Meeting Public Comments
Subcommittee meeting and times are as follows:
A bill for an act relating to property law by modifying provisions relating to rental properties, manufactured home communities, mobile home parks, and manufactured mobile home communities, modifying provisions governing actions relating to such properties, making penalties applicable, and including effective date and applicability provisions.(See HF 833, HF 2441, HF 2562.)
Subcommittee members: Lohse-CH, Jones, Wilburn
Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Time: 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Location: RM 102, Sup. Ct. Consult
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.Comments Submitted:
Mette Kelley 
COVID and the derecho has brought the spotlight on the most vulnerable citizens in our State. Manufactured homes residents in Iowa can also add fear eviction to the list. We have no one to contact if repairs need to be done to water or sewer lines. Out of state owners seldom respond. To let this continue in Iowa is unconscionable. Please do the right thing. Mette Kelley, Mount Vernon
Karla Krapfl [Table Mound ]
We need to stop these out of town companies coming in and snatching up ma and pa mobile home parks.They are raising the prices so that the elderly, veterans, and young couples can't afford their homes. Some elderly are having to stretch their medicine out for the month so they can pay theirrent. We are responsible for the maintenance of our homes and yards. We are only renting theland from these companies. When they first came in we were paying $270 and that included water,sewage and garbage. I have been here 33 years and pay $370 a month and we have to pay extrafor the water, sewage and garbage bringing it to $445 a month. Some elderly do not want to leave their homes because they have memories of their spouses there who have passed away, or anothercouple who's husband is in a wheel chair and his wife loves to work with her flowers, they couldn't do this if they moved to an apartment. Residence bought their homes thinking this will help themwhen they get to retirement age. Their homes would be paid for but the rent is going up tremendously.Some residents are given a 3 day notice to vacate their homes, we can't move our homes in 3 daysso people are being forced to walk away from their homes and then these companies take control of them and resell them. This is totally unacceptable for this to be happening in the United States of America. PLEASE WE NEED LAWS TO PROTECT MOBILE HOME OWNERS AND WE NEED THEM NOW.
Elisa Hernandez Perez 
I urge the committee to support HF 442, since it establishes important protections for manufactured homes residents to bring their rights in line with those of other Iowa renters. It is a fundamental step towards guaranteeing that every Iowan has access to a safe and stable housing situation.
Jessica Andino [City of Iowa City Human Rights Commission]
I support HF 442 as it is a first step forward in protecting the rights of residents of manufactured home communities. Housing is a fundamental human right, and affordable housing should be protected by the State. Predatory businesses have come to our state to purchase manufactured home communities, and there are little protections for the residents to avoid obscene increases in lot rent and utilities, and other changes to park policies. Many of our community's most vulnerable live in manufactured home communities as it once offered stable housing opportunities, and these individuals and families deserve the same protections as other Iowa renters. For these reasons, I urge committee members to support HF 442.Apoyo el HF 442 porque es el primer paso para la proteccin de los derechos de los residentes de las comunidades de casas prefabricadas. La vivienda es un derecho humano fundamental y el Estado debe proteger la vivienda asequible. Las empresas depredadoras han venido a nuestro estado para comprar comunidades de casas prefabricadas, y hay pocas protecciones para los residentes para evitar aumentos obscenos en el alquiler y los servicios pblicos de los lotes y otros cambios en las politicas de la comunidad. Muchos de los ms vulnerables de nuestra comunidad viven en las comunidades de casas prefabricadas, ya que alguna vez ofrecieron oportunidades de vivienda estable, y estas personas y familias merecen las mismas protecciones que otros inquilinos de Iowa. Por estas razones, insto a los miembros del comit apoyen el HF 442.
