Category Real Estate, Construction & Environmental

Clarification Provided on Remote Notarizations

  On March 24, 2020, the Iowa Secretary of State issued guidance for remote notarizations. It clarifies that remote notarization must comply with Section 6 of Senate File 475 and Iowa Administrative Code 721-43, Iowa Code chapter 9B, as summarized in our previous post, Remote Notary Now an Option. Per the Iowa Secretary of State’s guidance, remote... Read More

Do I Need to Buy a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Before I Buy Real Property?

Purchasing contaminated real property can potentially bring significant liability upon a buyer. Conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (a “Phase I”) early in the due diligence process can provide a purchaser with a defense to such liability if done right. A Phase I is a relatively minor upfront cost to avoid potentially costly issues... Read More

Criminal Screening under Fair Housing

While having a criminal record is not a protected characteristic under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) closely regulates criminal history-based restrictions on housing if, without justification, criminal history-based restrictions burden renters of one race or national origin over another.... Read More

Landlord Notice of Transfer

When selling a rental property, landlords should be careful to take appropriate steps to ensure their obligations and liabilities terminate at the time of sale. One of the most important steps in protecting a landlord selling a rental property is to give notice of the sale to the tenants. There is no statute or Iowa case law stating what must be... Read More

Assistance Animals and Fair Housing

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) prevent discrimination in housing against tenants due to a disability. Even if a lease says “no pets” or restricts the breed, size or weight of pets, Landlords are required to make a “reasonable accommodation” to allow assistance animals, including those that... Read More