Jul 12, 2021 - Politics
Des Moines to finalize new rent rules
New rent rules will go before the DSM City Council for a third and final vote July 19.
Why it matters: The updates are intended to promote public safety. But unnecessary regulation can create headaches for both landlords and renters, resulting in fewer homes for rent or more expensive housing.
- Orange City is being sued by landlords and tenants challenging a new rental ordinance as overly invasive and a violation of constitutional rights.
- Emergency "knockout panels" that allow a resident to exit a building through another unit would be phased out by June of 2025. (Tenants often block them, making for unreliable exit systems.)
- Landlords must request a rental license at least 60 days prior to leasing. (It's currently 30 days.)
Of note: The City Council deferred decisions on some of the key pieces of an earlier proposal.
- Separate furnaces would be required in each residence of multi-unit apartment buildings to minimize commingled air as a health measure.
- Properties occupied by an owner's parent or child would no longer be exempt from licensing requirements.
- A 5% inspection fee increase was recommended. Most are currently between $88 and $150 for initial inspections.
What's next: The deferred pieces will be reviewed at upcoming council workshops.
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