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Proposed Rental Code Changes

Post Date:08/26/2019
Good Morning!

On Tuesday, August 13, 2019, the City Council voted to move forward with three changes to the Rental Code. As someone impacted by rental housing, we wanted to make sure that you had an opportunity to review the changes and provide input to the Council.

Below is a summary of the proposed changes:
1.) Rent Abatement: The addition of a section on Rent Abatement will give staff the ability to prohibit the owner from receiving rent when the owner has not provided the tenant an essential service (water, electricity, etc.), has failed to remedy life safety concern, has rented the dwelling without an LOC, or has failed to make the corrections required by the corrections report at a routine rental inspection.
2.) Withhold LOC if unregistered rental: This code change would give staff the ability to prohibit someone from registering a property for one year if it is found that they have been renting the property without a valid LOC. This change provides an additional enforcement tool for when the consequence of a Municipal Infraction is not sufficient.
3.) Freeze Bedrooms in All Near Campus Neighborhoods: The most recent rental changes froze occupancy on rental properties in the Near Campus Neighborhoods to what would have been allowed on January 1, 2018. This new amendment would freeze occupancy on ALL properties, including owner-occupied properties, to what the occupancy would have been on January 1, 2018. The idea is that someone would not be able to remove a property from rental registration, add a bedroom, and then add it back on so that they could have more occupants. Likewise, a property wanting to become a new rental could not increase the number of bedrooms prior to their initial inspection so as to increase their occupancy limit.
The proposed changes will be placed on the Council Agenda for August 27th and will be open for public comment. Feel free to speak at that meeting or to provide Council with input via email between now and then. The first reading for these ordinances is planned for September 10, 2019.

All Council Members can be emailed at the same time by emailing


Sara Van Meeteren
Building Official
Inspection Division
Ames Fire Department
515 Clark Ave.
Ames, IA 50010
Office 515-239-5255
Fax 515-239-5261
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