Nicole Clausen 
Please support this legislation. I am just ONE of many disabled Iowans who is living in real fear of homelessness due to the lack of legislation covering manufactured/ mobile home communities. The most recent rent increase will be equal to 44% of my monthly income. Add to that monthly utilities and this single mother/ sole provider has just $271/mo remaining to cover phone, gas, food, clothing, school fees, hygiene and household expenses, etc. And consider this: MANY Iowans receive LESS than I do! One disabled neighbor/ friend I know will now be spending OVER 50% of their total income on lot rent! This person will undoubtedly be unable to keep up with their utility bills due to the fact that they will also need essential products like toilet paper and soap! How sad is that? In AMERICA! I've researched the company who took over our park. You can too. Their disgusting business model can be found at www.mobilehomeuniversity.com This site outlines how they reel in lowincome families, the working poor, and the disabled with affordable rent, only to jack up the price so quickly that these tenants fall behind, giving owners opportunity to EVICT and since tenants are too POOR to move their property, the owners then receive the windfall income of the mobile home itself and sell it AGAIN for another profit! So, they basically force those living in poverty into homelessness to get rich. They know the poor typically do not have attorney representation, and they take advantage of that fact. Owners of my park, 5 seasons in Cedar Falls, tried this with me 3 years ago. First, they didn't complete THEIR portion of my APPROVED county relief rent assistance, then they took me to court trying to EVICT for the amount THEY chose not to collect from the assistance! Well, they weren't expecting a tenant had representation! (Thank you IOWA LEGAL AID) I proved my case and the court manager actually admitted during court that it was a fraudulent claim that I was not one known to leave my bill unpaid in my 13 years (at that time) living here. Case closed. They had to eat the cost of the rent assistance THEY let expire instead of collecting. They were NOT getting MY home. But, not everyone was so lucky. You see, I was not the only one they tried this with. I was just the only one who got a lawyer! A few families lost their homes. Stolen, in my opinion. Beyond that, our New owners switched from dumpsters to a city trash can service. That service costs everyone in town $11/mo.. everyone but us with the lowest incomes! We pay double and the court pockets the extra. Now THAT is actually listed in Iowa mobile home law as illegal, it was brought to their attention YEARS ago but again no accountability! As you can see, Iowa DEFINITELY needs some legal protections AND we need them enforced. Please, take this seriously as Iowans lives, especially our most vulnerable our elderly, our disabled and our children DEPEND ON YOU!
Peg Bly 
I fully support this bill, however I wish it were stronger. I am currently am living in z mobile home par that was bought out recently. The old owners raised the the from $280 to $420 a month in 7 years. The new owners will be installing water meters, so we will be forced to pay for water & sewer. I live on $1150 a month. Many other senior citizens here cannot afford a major increase. We are being forced out with very little options. All affordable low income housing is full in Dubuque!Please provide senior citizens with some help.
Brent Smith [North Liberty City Council]
My name is Brent Smith, City Councilor in North Liberty, IA. I am writing today in favor of HF 442.After having an out of state investment company come into our community, buy one of our mobile home parks, raise lot rents by 70% over 3 months and treat our residents terribly, it is past time to have rules in place to allow for protections for all renters including mobile home properties. Many of our local families were forced out of their homes, given no grace or assistance and the new buyer was able to make up new rules, evict folks for no reason or cause and give no notice for these actions. Some families tried to work with the new managers and were treated terribly. Our Council did what we could to work with our residents and pressure the owners to work with folks, but we had no legal footing and had no way to stop the abuse that was occurring. This bill can not wait for another session. Pass HF442 this session
Deb Rooney 
Please help us be able to stay in our homes. They really are not mobile. And would cost a lot to move, But at my age I dont have the effort left. Same goes for a lot of people here
Lynette Dailey 
We have lived in Table Mound Mobile Home Park for 18 years now. We were able to afford to purchase our home and raise our son here. When we moved here rent was 210.00 including utilities now our rent is 370.00 and now we pay sewage and water so it changes monthly.I love my home and do not want to lose it to a corporate take over. Thank you for your time.
