2016 Legislative Issues

RIGHT TO ASSISTANCE BILL

Senate Study Bill- SSB 3015 and House File 493 - when someone calls 911 for help. Cedar Rapids and potentially other cities have already adopted an ordinance which may fine the owner of a property if there are too many police/fire/requests for assistance. There are implications to the landlord and the tenant. In some instances tenants are scared to call for fear of ramifications from their landlord. IAR registered in favor of a bill which would repeal existing ordinances and prohibit cities from adopting ordinance. The bill is in committee right now. The Landlord groups are in favor of it as well.

FAMILIAL STATUS BILL

Senate Study Bill SSB 1218 -  This bill relates to the authority of cities to regulate and restrict the occupancy of residential rental property. This bill would not allow cities to adopt ordinances or restrictions that limit the number of the unrelated people that can live together in rental properties. CIties may use other reasonable standards (such as number of bedrooms). This would affect cities who have currently adopted an ordinance, and especially an issue in communities with colleges and universities. IAR supports the legislation. It has failed for the last two years. IAR believes that there are other ways to enforce issues/problems that can arise in rental or other properties. For example, use of existing regulations regarding fire codes, parking restrictions, noise ordinances could be used. 

DISCLOSURE OF UTILITIES

House File 2060 - This bill relates to the disclosure of utilities to someone moving into a rental property. This bill would require disclosure of the average cost of utilities from a landlord/property management company to a prospective renter. The associations for apartments and landlords are undecided on this bill. In the past similar bills have required sellers to be involved, however many issues pop-up, especially because you might have owners that are not living there, or over used in a time period -- utility costs might be skewed. IAR is registered as undecided. 

CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

There are two bills relating to this topic. Senate Study Bill 3017 and House Study Bill 539. This bill would require carbon monoxide alarms in certain dwellings and multiple-unit residential buildings. Language would be similar to smoke detectors which is a required item to attest to when filing for a homestead tax credit. This bill would add carbon monoxide detectors are installed or will have one within 30 days of filing for homestead credit. This bill would have an effective date of July 2017. IAR are registered as undecided and we want to be assured that it does not become a time of transfer issue. 

SCRAP METAL

No bill has been published yet, The issue is criminals who steal copper and other metals from existing homes and construction sites and return for money from salvage yards. More information regarding this bill be will be shared once we see the specific language of the bill. 

HOME SAVINGS ACCOUNT

This legislation would create a new State income tax exemption for qualified deposits to a First-time Homebuyer Savings Account. This would allow prospective first-time homebuyers to save money for to help pay for closing costs or a downpayment on a home in Iowa. IAR has been working on this bill the previous two legislative sessions. The House has passed it with bipartisan support two years in a row. Some opponents of the bills are concerned on the budget impact of this bill. This legislation is still viable in the Senate and the IAR will continue to work for support of its passage.