Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
Nebraska adopted a form of the model Residential Landlord and Tenant Act in 1974, it is titled the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The law's stated purpose is to simplify, clarify, modernize and revise the law governing the rental of dwelling units and the rights and obligations of landlord and tenant. While landlords believe that the law is lopsided in favor of the tenant, tenants complain that the "tenant doesn't have any rights". While the law is far from perfect, it provides important remedies and defines the rights of the parties.
Nebraska Revised Statutes
Chapter 76. Real Property
Article 14. Landlord and Tenant
Sections 1 through 49.
Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant
Current through End of 1997 Regular Session
Compiled by Jan E. Beran, Attorney at Law. The statutes
are believed to be accurate as of the date of publication (November 1, 1997).
This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal counsel
and reliance on the materials presented is at the risk of the
consumer. No warranty or fitness for use is hereby given.
Copyright (c) 1998 Jan E. Beran
No claim to original U.S. and Nebraska Govt. works
Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
76-1401Act, how cited.
76-1402Purposes; rules of construction.
76-1403Supplementary principles of law applicable.
76-1404Construction against implicit repeal.
76-1405Remedies; administration and enforcement; duty to mitigate
76-1407Jurisdiction; territorial application.
76-1408Exclusions from application of sections.
76-1411Obligation of good faith.
76-1414Terms and conditions of rental agreement.
76-1415Prohibited provisions in rental agreements.
76-1416Security deposits; prepaid rent.
76-1418Landlord to supply possession of dwelling unit.
76-1419Landlord to maintain fit premises.
76-1420Limitation of liability.
76-1421Tenant to maintain dwelling unit.
76-1422Rules and regulations.
76-1424Tenant to use and occupy.
76-1425Noncompliance by landlord.
76-1426Failure to deliver possession.
76-1427Wrongful failure to supply heat, water, hot water, or essential
76-1428Landlord's noncompliance as defense to action for possession.
76-1429Fire or casualty damage.
76-1430Tenant's remedies for landlord's unlawful ouster, exclusion, or
diminution of service.
76-1431Noncompliance; failure to pay rent; effect.
76-1432Remedies for absence, nonuse, and abandonment.
76-1433Waiver of landlord's right to terminate.
76-1434Landlord liens; distraint of property; prohibited.
76-1435Remedy for termination.
76-1436Recovery of possession limited.
76-1437Periodic tenancy; holdover remedies.
76-1438Landlord and tenant remedies for abuse of access or entry.
76-1439Retaliatory conduct prohibited.
76-1440Action for possession.
76-1441Petition for restitution; filing; contents.
76-1442Summons; contents; issuance; service; when; affidavit of service.
76-1444Default of defendant.
76-1445Defendant may appear and answer.
76-1446Trial; judgment; limitation; writ of restitution; issuance.
76-1448Operative date; sections; applicability.
76-1449Transactions entered into before effective date; effect.
(A) UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT
Sec. 76-1401. Act, how
- Sections 76-1401 to 76-1449 shall be known and may be
cited as the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
Sec. 76-1402. Purposes; rules of
- (1) Sections 25-21,219 and
76-1401 to 76-1449 shall be liberally construed and applied
to promote their underlying purposes and policies.
(2) Underlying purposes and policies of sections 25-21,219
and 76-1401 to 76-1449 are:
- (a) To simplify, clarify, modernize and revise the
law governing the rental of dwelling units and the
rights and obligations of landlord and tenant;
- (b) To encourage landlord and tenant to maintain
and improve the quality of housing; and
- (c) To make uniform the law among those states
which enact it.
Sec. 76-1403. Supplementary
principles of law applicable.
- ss displaced by the provisions of sections 25-21,219 and
76-1401 to 76-1449, the
principles of law and equity, including the law relating to
capacity to contract, mutuality of obligations, principal
and agent, real property, public health, safety and fire
prevention, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress,
coercion, mistake, bankruptcy, or other validating or
invalidating cause supplement its provisions.
Sec. 76-1404. Construction against
- Sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401
to 76-1449 being a general act intended as a unified
coverage of its subject matter, no part of it is to be
construed as impliedly repealed by subsequent legislation if
that construction can reasonably be avoided.
Sec. 76-1405. Remedies; administration
and enforcement; duty to mitigate damages.
- (1) The remedies provided by sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401 to 76-1449 shall
be so administered that the aggrieved party may recover
appropriate damages. The aggrieved party has a duty to
- (2) Any right or obligation declared by sections 25-21,219
and 76-1401 to 76-1449 is
enforceable by action unless the provision declaring it
specifies a different and limited effect.
