It is important for landlords to comply with the maintenance obligations imposed on them by law. These landlord obligations can be found for Nebraska at Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1419, and for obligations that impact health and safety the importance of immediately addressing any deficiencies is imperative. Some states will allow a tenant to “repair and deduct”, which means if there is a deficiency on the premises which impacts health or safety that the landlord has been informed of but does not address, the tenant can make the repair and deduct the cost from the next month’s rent payment.
Nebraska does not allow for such a repair and deduct option for tenants. Instead, a tenant must notify the landlord of the deficiency (also known as a breach) and request that it be remedied within a certain period of time. The tenant’s notice must be a written notice, and must specifically state the nature of the deficiency. In the notice the tenant can request that the deficiency be corrected within 14 days after receipt of the notice, and inform the landlord that the lease agreement will be terminated by the tenant within 30 days of the notice if the repairs are not completed within that 14 day time frame. If the landlord corrects the problem within the specified period the lease does not terminate. However, if within six months of the noncompliance the same deficiency occurs again, the tenant can simply provide written notice of their intent to terminate the agreement within 14 days of landlord’s receipt of the notice.