On February 9, 2021, HF442 was introduced in the Iowa House. This bill would negatively impact landlords of manufactured housing communities by adding numerous prejudicial changes for landlords into Iowa law. Many of the provisions in this bill were also contained in bills from the last legislative session; those bills did not pass.
The bill would make several substantial changes to Iowa Code Chapter 562B, Iowa’s Manufactured Housing Community law. Many landlords fear that similar amendments may be proposed in the future for all Iowa landlords under Iowa Code Chapter 562A (Iowa’s Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant law).
Some of the more controversial and objectionable portions of the bill are listed below. The full text of the bill can be found on the legislature website.
- Substantial changes to a landlord’s current right to choose whether to renew a tenancy through implementation of various restrictions on the reasons for which a landlord can terminate (i.e., not renew) a tenancy and enlargement of the notice period for non-renewal from 60 to 90 days
- Increase of the notice period for rent changes from 60 days to 120 days
- Restriction that rent could only be increased once a year
- Imposition of a 90-day prior notification requirement to residents when a manufactured home community is be sold
- Mandate that all landlord violations of Iowa Code Chapter 562B are considered consumer fraud
- Restrictions on a landlord’s right to impose utility charges and increase such charges
- Restrictions on a landlord’s right to deny applicants
- Additional restrictions on allowable provisions within rental agreements
- Changing the retaliation provision within 562B to enlarge the presumption period from 6 months to one year, matching the time element used in 562A
- Eliminating the current parameters of the Manufactured Housing Revolving Loan Fund, which would allow the fund to be used for real estate, not exclusively for manufactured homes in leased communities. Manufactured housing, converted to real property, is already eligible for all housing programs.
The Iowa Manufactured Housing Association, including its executive director-lobbyist, Joe Kelly; general counsel Jodie McDougal; lobbying team, Tim Coonan and Sydney Gangestad; and the Association Board, have been diligently working on these legislative matters since before session began and will continue to do so, as the Association expresses their opposition to this bill.
HF442 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. All landlords and companies affected by this bill should make their opinions known by contacting the House Judiciary Committee members.
Manufactured housing communities with questions about contacting legislators or managing the rules of Iowa Code Chapter 562B should consult an attorney.
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