Each year, REALTORS from across the state of Iowa go to DesMoines to the Capitol to talk to legislators about issues that could affect Home Ownership. This year was no different and we braved the winter weather last week to go visit the State Capital. Over 200 REALTORS from across the state gathered at The River Center for lunch and to hear DC Political Commentator, Kevin Madden, give his views on where the US is heading and what to watch for over the next two years. We also heard the REALTORS amazing lobbyist, Jennifer Kingland, talk about a few of the issues facing agents and home owners in Iowa.
A few of the issues that are important to our industry in this Legislative Session are regarding Private Property Rights, Service Animals in Rental Housing, Groundwater Hazard Statements, and Electronic Notorization.
Private Property Rights are being taken away in some Iowa towns by local ordinances limit a property owners ability to rent property due to cap limits. We are working with legislators to prevent these local ordinances.
The right for people to have assistance/service animals is being taken advantage of by some renters. Currently anyone can go online and and register a pet as an assistance animal. We support a bill that is currently in the senate that says a patient/client needs to request the assistance of a licensed medical professional to find that they do have a disability and need an assistance or support animal.
Groundwater Hazard statements are currently required to be recorded with a deed at the time a property is transferred to a new owner. These let the county and buyer know if there are any underground storage tanks, burial sites, wells, septic systems, etc. We are currently working with legislators to determine the usefulness of this document and if there is any other way to disclose this information.
Electronic notorization is the other legislative issue that affects REALTORS and others. Several other states are considering or have already enacted legislation that allows for the remote electronic notorization of documents including deeds and other documents used in a real estate transaction. This would especially be helpful for out of town buyers and sellers.
This is the 8th year that I have gone to legislative days at the capital. Our voices are heard when we go there, and we have helped make many things happen with regard to protecting your rights as home owners!