CHAPTER 29 HOUSING CODE
This chapter shall be known as the Cedar Rapids Housing Code, may be cited as such, and will be referred to herein as this “chapter” or “code.”
29.02 COMPLIANCE WITH STATE CODE.
The City of Cedar Rapids in compliance with the requirements of Section 364.17 of the Code of Iowa, hereby adopts this chapter as Housing Code and Regulations for the City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This chapter is substantially based upon “Housing Quality Standards” promulgated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
(a) It is hereby declared that the purpose of this code is to insure that housing facilities and conditions are of the quality necessary to protect and promote health, safety and welfare of those persons utilizing the housing and the general public as well.
(b) It is hereby further declared that the purpose of this chapter is to define the responsibilities of owners, operators, occupants and the city necessary to maintain and administer the standards of this code.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all dwellings used or intended to be used for human occupancy within the jurisdiction of Cedar Rapids.
For the purposes of this chapter, the terms defined herein shall have the following meanings:
Meaning of certain words. The words “dwelling,” “dwelling unit,” “rooming unit” or “premises” when used in this chapter shall be construed as though they were followed by the words “or any part thereof.”
“Acceptable” or “approved” shall mean in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
“Accessory structure” shall mean a detached structure located on the same premises as the principal structure which is not used, nor intended to be used, for living or sleeping by human occupants.
“Adjoining grade” shall mean the elevation of the ground which extends 3 feet from the perimeter of the dwelling.
“Approved” (see “Acceptable”).
“Appurtenance” shall mean that which is directly or indirectly connected or accessory to a building.
“Attic” shall mean the part of a building immediately below the roof and wholly or partly within the roof framing and may or may not be habitable.
“Basement” shall mean a portion or story of a building, next below the first or main floor which may or may not be considered habitable space.
“Bath” shall mean a bathtub or shower stall connected with both hot and cold water lines.
“Bedroom” shall mean a habitable room within a dwelling unit with 1) an openable window that meets natural light and ventilation requirements; 2) existing basement window-floor to sill height not to exceed 48 inches; 3) one switched light fixture and 2 duplex electrical outlets; or, 4) one switched duplex outlet and one other duplex outlet. The room shall be capable of accommodating 2 persons for sleeping purposes.
“Building” shall mean any structure built, used, designed or intended for the support, shelter, protection or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or property of any kind.
“Cellar” shall mean a space below the first or main floor, used or intended to be used for storage, a location for heating equipment, etc., and shall not be considered habitable space.
“Central heating system” shall mean a single system supplying heat to one or more dwelling units or more than one rooming unit.
“Certificate of compliance” shall mean a document certifying that the unit or units for which it is issued was in compliance with the applicable provisions of this code at time of last inspection.
“Communal” shall mean used or shared by, or intended to be used or shared by the occupants of 2 or more rooming units or 2 or more dwelling units.
“Condominium” shall mean a dwelling unit which is in compliance or conformance with the requirements of Chapter 499B of the Code of Iowa.
“Cooperative” shall mean a dwelling unit which is in compliance or conformance with the requirements.
“Court” shall mean an unoccupied open space, other than a yard, on the same lot with a building and which is bordered on 2 or more sides by the building.
“Dining room” shall mean a habitable room used or intended to be used for the purpose of eating, but not for cooking or the preparation of meals or sleeping.
“Duplex” shall mean any habitable structure containing 2 single dwelling units. The classification shall be determined by the existence of 2 separate dwelling units, as defined herein, and shall not be based upon the identity of the occupants.
“Dwelling” shall mean any building, structure or mobile home except temporary housing, which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants and includes any appurtenances attached thereto.
“Dwelling, multiple” (see “Multiple dwelling”).
“Dwelling, single family” (see “Single family dwelling”).
“Dwelling unit” shall mean any room or group of adjoining rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, eating and sanitation.
“Egress” shall mean an exit and shall also mean an alternate route which provides reasonable safety for emergency exiting.
“Emergency” shall mean a life or health threatening condition or failure within or around a residential premises which requires immediate attention.