Sec. 76-1406. Settlement; authorized.
- A claim or right arising under sections 25-21,219
and 76-1401 to 76-1449 or on
a rental agreement may be settled by agreement.
Sec. 76-1407. Jurisdiction; territorial
- Sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401
to 76-1449 apply to, regulate, and determine rights,
obligations and remedies under a rental agreement, wherever
made, for a dwelling unit located within this
Sec. 76-1408. Exclusions from application
Unless created to avoid the application of sections
25-21,219 and 76-1401 to 76-1449,
the following arrangements are not governed by sections 25-21,219
and 76-1401 to 76-1449:
- (1) Residence at an institution, public or private, if
incidental to detention or the provision of medical,
geriatric, educational, counseling, religious, or similar
- (2) Occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling
unit or the property of which it is a part, if the occupant
is the purchaser or a person who succeeds to his
- (3) Occupancy by a member of a fraternal or social
organization in the portion of a structure operated for the
benefit of the organization.
- (4) Transient occupancy in a hotel or motel.
- (5) Occupancy by an employee of a landlord whose right
to occupancy is conditional upon employment in and about the
- (6) Occupancy by an owner of a condominium unit or a
holder of a proprietary lease in a cooperative.
- (7) Occupancy under a rental agreement covering premises
used by the occupant primarily for agricultural
- (8) A lease of improved or unimproved residential
land for a term of five years or more.
Sec. 76-1409. Courts; jurisdiction.
- The district or county court of this state may exercise
jurisdiction over any landlord or tenant with respect to any
conduct in this state governed by sections 25-21,219 and
76-1401 to 76-1449 or
with respect to any claim arising from a transaction subject
to sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401
to 76-1449 for a dwelling unit located within its
Sec. 76-1410. Terms, defined.
Subject to additional definitions contained in the
Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and unless the
context otherwise requires:
- (1) Action includes recoupment, counterclaim,
setoff, suit in equity, and any other proceeding in
which rights are determined, including an action for
- (2) Building and housing codes include any law,
ordinance, or governmental regulation concerning
fitness for habitation, or the construction,
maintenance, operation, occupancy, use, or appearance
of any premises, or dwelling unit. Minimum housing code
shall be limited to those laws, resolutions, or
ordinances or regulations, or portions thereof, dealing
specifically with health and minimum standards of
fitness for habitation.
- (3) Dwelling unit means a structure or the part of
a structure that is used as a home, residence, or
sleeping place by one person who maintains a household
or by two or more persons who maintain a common
- (4) Good faith means honesty in fact in the conduct
of the transaction concerned.
- (5) Landlord means the owner, lessor, or sublessor
of the dwelling unit or the building of which it is a
part, and it also means a manager of the premises who
fails to disclose as required by section 76-1417.
- (6) Organization includes a corporation,
government, governmental subdivision or agency,
business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited
liability company, or association, two or more persons
having a joint or common interest, and any other legal
or commercial entity.
- (7) Owner means one or more persons, jointly or
severally, in whom is vested (a) all or part of the
legal title to property, or (b) all or part of the
beneficial ownership and a right to present use and
enjoyment of the premises; and the term includes a
mortgagee in possession.
- (8) Person includes an individual, limited
liability company, or organization.
- (9) Premises means a dwelling unit and the
structure of which it is a part and facilities and
appurtenances therein and grounds, areas, and
facilities held out for the use of tenants generally or
whose use is promised to the tenant.
- (10) Rent means all payments to be made to the
landlord under the rental agreement.
- (11) Rental agreement means all agreements, written or
oral, between a landlord and tenant, and valid rules and
regulations adopted under section 76-1422 embodying the terms and
conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling
unit and premises.
- (12) Roomer means a person occupying a dwelling
unit that lacks a major bathroom or kitchen facility,
in a structure where one or more major facilities are
used in common by occupants of the dwelling units.
Major facility in the case of a bathroom means toilet,
or either a bath or shower, and in the case of a
kitchen means refrigerator, stove, or sink.
- (13) Single-family residence means a structure
maintained and used as a single dwelling unit.
Notwithstanding that a dwelling unit shares one or more
walls with another dwelling unit, it is a single-family
residence if it has direct access to a street or
thoroughfare and shares neither heating facilities, hot
water equipment, nor any other essential facility or
service with any other dwelling unit.
