The Rental Housing Program ensures the regular inspection of rental units, inspection of rental units upon complaint and certification of rental units. The 2009 International Code Council Property Maintenance Code has been adopted as the basis for the Housing Code.
Every rental unit must be registered with the Community Development Department. Buyers and sellers of rental property must notify the Community Development Department within two (2) days of closing or executing a contract for sale to transfer the Certificate(s) of Occupancy or remove the unit from the registry. Click here for rental registration form.
Please use the following links for more information on the program. Should you have further questions, please call the Community Development Department at (515)223-6221.
Rental Housing Program Resources
- Environmental Protection Agency-Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (How to mitigate lead paint)
- MidAmerican Energy Multifamily Housing Energy Assessment Program (Lower your energy costs)
- Rental Registration Form
- Responding to a Rental Housing Complaint
- Rental Inspection Guide
- Filing a Rental Housing Complaint - Brochure and Form
- Tenant/Landlord Complaint Form
- Iowa Legal Aid
- Iowa Civil Rights Commission
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners
- Polk County Health Department
Frequently Asked Questions
Owner = Rental property owner or the owner's representative
Unit = Rental unit which may be a single-family house, a duplex or an apartment
Q - I have a leak in my roof and my landlord refuses to repair it. How can I get him to fix it?
A - The Rental Housing code requires that all complaints to landlords be in writing. The tenant must retain a copy of that complaint and any responses from the owner. If the owner does not respond within seven (7) days, or the issue has not been resolved to the tenant's satisfaction within twenty (20) days, the tenant must submit a complaint form, along with supporting documentation, to the Community Development Department.
Q - What happens when I submit the complaint form to the Community Development Department?
A - A department official will schedule an inspection with the owner and tenant. If violations are found, an inspection fee will be charged to the owner.
Q - What if the owner evicts me because I complained?
A - It is unlawful for the owner to evict a tenant for complaining about a legitimate issue, however, it is important to note that tenants MUST continue paying rent despite conditions in the rental unit. An owner has the right to evict a tenant who is not paying their rent.
Rental Property Owners
Q - Why do I have to have my rental unit inspected?
A - The Rental Housing Code requires that self-inspection forms be submitted every two (2) years and that the Community Development Department will conduct inspections on each rental every within a five year period.
Q - How much does a rental certificate cost?
A - The fee is $65 for a 2 year certificate.
Q - When will my property be inspected?
A - Each rental unit will be inspected by the Community Department within a five year period. This means that approximately 20% of all registered units will be inspected in 2014, 2015, etc. Owners will be notified at least 30 days in advance of any required inspections.
Q - I'm confused about how many people can live in my rental unit.
A - If the rental unit is a single-family home or duplex the following applies:
Any number of people related by blood may occupy the unit provided they have the room (Dwelling Occupant Load) as defined in Title 11, Chapter 6 (see below) of the city code. However, only three (3) UNRELATED people and any children related to any of them may occupy the unit provided they have the room (Dwelling Occupant Load) as defined in Title 11, Chapter 6 of the city code.
If the rental unit is an apartment, the number of people occupying the unit must adhere only to the Dwelling Occupant Load as defined in Title 11, Chapter 6 of the city code.
Dwelling Occupant Load: The maximum permitted occupant load within a dwelling unit in any residential district shall not exceed the following:
|Room Type||Room Area||Maximum Occupant Load|
|Bedroom room||At least 70 sq. ft. but less than 120 sq. ft.||1 per room|
|Bedroom room||120 sq. ft. to 180 sq. ft.||2 per room|
|Bedroom room||180 sq. ft. or more||3 per room|
|Multipurpose room||At least 70 sq. ft.||1 per room, not more than 2 per dwelling unit|