On Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, the Iowa City City Council will consider adoption of an ordinance that allows the City to order that rent be abated if a rental unit does not comply with the City’s housing code. If there is a substantial risk to the health or safety of the tenant, such as no heat in the winter, flooding, or a threatening electrical condition, as determined by the City, the City may issue an order that abates rent.

If rent is abated, that means the tenant is not legally obligated to pay rent. The City may also issue an order for rent abatement if the unit does not have a valid rental permit. The City will provide the tenant and the landlord a copy of the rent abatement order. Rent is abated only upon the order of the City. Tenants cannot abate rent.

If a serious problem emerges regarding the safety of the unit, tenants are encouraged to contact Neighborhood Services at 319-356-5230 or report the problem at www.icgov.org/ICgovXpress  (Housing/Housing Code Issues). 

Tenants have the following resources available if a rental housing problem develops: 

For income qualifying tenants, Iowa Legal Aid may be able to assist. To apply for help, call 800-532-1275. Iowans age 60 and over, call 800-992-8161 or apply online at www.iowalegalaid.org.

Iowa Legal aid provides expertise on this topic online. 

  • University of Iowa Student Legal Services  

Enrolled University students have access to services such as landlord/tenant dispute assistance. Appointments can be made by calling 319-335-3276 or by visiting their office located in Room G115 in the Iowa Memorial Union. Information is available online at legal.studentlife.uiowa.edu

Date of publication

Monday, October 02, 2017