Iowa’s 2023 legislative session is well under way. Landlords should be aware of the following active bills at the Iowa Capitol.
HSB 125: This bill contains several amendments to various chapters of the Iowa Code dealing with landlord-tenant law, including Chapter 562A (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Law), Chapter 562B (Manufactured Home Communities/Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Law), and Chapter 648 (Forcible Entry and Detainer). Several Iowa landlord associations jointly proposed and support this bill. A summary of each section of HSB 125 is below.
This section increases the annual manufactured/mobile home retailer license fee from $100 to $120.
This section clarifies the definition of rent in Chapter 562A (which is currently defined as payments to be made to the landlord under a rental agreement) to expressly include base rent, utilities and late fees. Chapter 562B was amended in the 2022 legislative session in this same regard.
Sections 3, 5-6 and 8-10:
These sections amend the applicable notice and service sections of Chapters 562A, 562B and 648 as shown below. Such amendments will provide greater consistency in the interpretations of these sections among Iowa’s county magistrates presiding over evictions.
- A notice addressed to all tenants and unknown parties in possession shall be deemed to provide notice to all tenants and occupants, and any parties in possession, of the premises.
- In computing the time for completion of service under Iowa’s four-day mailing rule, the first day shall be excluded and the final day shall be included regardless of whether the fourth day is a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday.
- In the situation where service of an eviction petition and original notice cannot be made via two personal service attempts such that service is thereafter accomplished through the post-and-mail method, such mailing may occur prior to the two personal service attempts.
Sections 4 and 7:
These sections amend Chapters 562A and 562B to provide that a landlord is liable for its knowing enforcement of an unlawful lease provision against a tenant. Under the current statute, landlords are liable for their mere inclusion of unlawful provisions within a lease agreement, even without enforcement of any such provision against a tenant.
This section increases the peaceable possession period from thirty to ninety days. This amendment gives landlords and tenants greater flexibility in resolving disputes prior to the need for the landlord filing for a judicial eviction.
This section confirms existing case law by providing that landlords may immediately dispose of a tenant’s personal property after a tenant has been judicially evicted from the leased premises and removed pursuant to a Writ of Removal/Possession served by the sheriff.
HSB 43: This bill adds language into Chapter 648 mandating that certain eviction records are to be sealed from the general public, including eviction cases where the eviction case was dismissed or is more than five years old. Tenants’ rights groups support this legislation. Others are concerned that this information should not be hidden from access by future landlords and the general public.
HSB 26: This bill imposes certain procedures and requirements for landlords who wish to utilize an inventory checklist upon commencement and termination of residential tenancies. If this bill passes, landlords who currently utilize inventory checklists would need to come into compliance with these new requirements and procedures.
If you have questions regarding anything addressed in this article, please contact Jodie McDougal at email@example.com or at 515.242.8971. Additional legislative updates will be provided as needed.