If you pay your rent and any late fee within 3 days of the notice being received, then your landlord must accept it and the matter is settled. If you are not able to pay the rent and late fee in the 3 days, contact your landlord immediately and ask if you can set up a payment plan for the amount. Your landlord is not required to accept a payment plan. If you do not pay your rent and the late fee within the 3 days after notice, then your landlord may move to the eviction process. For more information see 3-day notice.
Q: I’m being evicted. What do I do?
A: Contact a lawyer immediately. If you qualify, you may be able to receive help from Legal Aid of Nebraska. Their information along with other potential resources can be found under Legal Help. See Eviction for more informaiton.
In Nebraska, a landlord can ONLY evict a tenant by going through the eviction process with the courts and sheriff’s dept. A landlord cannot change the locks, physically remove the tenant or the tenant's property from the unit or shut off the unit's utilities as a means of eviction.
Q: What if I think my landlord took out more than they should have from my security deposit?
A: If there is a deduction that seems unusually high or unnecessary, ask your landlord for documentation of the cost, such as a copy of the cleaning bill or invoice. Make sure you also have your documentation from when you moved in so that you can dispute any of the charges. If your landlord refuses to produce documentation of the costs, you may want to speak with an attorney. For more information, see Security Deposit.
Q: What happens if my landlord sells my building?
A: If the tenant is under a term lease, such as a year lease, the new landlord is required to finish the lease until the end of the term, They must also meet all the requirements of the lease, such as the amount of rent. If the tenant has a month to month lease, the landlord may end the lease with a 30-day notice.
Q: What if my landlord won't return any of my calls, texts, or emails?
A: Unfortunately, there is no law requiring a landlord to communicate with tenants. A landlord cannot ignore a notice such as a 14/30-day notice or a 30-day notice, but any other communication, including questions about rent or repairs, is not required by law.
For immediate assistance, please contact the Tenant Support Specialist at 402-875-9353 or by using our Contact Form.