- (14) Tenant means a person entitled under a rental
agreement to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of
Sec. 76-1411. Obligation of good faith.
- Every duty under sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401 to 76-1449 and
every act which must be performed as a condition precedent
to the exercise of a right or remedy under sections 25-21,219
and 76-1401 to 76-1449
imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance or
Sec. 76-1412. Unconscionability.
- (1) If the court, as a matter of law, finds that a
rental agreement or any provision thereof was unconscionable
when made, the court may refuse to enforce the agreement,
enforce the remainder of the agreement without the
unconscionable provision, or limit the application of any
unconscionable provision to avoid an unconscionable
- (2) If unconscionability is put into issue by a party or
by the court upon its own motion the parties shall be
afforded a reasonable opportunity to present evidence as to
the setting, purpose, and effect of the rental agreement or
settlement to aid the court in making the determination.
Sec. 76-1413. Notice.
- (1) A person has notice of a fact if (a) he has actual
knowledge of it, (b) he has received a notice or
notification of it, or (c) from all facts and circumstances
known to him at the time in question he has reason to know
that it exists. A person knows or has knowledge of a fact if
he has actual knowledge of it.
- (2) A person notifies or gives a notice or notification
to another by taking steps reasonably calculated to inform
the other in ordinary course whether or not the other
actually comes to know of it. A person receives a notice or
notification when (a) it comes to his attention, (b) in the
case of the landlord, it is delivered at the place of
business of the landlord through which the rental agreement
was made or at any place held out by him as the place for
receipt of the communication, or (c) in the case of the
tenant, it is delivered in hand to the tenant or mailed to
him at the place held out by him as the place for receipt of
the communication, or in the absence of such designation, to
his last-known place of residence.
- (3) Notice, knowledge or a notice or notification
received by an organization is effective for a particular
transaction from the time it is brought to the attention of
the individual conducting that transaction, and in any event
from the time it would have been brought to his attention if
the organization had exercised reasonable
Sec. 76-1414. Terms and conditions of
- (1) The landlord and tenant may include in a rental
agreement terms and conditions not prohibited by sections
25-21,219 and 76-1401 to 76-1449 or
other rule of law including rent, term of the agreement, and
other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the
- (2) In absence of agreement, the tenant shall pay as
rent the fair rental value for the use and occupancy of the
- (3) Rent shall be payable without demand or notice at
the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless
otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit and
periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one
month or less and otherwise in equal monthly installments at
the beginning of each month. Unless otherwise agreed, rent
shall be uniformly apportionable from day to day.
- (4) Unless the rental agreement
fixes a definite term, the tenancy shall be week to week in
case of a roomer who pays weekly rent, and in all other
cases month to month.
Sec. 76-1415. Prohibited provisions
in rental agreements.
(1) No rental agreement may provide that the
- (a) Agrees to waive or to forego rights or
remedies under sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401 to
- (b) Authorizes any person to confess judgment on a
claim arising out of the rental agreement;
- (c) Agrees to pay the landlord's or tenant's
attorney's fees; or
- (d) Agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any
liability of the landlord arising due to active and
actionable negligence of the landlord or to indemnify
the landlord for that liability arising due to active
and actionable negligence or the costs connected
- (2) A provision prohibited by subsection (1) included in
a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord
deliberately uses a rental agreement containing provisions
known by him to be prohibited, the tenant may recover actual
damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney's
Sec. 76-1416. Security deposits; prepaid
- (1) A landlord may not demand or receive security,
however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of one
month's periodic rent, except that a pet deposit not in
excess of one-fourth of one month's periodic rent may be
demanded or received when appropriate, but this subsection
shall not be applicable to housing authorities organized or
existing under sections 71-1518 to
- (2) Upon termination of the tenancy property or money
held by the landlord as prepaid rent and security may be
applied to the payment of rent and the amount of damages
which the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's
noncompliance with the rental agreement or section 76-1421. The balance, if any, and a
written itemization shall be delivered or mailed to the
tenant within fourteen days after demand and designation of
the location where payment may be made or mailed.
- (3) If the landlord fails to comply with subsection (2)
the tenant may recover the property and money due him and
reasonable attorney's fees.
- (4) This section does not preclude the landlord or
tenant from recovering other damages to which he may be
entitled under sections 25-21,219
and 76-1401 to 76-1449.
- (5) The holder of the landlord's interest in the
premises at the time of the termination of the tenancy is
bound by this section.
Sec. 76-1417. Disclosure.
