Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act Update Effective September 1, 2019

Security Deposits: §76-1416

Previously, Landlords could wait until a demand was made by a Tenant before returning security deposits. Now, Landlords must mail the balance of any security deposit to the Tenant within 14 days of termination of the Tenancy to the Tenant’s last-known address. The same rules apply if you wish to withhold a portion or all of the Tenant’s security deposit, but you instead must mail a written itemization within this timeframe.

The additional new change is what steps a Landlord must take if the Tenant doesn’t provide a forwarding address or take steps to notify the Landlord of their new mailing address: if the deposit is returned undeliverable or the balance remains outstanding for more than 30 days, the Landlord must forward the balance to the State Treasurer pursuant to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act within 60 days of the initial date of mailing.

As an incentive for Landlords to act promptly, in addition to a Tenant recovering thesecurity deposit owed to them (together with any attorney’s fees), the new consequences for willfully and in bad faith, failing to return a Tenant’s deposit may result in a Tenant recovering liquidated damages equal to the lesser of one month’s rent, or twice the security deposit, and any costs associated with collecting the same.

The final addition to this section removes any liability for damages by tenants which are directly related to the Tenant being removed from the property by a governmental entity due to the property being uninhabitable due to the Landlord’s negligence or neglect.

Notices to Quit: §76-1431

The biggest change to the Nebraska Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act for most Landlords is likely that a written 3-day notice to quit served on Tenants who have failed to pay rent when due, has been now been extended to 7 days. This means that Landlords must provide Tenants an extra four days to come current on their rent. As always, if the Tenant fails to provide rent in full after this time, then a Landlord may proceed to evict the Tenant on the basis of nonpayment of rent.

Written By: Elizabeth A. Stobel, Simmons Olsen Law Firm, P.C.
No Legal Advice Intended: This article is not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems