Renters Scramble as Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts Lifts Halt on Evictions

May 21, 2020

It’s a move that’s left renters across Nebraska scrambling; Wednesday Governor Pete Ricketts doubled down on his decision to not extend the halt on eviction hearings past May. 

“It’s pretty scary because while it was suspended all these accrued charges came with it. After the 31st we’re expected to pay a really large sum of money that we can’t pay, so chances are we’re probably going to get evicted,” said Shelby Nash, who’s family rents in Omaha.

“A landlord can tell a tenant, pay everything - April, May. March - and they are gone if they can’t pay that within seven days,” said Scott Mertz, Legal Aid of Nebraska. 

Wednesday Governor Ricketts repeated his reasons for not extending the halt on pandemic-related evictions,

“We felt it was important people not get too far behind on their rent, so people would be able to catch up. And with the pandemic employment assistance of $600 a month that was going to be sufficient for people to pay their rents,” said the governor.

Legal Aid of Nebraska said it would have made sense to extend the halt on evictions until the end of July. That’s when the federal moratorium protecting some tenants runs out.

“If you’ve got a good landlord who’s willing to work with you to get you caught up, your probably fine. Not everyone is in that situation though,” said Mertz.

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