The Pottawattamie County Landlord Association meets the 2nd Thursday of every month, except in June and July. We meet in the upstairs meeting room at the Hy-Vee on Madison Avenue in Council Bluffs, Iowa.Upcoming Educational Speakers
The September 10, 2020 meeting for the Pottawattamie County Landlord Association will be at Key Realty, 501 South Main Street. You can park in the back or on the street after 5:00 p.m. We will have Little Cesar's Pizza and a veggie tray. If you would like to bring deserts or side dishes, let Willenborgs or Don Angeroth know what you are bringing. (Don Angeroth: DAngeroth@cox.net, Dianne Willenborg: email@example.com).
Because we are meeting indoors, masks are strongly encouraged.
The Board meeting will start at 5:30 P.M. and the dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting at 7:00 p.m. as usual.
Membership dues are $125 for 2021, payable by December 31, 2020. Our business meeting and program will begin at 7:00 pm and finish by 8:15 p.m. Come at 6:30 for supper (No charge-included in membership dues).
New Member and Membership Renewal form Membership
A new legal lease is available from the Iowa Landlord
Association for paid members
Note: The Landlords of Iowa (Iowa State Organization) is postponing the State Convention 1 year until October 14th and 15th of 2021. Protecting the health and safety of the attendees, exhibitors, and volunteers is our top priority.
The above memo stresses that we need to be consistant in how we handle requests from tenants for a rental deferment. It is recommended that all deferments (which includes partial payments since you are allowing the tenant to defer part of the rent) should be handled in writing. To make this as easy as possible Dianne Willenborg has put together a form. The form is available below. It was made in word format so that you can replace the blue sections with your information.
Financial Impact Resources
There may be additional benefits, possibly in the form of checks mailed directly to certain Americans, to be implemented by the U.S. Government in the future, and there are further resources available regarding how families can protect themselves from the financial impact of COVID-19.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
New benefits are available as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, effective April 2, which provides extended FMLA and paid leave benefits.
State Unemployment Benefits
Iowa has implemented an expanded unemployment benefits program, with loosened restrictions, for all qualifying individuals affected by COVID-19, with benefits provided for up to 26 weeks and with checks expected to be issued within 7-10 days after the claim has been filed.
Pottawattamie County General Assistance - 712-328-5867
Nov 14 speaker: David Overholtzer, CPA, Office located in the Smith Davis Insurance building by Baylis Park.
Mr. Overholtzer gave a very informative presentation on saving records and a new tax law. We learned that a new law allows a 20% deduction of rental profits from your taxes. Please read the documents listed below for more information and the steps you must take to qualify.IRS Section 199A Trade or Business Safe Harbor: Rental Real Estate
IRS: How long should I keep records?
2019 Meeting (Come in March 2020 for updates)
taxes are due in March and in September.
Courts Online (Court Proceedings)
2019 State Convention
The 2020 Convention has been cancelled
Legal Update and Avoiding Common Problems
Service Animals Update
The following is a letter from Landlords of Iowa, Inc. Executive director, Pete McRoberts. It contains a link to the new Iowa Civil Liberties Union form that landlords should use for tenants requesting a Emotional Support Animal or "comfort animal" or "companion animal". The new law and all the ins and outs will be discussed at the convention by Attorney Jodie McDougal who will cover a variety of legal issues facing landlords during her 90 minute presentation.
As we’ve discussed quite a bit, Landlords of Iowa has been working for several years to help prevent fraudulent designation of pets as emotional support animals. Assistance animals with this designation are not service animals, like a seeing eye dog. These are animals that are not trained to perform a specific service. Service animal fraud is rare and this is not the issue we are dealing with here.
Under federal law, people with disabilities that can be mitigated by an assistance animal are protected and allowed certain help. This means that if someone has a disability, and the presence of an animal can help them get through their daily routine, then that animal isn’t a pet and can’t be consider a pet for rental purposes. There are some exceptions to this rule but its’ a good rule of thumb.
