Cedar Rapids may soon have new housing code, require more - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids may soon have new housing code, require more of landlords

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The Cedar Rapids City Council unanimously voted in favor of moving forward with repealing the current city housing code in favor of a new one -- but it's not a done deal yet.

There's still two more readings. The council says a new code is better for everyone.

"We want to make sure that every neighborhood is safe," said Monica Vernon, Cedar Rapids City Council member. "We want to make sure that all citizens ... have quiet enjoyment of their property or their unit."

Landlords would be required to go through training in order to get a business permit in Cedar Rapids.

It would also be mandatory for them to run background checks on all future tenants, which the council says is standard procedure in most Iowa cities and long overdue in Cedar Rapids.

Twenty-three people wrote to the council opposing all or part of the new code and some spoke out at Tuesday's meeting.

"I think in some tenant/landlord relationships, this goes too far," said Robin Tucker, a property manager in Cedar Rapids.

"I want you to think about, functionally, how this actually works," said Mari Davis, a Cedar Rapids property manager. "The way it's described in the ordinance doesn't necessarily mean it works that way in actuality."

Background checks would consist of a report from Iowa Courts Online and the Iowa and National Sex Offender Registry.

Landlords can still rent to whomever they wish.

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