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Owners of Houses for Rent Argue Logic of Proposed Housing Code Changes

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Landlords and owners of houses for rent in Ames, Iowa have complained that the latest proposed changes to the city's rental home code will require them to spend money on repairs and upgrades that they cannot afford. Some owners are even considering selling off their rental properties rather than adopting the code changes being proposed by city officials.

During a Property Maintenance Appeals Board meeting held at the Ames City Hall, proposed revisions to Municipal Code Chapter 13 were on top of the agenda. According to the board, they will draft recommendations during a two-week workshop discussion. The discussions will be available to all, but input from landlords and residents will not be entertained until a meeting between the board and the Ames City Council has taken place.

In the midst of all the discussions, some owners of rental housing have stated that they do not see the need for the changes as their properties have passed inspections easily for years now. Code requirements, according to the owners, have forced some of them to spend over $5,000 on electrical, heating and plumbing repairs just to bring the houses for rent up to code.

They argued that they upgraded their rental properties just the way the city asked them to do and they do not relish the idea of doing so again just after four years. Landlords have asserted that the upgrades were expensive four years ago and the latest changes will likely require double the amount they shelled out during earlier upgrades.

Meanwhile, some owners of real estate rental homes who are trying to sell their properties have complained that potential buyers have backed out due to the repairs and upgrades that the city is planning to implement. They also lament the fact that the city is asking for improvements that are sometimes not even needed with areas of properties already in good working condition.

Landlords have stated that there are at least 20 proposed changes to the current code, with some just geared toward aesthetics. They stated that, as owners of houses for rent, they understand the need for better looking properties, but they are worried about the costs these improvements will entail.

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