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Tenants' Rights

Tenant's Personal Property

When a tenant vacates the property and leaves personal property behind, Nebraska law requires the landlord to give the tenant an opportunity to retrieve it. The landlord must send a written notice to the tenant within six months of the tenant vacating the property describing the property, stating that reasonable storage costs may be charged, stating the location and date by which the tenant must claim the property. If this notice is delivered personally to the tenant, it must give the tenant at least seven days to claim the property. If the notice is mailed, it must give the tenant at least 14 days to claim the property. The tenant must pay the reasonable costs of storage before taking possession of the personal property.

The notice must also state whether the landlord believes the property to be worth more or less than $2,000.00. This distinction matters when the tenant does not claim the property within the time allowed in the notice. If the unclaimed property is worth more than $2,000.00, the landlord must arrange a sale of the property, collect the costs of storage, transport, and sale out of the sale proceeds, and turn the rest over to the State Treasurer as unclaimed property. If the unclaimed property is worth less than $2,000.00, the landlord may dispose of the property however the landlord sees fit, including keeping it, selling it, and destroying it without any further notice. The tenant may claim the property at any point before the sale; however, if the tenant waits until after the deadline in the notice, the tenant will be responsible for the costs of sale the landlord has already incurred as well as the costs of storage and transport.

The tenant can speed up this notice process by giving the landlord a written notice within 14 days of vacating the property. This notice must identify the personal property, request its return, and give the mailing address of the tenant. After the landlord receives the notice, the landlord has five days to either return the property or give the tenant an itemized list of all the storage and transportation costs. Within 72 hours after the tenant pays these costs, the property must be turned over to the tenant at an agreed-upon time and place.

Nebraska Statutes 69-2301 through 69-2314 

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