Rental protections in Nebraska win final OK from lawmakers

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Domestic violence victims who are living with their abuser in a rental property could break their lease and leave without penalties under a bill that won final approval Thursday from Nebraska lawmakers.

Senators passed the measure through the last of three required votes in the Legislature by 43-3 margin. The bill by Sen. John Cavanaugh, of Omaha, includes other tenant protections, such as requiring landlords to give at least 24 hours of notice before entering a tenant’s apartment.

The bill was inspired by incidents in Nebraska where women left abusive partners but were forced by their landlord to keep paying rent while their partner remained in the apartment.

It also would require the Nebraska Supreme Court to submit a report to lawmakers every six months spelling out the number of eviction proceedings initiated, the number of landlords and tenants represented by attorneys and the number of evictions granted. The data would be broken down by county, giving lawmakers a better sense of eviction trends outside of the Omaha and Lincoln areas.