“Exit” shall mean a continuous and unobstructed means of egress to a public way and shall include intervening doors, doorways, corridors, exterior-exit balconies, ramps, stairways, smoke-proof enclosures, horizontal exits, exit passageways, exit courts, walkways, sidewalks and yards.
“Extermination” shall mean the control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food; by poisoning, spraying, fumigating, trapping; or by any other recognized and legal pest elimination methods approved by the local or state authority having such administrative authority.
“Garbage” shall mean animal or vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or consumption of food including, but not limited to, food waste, plastic containers, tin cans, glass bottles and paper products.
“Garbage container” shall mean any container which is in compliance or conformance with the requirements of Chapter 24 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code.
“Habitable room” shall mean a room, or enclosed floor space within a dwelling unit or rooming unit, used or intended to be used for living or sleeping purposes, excluding bathrooms, kitchens, kitchenettes, dining areas, toilet rooms, pantries, laundries, foyers, communicating corridors, closets, storage spaces, stairways and recreation rooms in basements. (See “Recreation room in basement.”)
“Housing Code Administrator” shall mean the Director of the Department of Community Development or his/her designated alternate.
“Housing Inspector” shall mean the official or officials designated by the city with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of this code.
“Infestation” shall mean the presence, within or around a dwelling of any insects, rodents or other pests, in such quantities as would be considered unsanitary.
“Kitchen” shall mean a room used or intended to be used for the storage and preparation of food and may contain facilities for the eating of meals.
“Kitchen sink” shall mean a basin for washing utensils used for cooking, eating and drinking, located in a kitchen or kitchenette and connected to both hot and cold water lines.
“Kitchenette” shall mean an area used solely for the storage and preparation of food.
“Lavatory” shall mean a hand washing basin which is connected to both hot and cold water lines, which is separate and distinct from a kitchen sink.
“Life threatening” shall mean that which has the potential to cause loss of life, pain, injury, harm or duress to the person(s) involved.
“Living room” shall mean a habitable room within a dwelling unit which is used, or intended to be used primarily for general living purposes.
“Mobile home” shall mean any vehicle without motive power used or so manufactured or constructed as to permit its being used as a conveyance upon the public streets and highways and so designed, constructed or reconstructed as will permit the vehicle to be used as a place for human habitation by one or more persons.
“Multiple dwelling” shall mean any dwelling containing 3 or more dwelling units or 3 or more rooming units or 3 or more of any combination thereof.
“Occupant” shall mean any person having actual possession of a dwelling unit or a rooming unit and it is their primary residence.
“Operator” shall mean any person who is the agent of an owner who rents to another or has custody or control of a building, or parts thereof, in which dwelling units or rooming units are let or who has custody or control of the premises as a guardian, executor, receiver, administrator or other similar assignee.
“Owner” shall mean any person who has custody and/or control of any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit by virtue of a recorded contract or a legal or equitable title to said dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit.
“Person” shall mean any individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, trust or estate.
“Placard” shall mean a display document showing that the unit for which it is issued has been determined to be unfit for human habitation.
“Plumbing/mechanical” shall mean and include any or all of the following supplied or required facilities and equipment: gas pipes, gas-burning equipment, water pipes, garbage disposal units, waste pipes, toilets, sinks, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, water heating devices, catch basins, drains, vents and any other similar supplied or required fixtures together with all connections to water, sewer or gas services.
“Premises” shall mean a lot, plot or parcel of land including any buildings and/or accessory structures thereon.
“Privacy” shall mean the existence of conditions which will permit a person or persons to carry out an activity without interruption or interference by unwanted persons.
“Properly connected” shall mean connected in accordance with the applicable codes and ordinances of the City of Cedar Rapids; provided, however, that the application of this definition shall not require the alteration or replacement of any connection in good and safe working condition.
“Public way” shall mean any sidewalk, street, alley, highway or other thoroughfare established for travel by vehicles or persons and open or available for use by the general public; and may be in either public or private ownership.
“Recreation room in basement” shall mean a room located in a basement used primarily for general recreation purposes.
