Across the United States, investors are putting their money into rental properties. With a rental property, investors can make money renting residential homes to tenants or vacation homes to travelers. Investments can also be made into commercial properties, with buildings rented by companies in need of space for warehousing or a storefront. There are many possibilities when it comes to rental properties.
In the US, there are certain regulations that must be followed when investing in a property and renting it to another individual. In the state of Iowa, the rental inspection requirement of landlords changed in 2017 within several cities, with different requirements now needed. Landlords in the state need to brush up on the changes in order to ensure proper regulations are followed and the proper background checks are in place.
Oskaloosa City Changes
In Oskaloosa, Iowa, the city council decided to create a Rental Housing Inspection Program that all landlords must follow. The new ordinance went into effect in July of last year and requires that all housing units that are rented or being offered for rent within the city limits are registered within the city. The annual registration fee is just $15 per unit. To register, a landlord must fill out a Rental Housing Registration Form and pay the fee to the Oskaloosa Public Works facility.
During the registration process, the landlord will need to verify that every rental property will meet the standards that are outlined in the Rental Housing Inspection Checklist. Properties are to be inspected once every three years. If the first inspection is passed with no issues, then the next inspection will be within a four-year time frame.
During the inspection, the exterior and the interior of the property will be reviewed. Examples of exterior checkpoints include the roof and walls for deterioration, doors are operable and can be locked as well as the foundation appears in good repair. For the interior, such checkpoints include the walls, ceilings, and floors being in good repair, proper electrical service is provided, and all stairs are in good condition. Plumbing, electrical/maintenance, and fire safety are also included in the inspection.
Fort Madison, Iowa Changes
Fort Madison also decided to adopt a new Residential Rental Housing Inspection Program, to ensure that rental properties provide livable conditions. Inspections are used to discover and rectify any code violations present within rental properties. Within an inspection in Fort Madison, the inspector is looking for any threats to the occupant’s safety, threats to the building’s structural integrity and any negative impact the property has on the neighborhood.
Rental properties will be inspected for violations of the exterior and interior of the space, with corrective notices issued when a violation is found. A violation can include an infestation of rodents, insects or vermin; overgrown yards, deterioration of walls or roofing, structure in need of paint and other issues.
Any investor should thoroughly review any such programs before purchasing a new rental property. Across the US, such programs exist and must be followed in order to provide rental property services in the given region.