Nebraska Security Deposit Laws

Nebraska law allows landlords to require a security deposit from tenants to rent a property, but the amount can’t exceed one month’s rent
Written by Melanie Krieps Mergen
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
law allows landlords to require a security deposit from tenants to rent a property, but in most cases, the amount can’t exceed one month’s rent. When your lease comes to an end, the landlord will have 14 days to refund your deposit or give you a written itemization explaining what was withheld and why.
Putting money toward a security deposit can feel daunting when you’re entering a new lease, and getting it back at the end can sometimes require more effort than it feels like it’s worth. And since security deposit laws vary from state to state, it can be difficult to understand what your legal rights as a tenant are.
Understanding landlord and tenant laws where you live before entering a lease agreement can save you a lot of time and energy in the long run. That’s why the 
That’s why it’s important to brush up on your state’s laws before you make any deposits.
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What is Nebraska law on security deposits?

A security deposit is an amount that a tenant pays to their landlord that can be refunded after a lease ends. However, under certain circumstances, a Nebraska landlord can withhold some or all of a security deposit to cover things like damage caused to the rental or unpaid rent.
Nebraska Statute 76-1416
outlines the state’s legal requirements regarding security deposits and prepaid rent. 

What is the maximum security deposit a landlord can charge in Nebraska? 

In Nebraska, landlords can’t require a security deposit that is more than one month’s rent
However, one exception to that is that an additional pet deposit can be required, which can’t exceed one-fourth of one month’s rent. 

How long does a landlord have to return a security deposit in Nebraska? 

Once your lease is over, your landlord should send you your security deposit within 14 days after the end of your tenancy.

What can a landlord withhold a security deposit for in Nebraska?

Under Nebraska law, a landlord can legally withhold some or all of your security deposit for unpaid rent or damages suffered by the landlord due to tenant violation of the lease agreement or
section 76-1421
of Nebraska statutes, which outlines the tenant’s obligations for maintaining a rental home.
Some of those obligations include:
  • Complying with minimum building and housing code standards for health and safety
  • Keeping the rental as clean and safe as the premises allow
  • At the end of tenancy, the unit must be as clean as when the lease began, excluding ordinary wear and tear
  • Not causing damage to the unit
Ordinary wear and tear can be a vague term, but essentially, it refers to inevitable wear or damage over time that would be out of your control as a tenant. That could include things like a carpet that’s worn out due to its age or a small scuff here and there on a wall.
More serious damage goes beyond wear and tear, like holes in walls or floors or a broken window. 
If your landlord withholds any or all of your security deposit, the landlord must mail or deliver a written itemization to you within the 14-day limit, along with the refund of any surplus funds. 
Key Takeaway Your landlord can withhold all or some of your security deposit under certain circumstances, but they have to give you a written itemization of any expenses they’ve subtracted from the deposit.

How to get your security deposit back in Nebraska

Your landlord should send you your security deposit back within the 14 days that follow your lease end date. 
As you approach the end of your lease, it can save you some time to let your landlord know in writing what address they should send your security deposit to. Otherwise, they’ll have to send it to your last known address, which could take a little while to correct if you’re not able to access it there.
If those 14 days come and go and you still haven’t received anything from your landlord, or if you have questions about any itemized expenses withheld, you should reach out to them in writing. 
If your landlord refuses to return your security deposit or won’t give you an itemization of expenses for damages, or if you believe they’re wrongfully withholding any of your deposit, you have the option of taking them to small claims court. 

How to save money on car and renters insurance in Nebraska

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If you and your landlord have a written agreement, you may be able to use your security deposit toward your last month of rent, but without that written consent from your landlord, you could risk getting evicted before you’re ready to move out. It’s usually best to pay your last month of rent as usual and wait to get your security deposit after your lease is complete.
Nebraska law doesn’t outline carpet cleaning requirements after a tenant’s lease ends. However, it does state that funds withheld from a security deposit for cleaning or damages would have to exceed normal wear and tear, so they likely couldn’t do so unless the carpet became extremely dirty or damaged during your lease.
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