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Legislative Priorities – 2013

Legislative Priorities - 2013

House/Senate File # or IssueDescriptionSponsors or Sub-Committee Members
For the Legislative Session of 2013, the Iowa Real Estate Investors Association (IaREIA -- representing both the Iowa Landlord Association and Two Rivers REIA) will be working closely with all Associations which represent the interests of Residential Real Estate Investors and Entrepreneurs in Iowa. The following chart is a compilation from the efforts of Daryl Kruse, Legislative Chair of Landlords of Iowa, and Andrew Lietzow, Exec. Dir. of Iowa Landlord Association. Our new Legislative Chair is Darlene Crook, who will be working with leadership to provide top notch attention to our legislative issues.
Summary Page of Latest Drafts This page is where we list the latest drafts of bills, legislative initiatives, and recently passed legislation. No details other than the bill language.
Continue with HF495 (f/k/a HSB28) offers Revisions to Chapter 562A 1. The schedule of allowable late fees will be moved from chapter 535, the money and interest chapter, to chapter 562A, where everyone can access it easier. Remaining in chapter 535 will be the language exempting late fees on rent from the state usury law.

2. The definition of "presumption" is moved from the retaliation section of 562A to the general definition section so that it applies to the entire chapter, rather than just one subsection.

3. The definition of resident means an occupant of the dwelling unit who is at least 18 years of age.

4. After the negotiation session yesterday, the late fee section has been agreed to as follows: For rent $700 and under, a landlord may obtain no more than $12 per day, not to exceed $60 per month. For rents over $700 per month, the late fees shall not exceed $20 per day, and not to exceed $100 in a month.

5. It will be clear in chapter 562A that a tenant who intentionally damages a landlord's property may be subject to criminal charges under chapter 716.

6. HF 495 will allow the landlord to grant waivers for a term of days without losing the right to evict for the original breach.
Introduced by Chairperson Chip Baltimore, and assigned to a Judiciary Sub-Committee.
Judiciary: Greg Heartsill Chair,Mark Brandenburg, and Jo Oldson. Passed out of cmte 21-0. Now we're hoping it will be introduced onto the debate calendar in the week of Mach 18-22!
HF184 (f/k/a HSB9) - "The Occupancy Bill" Rental occupancy should only be based on square footage, and possibly a few other factors. Bill had broad support last year, passing out of committee by a vote of 15-0. We have a lot of info on this bill, and why landlords should be supportive, as well as the public in general. We cannot figure out why some would be in favor of discrimination against the unrelated. Introduced by Chairperson Chip Baltimore, and assigned to a Judiciary Sub-Committee.
Mark.Brandenburg, chair; Bobby Kaufmann, and Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, members. The bill was passed the HJC by a vote of 17 -4, with strong, bipartisan support for this bill. It's time to end this discriminatory policy. Cities can zone for density, and control noise and parking through other means.
New Initiative for 2013 - Now house study bill Now HF 356 (f/k/a HSB13) Extends maximum life of a judgment for rent from 2 years to 10(?) years. Click for more info. This bill is a little more controversial, though we have trouble figuring out why. Two years is not enough time to collect on a judgment. The courts awarded the judgment for good reason, and small business people normally have up to 10 years to collect on a judgment. We're hoping for an amendment for 5 years, with a possible extension of another 5 in year 4-5. This would be more fair and balanced than the present law.
As of Jan 7, this measure is being added into 562A revisions (see HSB605 above), as additional language to 562A.17.6. Intentional Damage to Rental Property (Check out HSB28 above). While "intentional damage to property, including rental property, is already a criminal act (IC Chapter 716 -- from an aggravated misdeamor to a Class 'C" Felony) it is many times not being enforced. 562A.17.6 states: The tenant shall: ...6. Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove a part of the premises or knowingly permit a person
to do so.
This initiative originated from members in ILA Burlington District (SEIPO members, as well as others) and has strong support from RPO's all across Iowa.
Holding pattern on SSB 3089 - SprinklersNo sprinkler retrofits in existing dwelling units. Joe has decided that Home Builders and Realtors must lead on this bill, if it is going to be worked in 2013. We are not currently seeking sponsors for this bill, although supporting the initiative is always a good idea.
New Initiative - Accountability of City Officials Hold city officials liable for attorney fees, court costs, etc. when property owners have to defend against heavy-handed, frivolous city actions.
New Initiative - Fines over $750 to be considered an abuse of Municipal power. Reduce all Municipal infraction fines (unless clear and present danger caused by Owner/Manager) from Maximum $5,000 to Maximum $750 fine, 1st Offense, $2,500 second. 50% of penalties should go to an education fund. This initiative is coming out of the Central Iowa District. It is being researched and under review.
Bed Bug Initiative (HSB 520 in 2012) Under review as to viability and priority. Of particular concern to Rental Property Owners and Managers is there has been no "Safe Harbor" rule established to protect either RPO's or Residents.
Allowing RPO's to make modifications to existing Electrical, Plumbing, or HVAC installations when owner/manager has passed a competency test for small residential properties. Under review. Seeking comments and research.