54. “Refuse” shall mean waste material (except human or animal waste) such as garbage, rubbish, rags, lawn trimmings, cold ashes and dead animals.
“Refuse container” shall mean a container intended for the temporary storage of refuse, which is constructed of a durable material, with at least one opening which is supplied with a tight-fitting cover, and is reasonably weatherproof and rodent proof.
“Rental property” shall mean any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit which is being held out or being offered for rent or is currently being let for rent and/or occupied by any person who is not the owner of the premises. The method of determining if a dwelling is a rental property will be all those properties that do not qualify for Homestead Exemption as determined by Chapter 425 of the Code of Iowa and properly filed with the office of the City Assessor. Exceptions:
1. During the period that the aforedescribed rental property is being held out or offered for rent, all provisions of this code shall be applicable relating to inspections, but the owner or operator of such property shall not be in violation of the other requirements of this chapter if the same are corrected prior to the rental and occupancy of the rental property unless the violations are affecting the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of other rental property. The exterior of the rental property and the premises shall meet all provisions of this code at all times, regardless of whether the rental property is occupied or vacant.
“Roomer” shall mean an occupant of a rooming unit or an occupant of a dwelling unit.
“Rooming unit” shall mean any room or group of adjoining rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used, or intended to be used, primarily for living and sleeping. A rooming unit shall have bath and toilet facilities available for exclusive use by the occupant(s) or for communal use in accordance with Section 29.11 of this chapter and, in addition, may have kitchen and dining facilities available for use by the occupant(s) therein.
“Rubbish” shall mean inorganic waste material consisting of combustible and/or noncombustible materials.
“Rules and regulations” shall mean those administrative policies and procedures adopted by the Housing Code Administrator for the efficient and effective management of housing inspection functions.
“Safe” shall mean free from conditions injurious to health.
“Sanitary” shall mean free from conditions injurious to health.
“Serviceable” shall mean capable to perform the function originally intended to perform.
“Single family dwelling” shall mean a structure containing one dwelling unit.
“Story” is that portion of a building included between the upper surface of any floor and the upper surface of the floor next above, except that the topmost story shall be that portion of a building included between the upper surface of the topmost floor and the ceiling or roof above. If the finished floor level directly above a basement or unused under-floor space is more than 6 feet above grade as defined herein for more than 50 percent of the total perimeter or is more than 12 feet above grade as defined herein at any point, such basement or unused under-floor space shall be considered as a story.
“Supplied” shall mean paid for, furnished by, provided by or under the control of the owner or operator.
“Temporary housing” shall mean any tent, trailer, motor home or other structure used for human shelter which is designed to be transportable and which is not attached to the ground, to another structure or to any utilities system on the same premises for more than 30 days.
“Toilet” shall mean a water closet, with a bowl and trap made in one piece, which is of such shape and form and which holds a sufficient quantity of water so that no fecal matter will collect on the surface of the bowl and which is equipped with a flushing rim or flushing rims.
“Variance” shall mean a difference between that which is required or specified and that which is permitted.
(a) Authority. The Housing Inspector is hereby authorized to conduct inspections to determine the condition of all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units, structures and premises located within the City of Cedar Rapids, in order that he/she may enforce the provisions of this code.
(b) Basis for Inspections. Inspections of owner-occupied property located within the City of Cedar Rapids shall occur only upon complaint to the Housing Inspector, an observation by the Housing Inspector of a violation of the standards of this code, or designation by the City Council of an area where all residential properties are to be inspected uniformly and only the standards of Sections 29.10, 29.12 and 29.13 of this chapter shall be applicable. Inspection of rental properties shall be based upon one or more of the following:
1. A written complaint received by the city from a tenant indicating that there is a suspected violation of the standards of this code.
2. An observation by the city of a violation of the standards of this code.
3. The absence of a valid certificate of compliance as required by Section 29.09 of this code.
(c) Regular Rental Inspections. Inspections of rental property and the common areas thereof shall be conducted in accordance with a program of regular rental inspections, which shall not be more frequently than yearly nor less frequently than every 5 years except during transition period of moving from 7 year cycle to 5 year cycle. All structures, which are required to be inspected as a part of the program of regular inspections, shall be subject to the standards of Sections 29.10, 29.11, 29.12 and 29.13 of this chapter.