(1) The landlord or any person authorized to enter
into a rental agreement on his behalf shall disclose to the
tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the
tenancy the name and address of:
- (a) The person authorized to manage the premises;
- (b) An owner of the premises or a person authorized
to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose
of service of process and for the purpose of receiving
and receipting for notices and demands.
- (2) The information required to be furnished by this
section shall be kept c14urrent and this section extends to
and is enforceable against any successor landlord, owner, or
(3) A person who fails to comply with subsection (1)
becomes an agent of each person who is a landlord for the
- (a) Service of process and receiving and receipting
for notices and demands; and
- (b) Performing the obligations of the landlord
under sections 25-21,219 and
76-1401 to 76-1449 and under the rental agreement and
expending or making available for the purpose all rent
collected from the premises.
Sec. 76-1418. Landlord to supply
possession of dwelling unit.
- At the commencement of the term the landlord shall
deliver possession of the premises to the tenant in
compliance with the rental agreement and section 76-1419. The landlord may bring an
action for possession against any person wrongfully in
possession and may recover the damages provided in
subsection (3) of section 76-1437. If the landlord makes
reasonable efforts to obtain possession of the premises, he
shall not be liable for an action under this section.
Sec. 76-1419. Landlord to maintain fit
(1) The landlord
- (a) Substantially comply, after written or actual
notice, with the requirements of the applicable minimum
housing codes materially affecting health and
- (b) Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary,
after written or actual notice, to put and keep the
premises in a fit and habitable condition;
- (c) Keep all common areas of the premises in a
clean and safe condition;
(d) Maintain in good and safe working order and
condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating,
ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and
appliances, including elevators, supplied or required
to be supplied by him;
- (e) Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles
and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage,
rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of
the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal from
the appropriate receptacle; and
(f) Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot
water at all times and reasonable heat except where the
building that includes the dwelling unit is not
required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the
dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water
is generated by an installation within the exclusive
control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public
- If there exists a minimum housing code applicable
to the premises, the landlord's maximum duty under this
section shall be determined by subdivision (1)(a) of this section. The
obligations imposed by this section are not intended to
change existing tort law in the state.
- (2) The landlord and tenant of a single-family residence
may agree that the tenant perform the landlord's duties
specified in subdivisions (e) and (f) of subsection (1) and
also specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, and
remodeling, but only if the transaction is in writing, for
good consideration, entered into in good faith and not for
the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord.
(3) The landlord and tenant of a dwelling unit other
than a single-family residence may agree that the tenant is
to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks,
alterations, or remodeling only if:
- (a) The agreement of the parties is entered into in
good faith and not for the purpose of evading the
obligations of the landlord and is set forth in a
separate writing signed by the parties and supported by
adequate consideration; and
- (b) The agreement does not diminish or affect the
obligation of the landlord to other tenants in the
- (4) Notwithstanding any provision of sections 25-21,219
and 76-1401 to 76-1449, a
landlord may employ a tenant to perform the obligations of
Sec. 76-1420. Limitation of liability.
- (1) Unless otherwise agreed, a landlord, who conveys
premises that include a dwelling unit subject to a rental
agreement in a good faith sale to a bona fide purchaser, is
relieved of liability under the rental agreement and
sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401 to
76-1449 as to events occurring subsequent to written notice
to the tenant of the conveyance, but he remains liable to
the tenant for any property and money to which the tenant is
entitled under section 76-1416,
except that assignment of any security deposits or prepaid
rents to a bona fide purchaser with written notice to the
tenant shall serve to relieve the conveying landlord of any
further liability under section 76-1416.
- (2) Unless otherwise agreed, a manager of premises that
include a dwelling unit is relieved of liability under the
rental agreement and sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401 to 76-1449 as to
events occurring after written notice to the tenant of the
termination of his management.
Sec. 76-1421. Tenant to maintain
- The tenant shall:
- (1) Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon
tenants by applicable minimum standards of building and
housing codes materially affecting health or safety;
- (2) Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and
uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises
permit, and upon termination of the tenancy place the
dwelling unit in as clean condition, excepting ordinary wear
and tear, as when the tenancy commenced;
- (3) Dispose from his dwelling unit all ashes, rubbish,
garbage, and other waste in a clean and safe manner;
- (4) Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or
used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;
- (5) Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing,
sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other
facilities and appliances including elevators in the
- (6) Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface,
damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or
knowingly permit any person to do so;
- (7) Conduct himself and require other persons on the
premises with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner
that will not disturb his neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of
the premises; and
(8) Abide by all bylaws, covenants, rules or regulations of
any applicable condominium regime, cooperative housing
agreement, or neighborhood association not inconsistent with
landlord's rights or duties.
