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Iowa Code 562A & B – Landlord/Tenant Law & How We Influence the Direction of that Law

The Landlord/Tenant Act for the State of Iowa

Website Versions of  Iowa Code 562A & 562B – posted at Legis.iowa.gov

Coolice Version (Single Column, HTML) – 562A

We recently removed our “nicely formatted version” as we don’t want readers to download or make reference to an out-of-date version!

If you are new to rental property ownership or management, or even if you’re an experienced veteran, taking an hour, or two, to read through this chapter once each year is time well spent.

Many of our members know Chapter 562A fairly well.  It is the primary area of Iowa Code with which Landlords and Property Managers must be familiar.  Over time it’s easy to get a little rusty.   e.g. The FED (eviction) process has become even more challenging as a result of the WAR EAGLE VILLAGE APTS v. Geneva PLUMMER decision – on November 20,2009 – which is now codified into 562a.29a.

Then there are the municipal ordinances, which are concerned with the property and maintenance requirements.   You will find significant information here, stored by city name.  If your city doesn’t show local ordinances and links, please send us what you can find!

Having a good understanding of this section of the Iowa Code is important to long term success.

The ILA & IaREIA offer rental property management education at most conferences, and through various workshops.   We encourage members to attend those training sessions.   We often provide courses with CEU’s to meet qualifications for maintaining a Real Estate License, and our courses are much more specific to property management than what you might get elsewhere.

We work to ensure our trainers are real-world practitioners, not only knowledgeable about what you can and cannot do, but also in touch with reality that property management is one of the most challenging professions there is*.

Speaking of SOP’s, are yours written?  Do you follow them consistently?   It’s more important today than it ever was as there are “testers” out in the field, trying to trip up landlords and property managers.   This is particularly true with service and emotional support animals, but also on occupancy laws and discrimination.

Know your landlord/tenant laws!

Lobbying for change:

Joe Kelly  was our Direct Lobbyist to the Iowa General Assembly for approximately 26 years, 1990-2015.   Starting in 2012, we began to develop our 150-Legislative District Strategy for grass roots lobbying, and now lobbying is done in-house.  We maintain a list of over 8,000 industry stakeholders and are blazing the trail by offering the most powerful grass roots advocacy program in Iowa, for our Residential Rentals Industry, bar none!

Each year, our Iowa State representatives face a daunting task to stay on top of hundreds of bills meandering through each session of the General Assembly. A dizzying array of legislative initiatives are presented to subcommittees, possibly committees, then on to full floor debate — with serious culling along the way.

It’s an amazing process to observe, or better, in which to participate!  If you’re a stakeholder, that’s where you come in — through participation in our Calls to Action program.

Of the 200+ bills introduced for floor debate, the vast majority pass or they are never brought up.  Yet many are cut long before they are considered in a full session.  Unfortunately, not all legislation passed in both chambers becomes law.

For example, the “City Enterprise Services Bill” was a bill that passed with near unanimous support through both chambers, yet was struck down through the Governor’s veto power, in 2007.

A great way to help support a legislative agenda which is pro Rental Property Owners and Managers is to make a donation to the IARPO-PAC.  Keep in mind, however, that even if we do not initiate any new bills, we must always play defense.

* “One of the most challenging professions there is” … a bold claim and we’ll get back to you on why that is, but the reason this is true is that in no other profession are you constantly dealing with people and where they live, on terms where they are renting and not owning. Everyone wants rights of possession of their home, and sometimes rental residents can seemingly forget that they don’t own the property, and that they must return it in same condition as when first rented, subject to normal wear and tear.

Come join us at our next meeting.  See our Calendar of Events for meeting times and location.