Important housing justice bill up this week

UnicameralThe Legislature is officially done with hearings for the session! Senators began floor debate this week and debate will take place in both the mornings and afternoons moving forward. They will focus primarily on senators’ and committees’ designated priority bills for the year.

Priority bills from senators and committees were due at the end of last week and you can view those that have been filed here. We are excited to see a number of important issues designated as priorities by senators and we will keep you updated as those priority bills are scheduled for debate.

Housing access legislation on the agenda this week

This Thursday, we will see LB320 placed on the agenda for debate. Introduced and prioritized by Senator John Cavanaugh, this bill and its accompanying amendment contains a number of important updates to Nebraska’s Landlord-Tenant Act that will help address Nebraska’s housing needs and provide tenants better access to justice.

LB320 includes the following changes:

  • Allows a victim of domestic violence to obtain an early termination of a rental agreement, with no additional termination cost other than the current month’s rent.
  • Requires a report from the Nebraska Supreme Court with data on evictions broken down by county.
  • Requires eviction filings to include a statutory reason for eviction so a tenant can understand why they are being evicted.
  • Updates the Mobile-Home Landlord-Tenant Act to reflect changes made to the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, including changing the 5-day notice to quit for nonpayment to a 7-day notice, and requiring landlords to return the balance of a security deposit without an explicit request.
  • Allows both tenants and landlords the opportunity for one good cause continuance in an eviction proceeding and both parties must prove extraordinary cause for any subsequent continuance.
  • Requires a summons for an eviction hearing be served to a tenant by posting it on the front door of the unit and also mailed by first-class mail to a last known address.
  • Requires landlords give 24-hours written notice providing a reasonable period of time and reason for entering a tenant’s unit except in emergency situations.

These changes are vitally important to ensure housing justice is afforded to tenants in Nebraska. You can express your support for this bill by leaving a comment on the bill’s page (“Submit Comments Online For LB 320”).

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We’ll let you know how you can take action to get involved and make your voice heard throughout the session!

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