Melissa Steines [Table Mound Trailer]
Please stop these out of state companies from coming into Iowa and buying mobile home parks that they raise the rent every year making it hard to pay the monthly lot. When we moved into table Mound park r lot rent was 195.00 which was 18years. But every since impact communities brought these park three years ago rent is now 375 and we have to pay r own water and garbage and sewer which was included in the lot rent of 195.00. With lot rent and utilities it comes to about 430.00. The people that work in the office of the park also favor certain residents over other. Which isn't fair
Karla Shepherd [Table Mound mobil home park]
I am writing to support the HF442 bill. My husband, whom is disabled, an I chose this mobile home park 10 years ago because we had relatives here an they all had good things to say about the management team. And they were right. There wasn't a yearly raise an when there was one it was $10 to $15. After Impact bought the park, rents started to go up dramatically! They put in refurbished water meters for us to pay water an we also pay for sewer an garbage now, an those rates continue to go up as well as the rent. Many people moved out but many people were also evicted because its no longer a reasonable, cost efficient place to live. Impact, in our opinion, are predators and are ruining our way of life. Please Help Us To Be Treated Fairly. Thank you
Mark Otterbeck Sr 
As a disabled resident in a mobile home that once was very affordable these new predatory companies Purchasing trailer parks to increase rent At ridiculous rates as well as failing to follow through with promises made to residence is making it very difficult for the elderly and disabled residents to continue living in these communities. I am hopeful that this new bill will equal the playing field.
Marlene Krukow 
I fully support this bill. As a new homeowner and buying a mobile home, being removed from our homes and going month to month, etc are not disclosed to you in any way on the contract with the park when you move in and purchase the home.I don't understand how it is right that a person can lose their life investment to these silent owners who just see us as numbers.I see families losing their homes with nowhere to go.I don't understand how these parks can charge rates for lot rent and provide no service. My lot rent is over $6,300 a year and my lot is very small (I can mow it in 15 minutes) This is robbery. I have looked at homes that pay less than half that a year. They at least get a tax deduction. Mobile homeowners do not even get that.The parks say they provide infrastructure. I can't even get in the storm shelter due to the park changing the keys all the time and not communicating. Some of the lights have been out in the park since I have been here since 2019.in the entire park (305 homes) there is only one whole speed bump left.The park will not even spray weeds.I do so appreciate the work that is put into this from our Legislators and Senators we need protection just like homeowners. The protection to keep our homes. Please help us and support us in this matter.
Angie Thomas 
I live in table mound in Dubuque. It I was a nice place to live until impact bought it and jacked up our rent. We know live paycheck to paycheck just to make ends meet. Please support this bill and stop these huge corporations from buying the ma and pa businesses. We never now when the next increase is gonna come or how we are are gonna pay it. We cant afford another 60% increase. Please save my home and community. Thanks
Bob Welsh 
I am a 94 year old retired minister. For years I have been an advocate for the poor. I have through the years known many whose only hope of owning a home was through owning a mobile home.I have been alarmed about the recent actions of corporation who are seeking to make a few dollars (in their world) off the backs of low income persons.This legislation seeks to level the playing field.Please vote to assist the low income Iowans. This legislation will not prevent corporations from making money. It will however give tenants some rights.
Tara Velez 
I support HF442 and ask you to support this bill too. Iowans living in manufactured home communities deserve the basic protections outlined in this bill. Residents of manufactured communities are currently extremely vulnerable due to a lack of laws to protect them from the unjust actions of **some park owners. This bill is a step in the right direction to provide the protections they deserve. For those already treating their residents with respect and dignity, this bill with just reinforce their actions. Thank you to all those who have sponsored this bill and worked so hard to move this forward!
Malinda Allen 
I urge you to support HF 442 to secure fair treatment of mobile home park residents. It is far too easy for the park owners to force renters out by setting onerous rules, harrasseing the renters, and raising rents to unsustainable and unfair levels. Many of the homes physically cannot withstand being moved, and where would the people move them to? To another town? Maybe lose their jobs because of the relocation? Lose established social bonds and community services? It is very expensive to move a mobile home, anyway. People who choose mobile homes are the working poor, the elderly, and many have disabilities and are on fixed incomes. WE MUST ENSURE THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE TREATED FAIRLY and that they have the same rights and protections as other renters. Please support and vote YES on HF 442.
