A bill requiring landlords to return security deposits more quickly passed May 24.
LB433, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Matt Hansen, requires landlords automatically to provide the balance due on a security deposit to a tenant within 14 days of termination of a rental agreement.
If a landlord fails to return a security deposit within 14 days, the tenant can recover any property or money due to him or her, as well as liquidated damages equal to one month’s rent plus costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
If a government entity deems a residence to be uninhabitable due to negligence, the tenant is not liable for any damage as a direct result of forcible removal.
The bill also includes provisions of Hansen’s LB434, which extend the period of time for payment of rent after a notice of intent to terminate from three to seven days.
A tenant can recover liquidated damages equal to one month’s rent or twice the amount of the security deposit—whichever is less—if the landlord’s failure to return the security deposit was willful and in bad faith.
Landlords must remit any unclaimed security deposit to the state treasurer for disposition under the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act if returned undeliverable or if the deposit remains outstanding 30 days after the initial mailing.
The bill passed on a 39-1 vote.