Sec. 76-1422. Rules and regulations.
A landlord, from time to time, may adopt rules or
regulations, however described, concerning the tenant's use
and occupancy of the premises. It is enforceable as provided
in section 76-1431 against the tenant
- (1) Its purpose is to promote the appearance,
convenience, safety, or welfare of the tenants in the
premises, preserve the landlord's property from abusive
use, or make a fair distribution of services and
facilities held out for the tenants generally;
- (2) It is reasonably related to the purpose for
which it is adopted;
- (3) It applies to all tenants in the premises in a
- (4) It is sufficiently explicit in its prohibition,
direction, or limitation of the tenant's conduct to
fairly inform him of what he must or must not do to
- (5) It is not for the purpose of evading the
obligations of the landlord; and
- (6) The tenant has notice of it at the time he
enters into the rental agreement.
- A rule or regulation adopted after the tenant enters
into the rental agreement is enforceable against the tenant if
reasonable notice of its adoption is given to the tenant and it
does not work a substantial modification of his bargain.
Sec. 76-1423 Access.
- (1) The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent
to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to
inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs,
decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply necessary
or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to
prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants,
workmen, or contractors.
- (2) The landlord may enter the dwelling unit without
consent of the tenant in case of emergency.
- (3) The landlord shall not abuse the right of access or
use it to harass the tenant. Except in case of emergency or
if it is impracticable to do so, the landlord shall give the
tenant at least one day's notice of his intent to enter and
enter only at reasonable times.
- (4) The landlord has no other right of access except by
court order, and as permitted by subsection (2) of section 76-1432, or if the tenant has abandoned
or surrendered the premises.
Sec. 76-1424 Tenant to use and occupy.
- Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant shall occupy his
dwelling unit only as a dwelling unit. The rental agreement
may require that the tenant notify the landlord of any
anticipated extended absence from the premises in excess of
seven days no later than the first day of the extended
Sec. 76-1425 Noncompliance by landlord.
- (1) Except as provided in
sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401 to
76-1449, if there is a material noncompliance by the
landlord with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with
section 76-1419 materially affecting
health and safety, the tenant may deliver a written notice
to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions
constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will
terminate upon a date not less than thirty days after
receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in
fourteen days, and the rental agreement shall terminate as
provided in the notice subject to the following. If the
breach is remediable by repairs or the payment of damages or
otherwise and the landlord adequately remedies the breach
prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental
agreement will not terminate. If substantially the same act
or omission which constituted a prior noncompliance of which
notice was given recurs within six months, the tenant may
terminate the rental agreement upon at least fourteen days'
written notice specifying the breach and the date of
termination of the rental agreement. The tenant may not
terminate for a condition caused by the deliberate or
negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of his
family, or other person on the premises with his
- (2) Except as provided in
sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401 to
76-1449, the tenant may recover damages and obtain
injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the landlord with
the rental agreement or section 76-1419. If the landlord's noncompliance
is willful the tenant may recover reasonable attorney's
fees. If the landlord's noncompliance is caused by
conditions or circumstances beyond his control, the tenant
may not recover consequential damages, but retains remedies
provided in section 76-1427.
- (3) The remedy provided in subsection (2) is in addition
to any right of the tenant arising under subsection (1) of section 76-1425.
- (4) If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord
shall return all prepaid rent and security recoverable by the
tenant under section 76-1416.
Sec. 76-1426 Failure to deliver
If the landlord fails to deliver possession of the
dwelling unit to the tenant as provided in section 76-1418, rent abates until possession is
delivered and the tenant shall:
- (1) Upon at least five days' written notice to the
landlord terminate the rental agreement and upon
termination the landlord shall return all prepaid rent
and security; or
- (2) Demand performance of the rental agreement by
the landlord and, if the tenant elects, maintain an
action for possession of the dwelling unit against any
person wrongfully in possession or wrongfully
withholding possession and recover the damages
sustained by him.
- If a person's failure to deliver possession is willful
and not in good faith, an aggrieved person may recover from
that person an amount not more than three months' periodic
rent or threefold the actual damages sustained by him,
whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's
Sec. 76-1427 Wrongful failure to supply
heat, water, hot water,or essential services.