Mary Eigenberger 
This is our second time to be here, we did love it very much but with rent going up all the time in is very hard on us. My husband has been off work for over 3 months with going threw cancer. It is hard for us to shovel with all this snow and the do not plow the streets very good. Garbage is a joke anymore, never know when they are coming and with what we have to pay for it is ridiculous. We dont want to move and we keep our place neat and clean all the time. When they took over we had a bad storm and the neighbors tree branches came down threw our roof. We had to clean it up and pay for it. The tree is covering our roof and so low and no one will do anything about it. Just put a new roof on it and that tree scares us when it gets windy. They need to be taking care of these things instead of ignoring us.
suellen klossner [table mound resident ]
I support this bill.I think more should have been included but it is start to insure homes that are purchased,in good faith,in Iowa Mobile Home Parks are protected.There are so many people that you do not hear from that have given up because this situation has been unheard and addressed for too long.There needs to be stability for people buying HOMES as this causes people on a daily bases undue stress then add to that the covid crisis.I know it's there land however we take care of our homes,yards,and upkeep on the property.I have lived here for 11 years and find it difficult to feel secure,never have I been late on rent never a problem caring for my home or their land.The land improvements that I have done such as the double driveway,the drain tile placed across the entire back hill,the walk way between the house and the sheds,the new roof,siding,all the investments could be so easily taken away.What little time and energy you would have to provide for us,protection in our investment and ease the cost of relentless increases.There is so much more I could say to encourage you to consider to make a change that has been brought to your attention time and again.
Carrie Presley [Table Mound Neighborhood Association]
I have fought going on my second year now. As a Manufactured Home Owner, I think I should have more rights to protect the home I paid for and live in. I think it's wrong that they can take the home out from under you, and no it's not all Home Park Owners, there truly is some legitimate parks out there. But it's the out of town corporate owners that own these parks in Iowa that have given the manufactured home owners bad name. Our hard earned money is what bought these homes, some people are veterans, others are disabled some just bought a home here because it's simple living without all the maintenance of a traditional home. some people are still at odds not knowing what's going to happen after this moratorium is over with that protect us from high rent increases due to the covid. We elected people to help create laws and protect the workers from out of state predators. I'd like to keep my home, money and job within the same state knowing it's what's in the best interest for Iowans.
Teresa Hundley 
I support this bill. I previously lived in mobile home park that was bought up by one of these greedy corporations. All they ever did was increase rent and not fix problems such as frozen pipes in the ground before the water meter and unfortunately there is no action you can take for this. Sincerely
Ann Powers 
Please support HF 442. It is vital to provide safe and stable housing situations. We need LAWS to protect mobile home owners now.
Sue Flogel [Table Mound MHP]
I have lived in this mobile home park for 3 years. Our out of town owners have been shady, increasing rent, fees and utilities. We have to have lawyers look at our leases because they are impossible to decipher. Many residents live on fixed incomes, and they cannot afford the rising costs of keeping our homes here. I fully support this bill.
Melissa Lolwing 
Please support bill HF 442. We live in Table Mound Park in Dubuque, Iowa. When we bought our mobile home 11 years ago it was affordable living, it is no longer affordable. It was a way we could provide our family with the normalcy of owning our own home with a yard for the kids to play in. Our park has changed ownership in the last few years, not always to our knowledge. With these changes in ownership we have incurred steep lot rent increases and the quality (and quantity) of services (road maintenance, snow removal, utility help, etc.) has gone down. We pay very much to live here, but only for a small plot of land that we can't make any decisions on but have to upkeep ourselves.Please help protect my family's home as well as other young families who are trying to provide a safe, comfortable home.
