Landlords who want to make changes to the rules and regulations in their manufactured housing communities need to be aware of the notice rules in Iowa Code § 562B.19.
General Notice Period for Rule Changes
Generally speaking, Iowa law provides that notice of rule changes may be implemented for all mobile home residents 30 days before they become effective.
Longer Notice Period for Substantial Modifications
However, there is an exception if the rule change “would work a substantial modification to the rental agreement,” (Iowa Code § 562B.19). These substantial modification changes must be implemented with the same notice period as if you were raising the rent or changing the terms of the lease - only after the current lease term has expired and upon 60 days prior notice.
Any change in the rules that would add an additional fee equates to a substantial modification and has a different notice period. For example, if you wanted to add a $10/dog/month fee, or if you wanted to stop allowing dogs, as part of a rule change, those rule changes equate to a substantial modification to the rental agreement.
Lease Term and the Notice Period
Lease terms play a big part in implementing rule changes.
If all leases within your community are month-to-month, this type of rule change can be implemented with a 60-day notice. Conversely, if your community has some 6-month and 1-year leases, then the implementation of this type of new rule would not take effect for those residents with longer leases until after their 6-month or 1-year tenancy term has ended.
Service Method for the Notice of Rule Change
You can notify residents via posting or via mailing U.S. Mail and Certified Mail. You do not need to do both for this type of rule change.
If you are making changes to the Rules and Regulations in your community, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney to confirm whether the change would be considered a “substantial modification” under the law and, thus, require the longer notice period.
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