(1) If contrary to the rental agreement or section
76-1419 the landlord deliberately or
negligently fails to supply running water, hot water, or
heat, or essential services, the tenant may give written
notice to the landlord specifying the breach and may:
- (a) Procure reasonable amounts of hot water,
running water, heat and essential services during the
period of the landlord's noncompliance and deduct their
actual and reasonable cost from the rent;
- (b) Recover damages based upon the diminution in
the fair rental value of the dwelling unit; or
- (c) Procure reasonable substitute housing during
the period of the landlord's noncompliance, in which
case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the
period of the landlord's noncompliance.
- In addition to the remedy provided in subdivisions
(a) and (c), if the failure to supply is deliberate,
the tenant may recover the actual and reasonable cost
or fair and reasonable value of the substitute housing
not in excess of an amount equal to the periodic rent,
and in any case under this subsection reasonable
- (2) If the tenant proceeds under this section, he may
not proceed under section 76-1425 as
to that breach.
- (3) The rights under this section do not arise until the
tenant has given written notice to the landlord or if the
condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or
omission of the tenant, a member of his family, or other
person on the premises with his consent. This section is not
intended to cover circumstances beyond the landlord's
Sec. 76-1428 Landlord's noncompliance
as defense to action for possession.
- (1) In an action for possession based upon nonpayment of
the rent or in an action for rent where the tenant is in
possession, the tenant may counterclaim for any amount which
he may recover under the rental agreement or sections 25-21,219
and 76-1401 to 76-1449. In
that event the court from time to time may order the tenant
to pay into court all or part of the rent accrued and
thereafter accruing, and shall determine the amount due to
each party. The party to whom a net amount is owed shall be
paid first from the money paid into court, and the balance
by the other party. If no rent remains due after application
of this section, judgment shall be entered for the tenant in
the action for possession. If the defense or counterclaim by
the tenant is without merit and is not raised in good faith
the landlord may recover reasonable attorney's fees.
- (2) In an action for rent where the tenant is not in
possession, the tenant may counterclaim as provided in
subsection (1) but the tenant is not required to pay any
rent into court.
Sec. 76-1429 Fire or casualty damage.
(1) If the dwelling unit or premises are damaged or
destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that enjoyment of
the dwelling unit is substantially impaired, the tenant
- (a) Immediately vacate the premises and notify the
landlord in writing within fourteen days thereafter of
his intention to terminate the rental agreement, in
which case the rental agreement terminates as of the
date of vacating; or
- (b) If continued occupancy is lawful, vacate any
part of the dwelling unit rendered unusable by the fire
or casualty, in which case the tenant's liability for
rent is reduced in proportion to the diminution in the
fair rental value of the dwelling unit.
- (2) If the rental agreement is terminated the landlord
shall return all prepaid rent and security recoverable under
section 76-1416. Accounting for rent
in the event of termination or apportionment is to occur as
of the date of the casualty. Notwithstanding the provisions
of this section, the tenant is responsible for damage caused
by his negligence.
Sec. 76-1430 Tenant's remedies for
landlord's unlawful ouster, exclusion, or diminution of service.
- If the landlord unlawfully removes or excludes the
tenant from the premises or willfully and wrongfully
diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting or causing
the interruption of electric, gas, water or other essential
service to the tenant, the tenant may recover possession or
terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover
an amount equal to three months' periodic rent as liquidated
damages, and a reasonable attorney's fee. If the rental
agreement is terminated the landlord shall return all
prepaid rent and security recoverable under section 76-1416.
Sec. 76-1431 Noncompliance; failure to
pay rent; effect.
- (1) Except as provided in sections 25-21,219 and
76-1401 to 76-1449, if
there is a noncompliance with section 76-1421 materially
affecting health and safety or a material noncompliance by
the tenant with the rental agreement or any separate
agreement, the landlord may deliver a written notice to the
tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the
breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a
date not less than thirty days after receipt of the notice
if the breach is not remedied in fourteen days, and the
rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice
subject to the following. If the breach is remediable by
repairs or the payment of damages or otherwise and the
tenant adequately remedies the breach prior to the date
specified in the notice, the rental agreement will not
terminate. If substantially the same act or omission which
constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given
recurs within six months, the landlord may terminate the
rental agreement upon at least fourteen days' written notice
specifying the breach and the date of termination of the
- (2) If rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to
pay rent within three days after written notice by the
landlord of nonpayment and his intention to terminate the
rental agreement if the rent is not paid within that period
of time, the landlord may terminate the rental
- (3) Except as provided in
sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401 to
76-1449, the landlord may recover damages and obtain
injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the tenant with
the rental agreement or section 76-1421. If the tenant's noncompliance
is willful the landlord may recover reasonable attorney's
Sec. 76-1432 Remedies for absence,
nonuse, and abandonment.