Matt chapman [NA]
Thank you considering the folks whose homes are in manufactured housing parks again this year. This bill has many great provisions that would get us on our way to having more security in our communities. When buying these homes folks just do not understand how precarious their investment is with no fault evictions and the small window they have when their lease is ended or terminated. Not to mention the cost of moving a home if that is even an option. While the increase to 90 from 60 days is an improvement, if nofault eviction is an option, no one will feel secure in their homes. That is why I would implore you to amend HF442 to prohibit no fault evictions. I would like to quickly share what the use of nofault evictions led to in my community Midwest Country Estates. One of our tenants who had bought her home in 2016, one of the newest homes in here, was nofault evicted in 2020. Her rent payment was refused, and after court she was given 60 days to sell or move her home. She paid $62,000 in 2016 and could only get $22,000 from another park that purchased her home. She is disabled and was making it. Now she lives in an apartment and is on the CIRHA waiting list. She feels this has ruined her life and says she reads the bible every night before bed to help put this behind her. This should not happen to anyone. That is why I am so focused on this part of the Iowa Code. I do not understand why this part of the code exists, but while it does, no one in manufactured housing parks will feel secure and more tragic outcomes will happen. Thank you for your consideration.
Sue Bodish 
We have lived here for a year and did hear good things, some things have changed when you get out of town owners. They don't do anything to make place look good. You have to watch what you do, how you do it and have to get permission to keep up on your home. If you don't then you get wrote up with a violation after 3your out. You shouldn't have to ask if improving home. A lit of fixed income residents live her and fear of rent going up again is what we are told. I am in favor of bill to be passed. Please help this community. Thank you
Kimberly Qassebji [Tablemound]
The practices being used by these mobile home park owners are unacceptable. People who live there can least afford the prices going up and up. There needs to be regulations on what these companies can do such as evicting a resident and keeping their home or raising prices making it hard to keep a home. There is a huge gap in the law that allows these practices to occur and not only are they using it they are teaching others how to do it.
Kathy Braga 
I live in Muscatine at Park Plaza which was purchased by Impact Communities out of Colo. in 1919. At the time they bought it my rent was 260$ and that included my water and sewer. Now I'm paying 340$ plus water and sewer which is about another 40$ a month. If that water meter they put in that isn't made for Iowa winters breaks we will be billed 250$ for replacement. I'm a widow and senior citizen living on SS. I have a large investment in my home and wonder every month What they are going to force on us next. They feel they have the right to come onto our lots and do whatever they want including getting in under our home without letting us know. How are we to know what they are doing. They haven't kept our streets plowed this winter and we have had to fight the ice. Our street light is constantly going out and out for months at a time which is a safety issue. When summer comes and if a tornado was to come through here we have NO shelter to go to which is another safety issue.We should have the same rights that people have that rent apartments or houses. As of now we have NO protectionThere are so many more problems that I have not listed and I feel this bill HF442 is a start on making manufactured housing a plus for seniors, veterans, disabled and young families.
Alysia Brandenburg [Table Mound]
We have lived at Tablemound for a year now and people always had good things to say,but the rent had increased and you cant do much to fix your home up,and if you dont keep it up you get a violation wrote up and if you get three then your out. We have some elderly people and help them as much as we can for repairing to where they can afford it. The rent we were told will go up again and nothing is done for improvements other than getting threatened. I am for this bill to be passed. The majority of people here are on a fixed income. Please help this community.
Candance Evans 
I am in support of this bill, and thankful for your time and work on this. I feel it is a start but I fear it will not be strong enough to guarantee security for so many of residents in manufactured home parks. I live in House District 77 in a Manufactured Home Park, Golfview Mobile Home Park. Myself like many others are retired and on a fixed income. We saved and bought our home and decided to live in one of Iowa's Manufactured Home Parks because it is what would keep us financially independent. I am a widow now. I own my home which cannot be moved and I worry if one day I will find a note on my door that states my lease will not be renewing and I will have to leave. If that happens, I leave my total investment to the park owners. How can this be acceptable? There are many days the worry occupies my thoughts, constantly. Iowa Manufactured Home residents need protections from out of state corporations that have no desire to maintain parks as an affordable, safe and healthy place to live. While this bill has some improvements, there needs to be more in the way of protections from evictions. From 60 days to 90 days for evictions will not give residents the security they deserve. Unreasonable rent increases, one of which happened during the pandemic, leases that are not legal, eviction without cause. We live under the shadow of these things on a daily basis. But losing your home completely is a frightening thought. We count on our legislators to step up to protect us.