This designation can be made by a Dr., social worker, nurse, etc., but also by 3rd parties who may be aware of a person’s condition. For years, this worked well, but the federal law hasn’t caught up with internet communications and sales. So, while even 10 years ago, the 3rd party was usually clergy, family member, etc., now there is a growing market for commercial sales of certificates, generally online. You take a survey, get “approved,” pay a fee, and then a .pdf of a letter, sometimes from a Dr., therapist etc. is emailed. This practice is legal. In some instances it could be justified for people who do not have access to a Dr. / clergy, etc. But these are largely get rich quick schemes by businesses whose model relies on turning pets into ESAs for the purposes of getting around a lease requirement. This really does hurt people with actual needs and it is terrible for housing providers.
The state of Iowa can’t outlaw the electronic certification, and for people who need it, we wouldn’t want to. We instead can make sure that proper records are kept and that there is uniformity in how certifications are made and recorded. In 2019, the Iowa Legislature did this. Landlords of Iowa spent countless hours over the past two years working through the part that is most relevant to you. We are ready to present that to you for your use, now that the law has taken effect.
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the Iowa Attorney General have released their general form and rules for ESAs. That form is now available on this website
You will also see a “Fact Sheet, Policy, & Guidelines.” Please take a look through all of these items very carefully. Together, all of this represents a real reform and is a good example of the government agencies and Landlords of Iowa seeing that we’re on the same page in cracking down on fraudulent vendors who are frankly putting at risk people with disabilities and using landlords to do so. While this is not a perfect solution, it is a good one - it means people who need help can get it, and people who sell fraudulent certificates in Iowa have a much worse business environment.
You will also note that there is a specific point of contact at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Contact her when you need to. There is no reason to let a question go unanswered, and additionally, if you have a question, and you then have guidance from the ICRC, you are creating a record that you did the right thing and you followed the law.
This represents some significant reform in Iowa that you, as members of Landlords of Iowa, helped create. It isn’t the end of the story, and just because the law has changed, doesn’t mean there will be no more fraud. But we are making progress, and showing again that a successful housing profession in Iowa is good for everyone. You should be proud of your work here.
Landlords of Iowa
Building Inspection Office
Yearly Rental Unit fees are $35 per unit and are due on or before Dec 31. They are late on Jan 1.
The late fee for non-registration is $25.00 per dwelling unit. The penalty fee for non-registration of a rental unit (per unit) is $1,000 and institution of this fee will place the dwelling or dwelling unit on a one year inspection cycle for three years. Dwelling units that are found non-registered must pay registration fees: a single family dwelling fee is $200.00 per year for three (3) years, a two-family dwelling (duplex) is $400 per year for three (3) years and Multi-family dwellings are $200.00 and $50.00 per unit per year for three (3) years.
209 Pearl Street
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
City Hall Office #207
Call the Housing Inspectors at (712) 328-4980. Normal office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Inspector's Office Hours are 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
City Inspection Suggestions
are good for three years.
Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Winter Warm-Up Tips
Change Your Sheets - Not only do flannel sheets feel great, but they'll keep you warmer throughout the winter season. Don't forget extra blankets if needed!
Turn Off the Bathroom Fan - Exhaust fans in bathrooms pull hot air to the ceiling and out of your home. Instead, while you shower, leave your bathroom door open or cracked. By doing so, you will let the warm, steamy air travel throughout your home.
Use Area Rugs - Area rugs do more than add a design element to your room. They can also serve as another layer of insulation to the floor, which, in turn, traps the cold air underneath and keeps it from seeping up into the room.
Open the Oven Door - Once you've finished cooking dinner or holiday baking, remember to leave the oven door open while it cools so the hot air will fill the room. You've already paid for the gas or electricity - you might as well use it.!
from Farm Bureau Financial Services
errors or broken links,
contact Dale Willenborg, DaleWillenborg@gmail.com