(1) If the rental agreement requires the tenant to
give notice to the landlord of an anticipated extended
absence in excess of seven days as required in section 76-1424 and the tenant willfully fails
to do so, the landlord may recover actual damages from the
- (2) During any absence of the
tenant in excess of seven days, the landlord may enter the
dwelling unit at times reasonably necessary.
- (3) If the tenant abandons the dwelling unit, the
landlord shall take immediate possession and shall make
reasonable efforts to rent it at a fair rental. If the
landlord rents the dwelling unit for a term beginning prior
to the expiration of the rental agreement, it is deemed to
be terminated as of the date the new tenancy begins. Total
absence from the premises without notice to landlord for one
full rental period or thirty days, whichever is less, shall
Sec. 76-1433 Waiver of landlord's right
- Acceptance of rent with knowledge of a default by tenant
or acceptance of performance by the tenant that varies from
the terms of the rental agreement or rules or regulations
subsequently adopted by the landlord constitutes a waiver of
his right to terminate the rental agreement for that breach,
unless otherwise agreed after the breach has
Sec. 76-1434 Landlord liens; distraint
of property; prohibited.
- (1) A lien or security interest on behalf of the
landlord in the tenant's household goods is not
- (2) Distraint for rent is abolished.
Sec. 76-1435 Remedy for termination.
- If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord is
entitled to possession and may have a claim for rent and a
separate claim for actual damages for breach of the rental
agreement and reasonable attorney's fees as provided in
subsection (3) of section 76-1431.
Sec. 76-1436 Recovery of possession
- A landlord may not recover or take possession of the
dwelling unit by action or otherwise, including willful
diminution of services to the tenant by interrupting or
causing the interruption of electric, gas, water or other
essential service to the tenant, except in case of
abandonment, surrender, or as permitted in sections 25-21,219
and 76-1401 to 76-1449.
Sec. 76-1437 Periodic tenancy; holdover
- (1) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a
week-to-week tenancy by a written notice given to the other
at least seven days prior to the termination date specified
in the notice.
- (2) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a
month-to-month tenancy by a written notice given to the
other at least thirty days prior to the periodic rental date
specified in the notice.
- (3) If the tenant remains in
possession without the landlord's consent after expiration
of the term of the rental agreement or its termination, the
landlord may bring an action for possession and if the
tenant's holdover is willful and not in good faith the
landlord, in addition, may recover an amount not more than
three months' periodic rent or threefold the actual damages
sustained by him, whichever is greater, and reasonable
attorney's fees. If the landlord consents to the tenant's
continued occupancy, subsection (4) of section 76-1414 applies.
Sec. 76-1438 Landlord and tenant
remedies for abuse of access or entry.
- (1) If the tenant refuses to allow lawful access, the
landlord may obtain injunctive relief to compel access, or
terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the landlord
may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney's
- (2) If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful
entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands
for entry otherwise lawful but which have the effect of
unreasonably harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain
injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct,
or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the
tenant may recover actual damages not less than an amount
equal to one month's rent and reasonable attorney's
Sec. 76-1439 Retaliatory conduct
(1) Except as provided in
this section, a landlord may not retaliate by increasing
rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to
bring an action for possession after:
- (a) The tenant has complained to a government
agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a
minimum building or housing code of a violation
applicable to the premises materially affecting health
and safety; or
- (b) The tenant has organized or become a member of
a tenants' union or similar organization.
- (2) If the landlord acts in violation of subsection (1), the tenant is entitled to the
remedies provided in section 76-1430
and has a defense in action against him for possession.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting
reasonable rent increases or changes in services
notwithstanding the occurrence of acts specified in
(3) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), a
landlord may bring an action for possession if:
- (a) The violation of the applicable minimum
building or housing code was caused primarily by lack
of reasonable care by the tenant or other person in his
household or upon the premises with his consent;
- (b) The tenant is in default in rent; or
- (c) Compliance with the applicable minimum building
or housing code requires alteration, remodeling, or
demolition which would effectively deprive the tenant
of use of the dwelling unit.
- The maintenance of the action does not release the
landlord from liability under subsection (2) of section 76-1425.
Sec. 76-1440 Action for possession.