John Pregler 
Shelter is a core human needed to live, and therefore, affordable housing is a core human right. I support HF 442 and would include requiring any seller to give the collective tenants first right to purchase at fair market value and create their own nonprofit association. Perhaps with assistance from the fund created by HF 442. I would also require any landlord to purchase at fair market value any vacated home due to eviction and inability to move their mobile home. Manufactured and mobile homeowners deserve the same property rights and protections as those of us who happen to also have title to the ground upon which our homes and retirement investments sit. It is time for some common sense and equity in property law.
Rose Phillips [Concerned Private Citizen]
Manufactured homes are one of the few sources of unsubsidized affordable housing in urban and rural communities alike. Even in rural Iowa communities with low housing costs, apartment rents are burdensome for elders and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes. For many households, owning a mobile home free and clear and paying lot rent has been an affordable option that provides stability and pride. Since 1976, mobile homes have been built to safety and quality standards set by the federal government, and about 2/3 of Iowa's owneroccupied mobile homes were built in 1980 or later. However, what we call "mobile homes" aren't really mobile they're generally designed to stay put once installed, and it's often physically or financially infeasible for the owners to move them. Without legislation like this proposed bill, mobile home owners have fewer protections than conventional renters or homeowners. Iowa needs to catch up to the many other states that have protections to prevent mobile home owners from having their lives upended with little notice by the decisions of park owners and investors. This legislation could go further for instance, some states require mobile home park owners to give the right of first refusal to resident associations in certain circumstances before offering the park to other buyers. But this bill would be a start.
Len Sandler [Law and Policy in Action Clinic]
HF 442 would be an improvement over current law. But the bill should clarify the rights of tenants to keep the homes they own in a manufactured housing community, provide additional specifics about rental agreements, and eliminate confusion about the usage and meaning of terminating, canceling, renewing and not renewing tenancies and rental agreements. A top priority for mobile home owners is to be able to keep their home in the park so long as the park is in operation, they meet their financial obligations, obey state and local laws and reasonable park rules, and are good neighbors. Residents have little security now. Requiring landlords to give tenants 90 days notice to remove their home from the park instead of the 60 days under current law is of little practical use or value to tenants. The interests of landlords and tenants can best be served if rental agreements are written, last for a term of one year, are renewable, and limit the grounds by which a park owner may recover possession of a mobile home lot or space. HF442 should require that: Landlords provide tenants with a written rental agreement rather than simply offer one. Written leases are a standard practice and a cost of doing business that reduces or eliminates disputes and court actions based on verbal agreements and statements. Rental agreements have a minimum term of 12 months unless the tenant requests a shorter term or the landlord and tenant agree to a longer term. This allows both parties to negotiate the duration of the lease rather than forcing tenants to accept monthtomonth leases that can be terminated with only a few months notice. Rental agreements automatically renew unless the tenant gives the landlord 60 days notice of their intention to not renew or the landlord gives the tenant 90 days notice they will not renew the rental agreement because they have good cause grounds for terminating a tenancy under 562B.10.4A.a. as amended and noted below. The rental agreement will renew upon the same terms and conditions with the exception of rent increases permitted by HF442 and updates to park rules and regulations if the landlord gives the tenant advance notice. Renewals should apply to leases for a fixed term as well as those that convert from a fixed term to a monthtomonth or other periodic tenancy. The provision in 562B.10.4A.b authorizing a landlord to not renew a tenancy for any reason not prohibited by law with 90 days notice should be eliminated to provide tenants with continued stability, security and a place to live. Grounds for terminating a tenancy should not include a legitimate and material business reason the impact of which is not specific to one tenant because that clause imposes no practical limits on landlords. Landlords could justify retaking possession merely by taking action against two tenants at the same time. Sincerely,Len SandlerClinical ProfessorBenjamin NevittClinic Law Student
Len Sandler [Law and Policy in Action Clinic]
We have attached a version of the comments we submitted previously because the word document retains the original formatting and is easier to read. Thank you for your consideration and action.Attachment
Connie Simon [TableMound Trailer Park]
Please help us stay in our homes. Please stop out of town investors buying up trailer parks and raising our rent to the point we can no longer live in our homes.