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Category Archives: Legislative Issues

I believe it’s time to support use of a #LegalIowaLease

The Residential Rentals Industry has evolved significantly since the enactment of the nationally recognized “Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act” of 1974(1).  In substance, the work of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, was largely adopted by the Iowa General Assembly in 1978.

For most publications of IaREIA & the Iowa Landlord Association, I prefer to use “we” as often as possible, when referencing decisions that have been either by the association or on behalf of the association.

Unfortunately for this post, which includes significant preference for using a legal lease (e.g. our Iowa Residential Rental Agreement pictured here), I must speak for myself and approximately 50% of our members.  These include those who use our “Best-in-Class in Iowa” lease, plus most who served “Forms Task Force”, our legal counsel of 25+ years and principal author of our lease, Mark V. Hanson, J.D. and one of our newest trainers for the IaREIA School of Real Estate, Christopher Warnock, J.D.

Currently, just over 27% of our membership (~= to 100 landlords and property managers) have adopted use of this lease, during the past 5 years.

As of Feb 13, 2018, two bills are winding their way through the Iowa General Assembly — HSB633 (now HF2384) and SSB3142, companion bills which originated in both chambers — recommending identical change to Iowa Code.   SSB3142 passed out of the subcommittee but with recommendation for amendment, which, unfortunately was never completed.  It died before reaching the full Senate Judiciary.

Therefore, the bill which survived the first funnel is HF2384 which currently has no amendment.   As written, it advocates Landlords should be allowed to include illegal provisions in their lease as long as those provisions are not enforced.

Our 150-Legislative District Strategy & Year End Wishes

Our 150-Legislative District Strategy is sprouting wings!   We’ve made tremendous strides forward in 2017; we’ve 10-X’ed our database from 850 to over 10,000 stakeholders.  Your staff has invested 100’s of hours and thousands of dollars to install a server to host our CRM (Act!), then make it accessible from any browser;  we’ve populated files then begun the never ending task of ensuring accuracy, and matching our industry stakeholders with their Senator and Representative — one  address at a time (cross-referenced with the Legislator lookup tool).

It’s been a five year dream and a very ambitious undertaking, yet we’re finally making serious headway.  National REIA invited several leaders to the National Apartment Association Advocacy conference in Washington D.C., in March of 2017.  Your Executive Director, the only attendee from Iowa, became inspired by a presentation by Bradford Fitch, a featured speaker.

In preparation for our Expo, we invited Bradford to address our attendees.

Congressional Management Foundation – Click image for 5-min Video Focusing on the Importance Role Constituents Play as Legislation is passed

Our recruiting effort has just begun, yet you don’t have to wait for our call  to become a volunteer “District Captain”.  Just let us know if you’re available for 2-8 hours during the Legislative Session, to serve the industry as an advocate.

The time commitment is an estimate, yet when we send a “Call to Action” we are positioning to become more proactive than we have ever been.  We need hundreds, and no time contribution is too small, nor too large!

Day on the Hill 2016 is Wednesday

Room 304, 10:00. Always an interesting event that gives us a read on General Assembly priorities vs. Real Estate Investor priorities. All members welcome!

How to Sleep Better, without Bed Bugs, or Lease Concerns …

Rental property owners and managers have so much risk from just being in the rental property business.  Why not eliminate the risk of using a lease in which you are not confident that it will be held in high regard by the courts?

Several recent court cases, originating out of Iowa City, are drawing fire from tenants to the level of class action suits.   And, our side is taking a major hit as a result.

I just what to share how grateful I am to our members who have supported their business, and our association, by purchasing our “Premium Iowa Lease”.  10 copies for $25, or 5 copies for $15. Those fees, now from dozens of RPO’s, help offset the legal expense for creation of those documents.

While we do ask users of IaREIA-ILA forms to sign a “Members Agreement for use of Association Forms”, in exchange, we promise to update existing inventory if there is a legal challenge that causes a member to lose in court, because of  such use,

The forms must be used as-is, and there are other conditions, but we offer indemnification from loss up to $1,000, should a user lose a case in court because of a provision in our lease which does not prevail.

We expect to release our “Multi-family Pest Control Addendum” soon, and every attendee who was at our April 18, 2013, meeting, will get a copy for free.   I expect this will be shortly after our October 27 meeting, at which Jeffrey Lipman will be our featured speaker.   His topic will be on Bed Bugs.

Check our calendar for his credentials.  We are ver fortunate to have him speak, as he spends more time litigating in Texas and California, than Iowa.  Learn what you need to do to prevent law suits!!!



The case for development of RE investor leaders, all across Iowa

Left to Right: Scott Whaley, President NREIA, Leslie Couture, admin assistant, and Andrew Lietzow, Exec Dir, both with IaREIA-ILA.

Left to Right: Scott Whaley, President NREIA, Leslie Couture, admin assistant, Andrew Lietzow, Exec Dir, IaREIA & Iowa Landlord Association.

For nearly three decades National Real Estate Investors Association (NREIA) has offered an opportunity for affiliated associations to compete for “Awards of Excellence” and well as “Honors of Merit”.  All awards are presented at the Mid-Year Leadership Conference, in June of each year.   Some previous venues for this conference were Seattle, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Minneapolis, in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively, and we have had one or two representatives at each.  While it is mandatory that at least one leader from each Chapter attend, we love it when other leaders participate. Interested? Let us know!

This year, our representatives were Andrew Lietzow, Exec Dir, and Leslie Couture, who joined IaREIA in 2015, as an administrative assistant.