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Smoke Alarm and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alarm Program



Landlord & Tenant Responsibilities
The City of Lincoln Housing Code and the Nebraska Landlord-Tenant Act require landlords to comply with the community’s minimum housing codes concerning health and safety. The landlord must make all repairs to keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition; keep the common areas clean and safe; and maintain whatever facilities are supplied such as the furnace, plumbing and elevators. Tenants also must comply with all community housing codes. They must keep smoke alarms functional and replace batteries when needed. They must keep the dwelling unit as clean and safe as conditions permit, dispose of garbage, keep the plumbing clean and use the electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling facilities in a reasonable manner.

No retaliation by owner
An owner or his or her representative cannot retaliate against a tenant who complains of a housing code violation.

Maintenance Requests
Do you have a maintenance request? Do you need smoke alarms installed? First, contact your landlord or property manager. If the problem is not resolved in a timely fashion, then you may file a complaint.

The Housing Code enforcement process really requires the combined efforts of owners, tenants and the City working together to achieve the stated goal of providing safe housing. For complete information consult the Lincoln Minimum Housing Code that has been adopted under Chapter 21 of the Lincoln Municipal Code.

Complaint Procedures
When you recognize you need smoke alarms installed, your smoke alarms are over 10 years old, or when something needs to be fixed or repaired in your apartment the first person to contact is your landlord or property manager. If the problem is not addressed within a reasonable length of time you may call the Building and Safety Department's Housing Section at 402-441-7785. When you call, a Housing Inspector will visit your home and determine if any code violations exist. If a code violation is found, your landlord or property manager will be notified and a deadline will be set for the repair of the violation.

Complaint Procedure

  1. Contact your landlord. If no action - then:
  2. Call Building and Safety at 402-441-7785.
  3. A City Housing Inspector will visit your home.
  4. Inspector will determine if violation exists.
  5. Repair deadline will be set.

Other Rights and Obligations
You may have other rights and obligations under the Nebraska Landlord and Tenant Law. If you are seeking legal advice you should contact an attorney.

The following is a list of some of the most common items required by city code:
Is there an approved exit from every sleeping room? Do basement bedrooms have approved exits? Are apartment entry doors onto common hallways self-closing? Does the apartment or home you are renting have smoke alarms? Note: Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-5144(2) states: “The occupant shall be responsible for replacement of the battery. . . .”

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