Iowa City Council lifts rental permit moratorium

City Hall is shown in Iowa City on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (The Gazette)
City Hall is shown in Iowa City on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa City’s rental permit moratorium is no more.

The Iowa City Council this week unanimously repealed the temporary moratorium. The second and third votes on the repeal were collapsed.

The repeal marks the end of the moratorium a little more than a month ahead of schedule. After going into place May 30, 2019, it had been scheduled to end March 1.

The moratorium on new single-family and duplex properties in Iowa City’s core neighborhoods came in response to the Iowa Legislature removing the ability of cities to use or adopt rental caps.

Iowa City previously had relied on rental caps to preserve the balance and character of its neighborhoods, particularly those closest to downtown.

City staffers have implemented a number of measures in recent years to promote safety and stability within city neighborhoods.

Those efforts include limiting the number of bedrooms in single-family and duplex properties, setting minimum habitable space requirements, moving to annual inspections for certain types of rental properties and hiring more city staff to meet those needs.

The proposed end of the rental moratorium late last year came in conjunction with two additional measures approved by the city council. One requires radon testing in rental properties, and the other limits parking spaces in front yards.


The council was scheduled to vote to lift the moratorium in early December, but a majority of the council opted to defer the vote to give themselves more time to explore additional options.

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