- An action for possession of any premises subject to the
Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act shall be
commenced in the manner described by sections 76-1440 to
Sec. 76-1441 Petition for restitution;
- The person seeking possession shall file a petition for
restitution with the clerk of the district or county court.
The petition shall contain (a) the facts, with
particularity, on which he or she seeks to recover; (b) a
reasonably accurate description of the premises; and (c) the
requisite compliance with the notice provisions of the
Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The petition
may notify the tenant that personal property remains on the
premises and that it may be disposed of pursuant to section
69-2308. The petition may also
contain other causes of action relating to the tenancy, but
such causes of action shall be answered and tried
separately, if requested by either party in writing.
Sec. 76-1442 Summons; contents;
issuance; service; when; affidavit of service.
- The summons shall be issued and directed, with a copy of
the petition attached thereto, and shall state the cause of
the complaint, the time and place of trial of the action for
possession, answer day for other causes of action, and
notice that if the defendant fails to appear judgment shall
be entered against him or her. The summons may be served and
returned as in other cases or by any person, except that the
summons shall be served within three days, excluding
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, from the date of issuance
and shall be returnable within five days, excluding
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, from the date of issuance.
The person making the service shall file with the court an
affidavit stating with particularity the manner in which he
or she made the service. If diligent efforts have been made
to serve the summons in the manner provided in sections 25-505.01
to 25-516.01 but such
efforts were unsuccessful, the summons may be served in the
manner provided in section 76-1442.01.
Sec. 76-1442.01 Summons; alternative
method of service; affidavit; contents.
- When authorized by section 76-1442, service of a summons
issued under such section may be made by leaving a copy of
the summons at the defendant's last-known address and
mailing a copy by first-class mail to such address. The
plaintiff shall file an affidavit with the court showing
that an attempt was made to serve the summons in the manner
provided in sections 25-505.01 to
25-516.01, the reasons why such service was
unsuccessful, and that service was made by posting the
summons at the last-known address of the defendant and
mailing a copy by first-class mail to the
Sec. 76-1443 Continuance; when.
- No continuance shall be granted unless extraordinary
cause be shown to the court, and then not unless the
defendant applying therefor shall deposit with the clerk of
the court payment of any rents that have accrued, or give an
undertaking with sufficient surety therefor, and, in
addition, deposit with the clerk such rental payments as
accrue during the pendency of the suit.
Sec. 76-1444 Default of defendant.
- If the defendant shall not appear in response to the
summons, and it shall have been properly served, the court
shall try the cause as though he were present.
Sec. 76-1445 Defendant may appear and
- On or before the day fixed for his appearance, the
defendant may appear and answer and assert any legal or
equitable defense, setoff, or counterclaim.
Sec. 76-1446 Trial; judgment; writ of
- Trial of the action for possession shall be held not
less than ten nor more than fourteen days after the issuance
of the summons. The action shall be tried by the court
without a jury. If the plaintiff serves the summons in the
manner provided in section 76-1442.01, the action shall proceed
as other actions for possession except that a money judgment
shall not be granted the plaintiff. If judgment is rendered
against the defendant for the restitution of the premises,
the court shall declare the forfeiture of the rental
agreement, and shall, at the request of the plaintiff or his
or her attorney, issue a writ of restitution, directing the
constable or sheriff to restore possession of the premises
to the plaintiff on a specified date not more than ten days
after issuance of the writ of restitution.
The plaintiff shall comply with the Disposition of Personal Property Landlord
and Tenant Act in the removal of personal property
remaining on the premises at the time possession of the
premises is restored.
Sec. 76-1447 Appeal; effect.
- If either party feels aggrieved by the judgment, he may
appeal as in other civil actions. An appeal by the defendant
shall stay the execution of any writ of restitution, so long
as the defendant deposits with the clerk of the district
court the amount of judgment and costs, or gives an appeal
bond with surety therefor, and thereafter pays into court,
on a monthly basis, an amount equal to the monthly rent
called for by the rental agreement at the time the complaint
Sec. 76-1448 Operative date; sections;
- Sections 25-21,219 and 76-1401
to 76-1449 shall become operative on July 1, 1975. They
apply to rental agreements entered into or extended or
renewed after that date.
Sec. 76-1449 Transactions entered into
before effective date;effect.
- Transactions entered into before July 12, 1974, and not
extended or renewed after that date, and the rights, duties,
and interests flowing from them remain valid and may be
terminated, completed, consummated, or enforced as required
or permitted prior to July 12, 1974.