Cedar Falls issues a moratorium on rental home conversions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls issues a moratorium on rental home conversions

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The Cedar Falls City Council issued a moratorium on converting single-family homes into rental properties Monday night.

The 6-month moratorium goes into effect Tuesday.

Council members voted 6-1 for a 6-month hold on permitting homeowners to turn their properties into rental homes.

There's been a concern that some rental homes are not being well kept and are lowering property values in some neighborhoods.

Others complain about parking issues.

They say the moratorium is intended to buy time while a task force looks at creating new rules and strengthening old ones to crack down on bad landlords or bad tenants.

"This is not a forever thing. There's a way people can still make these conversions in particular circumstances. Ultimately, they'll still be able to do it. We just want to have a little more control over how that process works," said council member Frank Darrah.

"It's stomping all over property owners' rights. I have the right for the best use of my property. That's ingrained into you when you go to school to become a realtor," said Black Hawk Landlords Association president Mark Pregler.

Pregler's group represents 200 landlords with 5000 rental units.

He says the moratorium isn't fair because it unfairly targets property owners and limits what an existing property owner can do with their home.

Existing rental homes are grandfathered in as well as those who've already applied for permits.

City officials say they've received 60 permit requests in the last two weeks.

Some of the council members say that was reason enough to vote for the moratorium.

By the way, the council can vote to end that moratorium at any time or extend it to a year, if they think it's necessary.

Members of a task force studying the issue say part of the discussion includes code enforcement.

Right now, the city only has one employee who performs that role.

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