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A Guide to Landlords & Tenant Responsibilities

A Guide to Landlords & Tenant Responsibilities

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. . . .”


The Importance of Smoke Detector Installation

The Importance of Smoke Detector Installation

Smoke detector installation is serious business. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), household fires spread much more quickly than in the past due to the kinds of fabrics and materials used in modern home furnishings. For this reason, an adequate number of smoke detectors must be installed correctly in every home.

How Many Smoke Detectors Do I Need?

The number and arrangement of smoke detectors in your house depends on the size and layout of your home. 

In general, there should be a smoke alarm in each "sleeping room" in your house - so bedrooms area necessity, but also guest rooms and living rooms. There should also be a smoke detector on each level with a bedroom; in hallways or near the stairs to an upper level are good locations.

The kitchen is another common place for fires to start. A smoke detector should be installed within at least 10 feet of your cooking appliances, but not so close as to be set off every time you burn dinner.

If you're not sure how many smoke detectors you need or where exactly to install them, consult your electrician. They will be familiar with state and local regulations for smoke detector installation.

Do I Need an Electrician to Install Smoke Detectors?

Many residential buildings make use of cheap battery-operated smoke detectors that are simply fixed to the wall. But are these enough to ensure the safety of your family and property? A much safer option is to have an interconnected, hard-wired smoke detection system.

Hard-wired smoke detectors are connected directly to your home's electrical system. Although they do contain batteries as a back-up measure, being powered by the mail electrical circuit means that they will continue to work, even if you forget to replace the batteries. Some states now require hard-wired systems in newly constructed homes.

An interconnected smoke detector system can also save lives. "Interconnected" means that the detectors can communicate with each other. When one detects smoke or fire, all the alarms will sound - alerting you quickly to possible danger.

They can also tell you where the smoke is coming from. Detectors can be interconnected either wirelessly (using radio frequency signals) or during the hard-wiring installation.

Both the NFPA and Consumer Product Safety Commission recognize that interconnected smoke detectors are safer, as they are more likely to alert occupants to the fire. This can be especially important in larger or multi-level homes. If a fire breaks out in a remote part of the house, you want to know about it immediately - not once it's spreading to other rooms.

For both hard-wired and interconnected smoke detection systems, you should consult a qualified electrician for installation. It's always safer and easier to have a trained professional do the job, and they will know the regulations and standards your home should meet.

Don't hesitate to update your smoke detection system.


Recall Information

Recall Information

FYI...this recall involves Lifetone HLAC151 Bedside Fire Alarm and Clock with serial numbers ranging from AC160600001 through AC160604102 and AC170100001 through AC170106030 only. All these Lifetones were recently manufactured, so this recall does not have any impact on the ones we installed in the past or currently have in stock.

Subject: Lifetone Technology Recalls Bedside Fire Alarm and Clocks Due to Failure to Fully Alert Consumers to a Fire |

Lifetone Technology Recalls Bedside Fire Alarm and Clocks Due to Failure to Fully Alert Consumers to a Fire


Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product if the digital display is not working and contact Lifetone Technology to receive a prepaid label for the return of the alarms and instructions on receiving a free replacement alarm.


Lifetone has received 77 reports of alarms with a blank screen. No injuries have been reported.