New Law Allows Landlords to Do More Repairs

handymanThe city of Council Bluffs, Iowa is considering a new ordinance making it easier–and legal, for landlords to fix-up their own rental properties.

The existing city law requires landlords to obtain a contractor’s license before performing many such repairs on their rentals.

That requires paying a licensing fee, meeting the requirements, including testing and proving experience, and carrying liability insurance, all costly burdens on rental property owners.

The alternative: hire out all of the work at market rates.

The city council will consider a measure this week to lessen that burden by allowing landlords to perform some of the work on their own. However, there may still be fees, depending on what the council decides in the final draft.

According to a report by The Daily Nonpareil, under the current proposal, landlords would be allowed to do work valued at up to $2,000 on their own.

At the last council meeting, a community member expressed some concern that the proposal does not apply to multifamily properties.

The city’s mayor responded that officials have received too many community complaints regarding un-kept units or properties that affect entire neighborhoods.

She did, however, order her staff to revisit some portions of the measure to meet the concerns of local landlords.

According to the news report, officials are hoping landlords will pass any savings on to tenants through lower rents.

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