Legal Issues null

Bill Relating to Source of Income Moves Through Iowa Legislature - February 22, 2021

Jodie Clark McDougal


On Wednesday, February 17, SF252, a bill relating to how landlords treat sources of income in their tenant and applicant decisions, passed the Senate. The bill now moves on to the House.

In short, the bill provides that cities and counties shall not adopt or enforce any source of income ordinance or other ordinance to the extent such ordinance does not allow landlords the freedom of choice regarding whether they will accept or refuse federal housing vouchers. Notably, the bill would have a retroactive effect and would partially invalidate the previously passed source of income ordinances to the extent they require landlords to accept HUD/federal housing choice vouchers; source of income ordinances currently exist in Iowa City, Marion, and Des Moines, as discussed in my prior blog post.

The current version of the bill is limited to landlords that fall within Chapter 562A (Iowa’s Uniform Landlord Tenant Law) and does not include landlords that fall under Chapter 562B (Iowa’s Manufactured Home Communities Law), but an amendment now or at a later time is possible.

The full text of the bill:

13. A city [or county] shall not adopt or enforce an ordinance or regulation that prohibits an owner, lessor, sublessor, managing agent, or other person having the right to lease, sublease, or rent out a dwelling unit from refusing to lease or rent out the dwelling unit to a person because of the person’s use of a federal housing choice voucher issued by the United States department of housing and urban development. Such an ordinance or regulation adopted prior to the effective date of this Act is void and unenforceable on and after the effective date of this Act. For purposes of this subsection, “dwelling unit” means the same as defined in section 562A.6.

Landlords with questions about contacting legislators or concerns should contact an attorney.


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