(d) Access by Owner or Operator. Every occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit shall give, upon proper notice, the owner or operator thereof, or his/her agent or employee, access to any part of such dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of effecting such maintenance, making such repairs or making such alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with or any lawful notice or order issued pursuant to, the provisions of this code.
(e) Access by Housing Inspector. The Housing Inspector is hereby authorized to conduct inspections of any dwelling within Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in order to perform the duty of safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of the occupants and the public under the provisions of this code. Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of this code or whenever the Housing Inspector has probable cause to believe that there exists in any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises any condition which makes such unit or premises in violation of any provision of this code or in response to a complaint that an alleged violation of a provision of this code may exist, the Housing Inspector may enter such unit or premises at all reasonable times to inspect the same or to perform any duty imposed upon the Housing Inspector by this code, provided that if such unit or premises is occupied, he/she shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner/operator, occupant or other person having charge or control of the building or premises and request entry giving 24-hour notice, when applicable, to the tenant. The Housing Inspector or his/her authorized representative shall at such time:
1. Identify himself/herself and his/her position; and
2. Explain why entry is sought;
3. Explain that the owner/operator or other person(s) having charge or control of the premises may refuse, without penalty, entry without a search warrant;
4. Require evidence of written notice to the owner/operator giving 7-day notice of deficiency. (Such notice shall not be construed to imply that the repairs need be completed at that time.)
(f) Search Warrant. If consent to inspect a building is withheld by any person or persons having the lawful right to exclude, the Housing Inspector may apply to the Iowa District Court in and for Linn County for a search warrant of the building. No owner/operator or occupant or any other person having charge, care or control of any dwelling unit, rooming unit, structure or premises shall fail or neglect, after presentation of a search warrant, to properly permit entry therein by the Housing Inspector or his/her authorized representative for the purpose of inspection and examination pursuant to this code.
(a) Authority. The Housing Inspector is hereby authorized to administer and enforce the provisions of this code.
1. Whenever the Housing Inspector determines that there has been a violation of any provision of the code, he/she shall give notice of such violation. Such notice shall:
B. Include a sufficiently detailed description of the violation including the section of the code violated, and the location of the violation of the premises, if applicable;
C. Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it required and may contain an outline or remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions;
D. Be served upon the owner, operator or the occupant, as the case may require;
E. Be effective notice to anyone having interest in the property whether recorded or not at the time of giving such notice and shall be effective against any subsequent owner/operator of the premises as long as the violation exists and there remains an official copy of the notice in a public file maintained by the Housing Inspector;
F. Advise of appeal rights as defined in Section 29.08(f) of this chapter.
2. Unless otherwise specified herein, any notice or order required under this code shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or upon such operator or upon such occupant if a copy thereof is delivered to him/her personally or if not found by leaving a copy thereof at his/her usual place of abode or employment, with a person residing in the same abode, or working at same place of employment; by regular mail to his/her last known address and if returned showing that it has not been delivered, by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on or about the dwelling affected by the notice. In the event that more than one person has to be served under this code, failure to serve one or more such additional persons does not affect the service on the person served.
(c) Noncompliance by Owner or Operator. Whenever, upon inspection of any dwelling, the Housing Inspector finds that conditions or practices exist which are in violation of any provision of this code, the Housing Inspector shall give notice in writing as stipulated in subsection (b) of this section.
The Housing Inspector shall give notice in writing to the owner and/or operator as to the date and time of the reinspection. Failure to permit the scheduled reinspection or if violations still exist, the owner and/or operator shall be subject to all of the penalties provided in this chapter.
(d) Noncompliance by Occupant. Whenever, upon inspection of any rental dwelling unit or rooming unit, the Housing Inspector finds that conditions or practices exist which are in violation of any provision of Section 29.13 of this code, the Housing Inspector shall give the owner of the property notice in writing as stipulated in subsection (b) of this section.
Any occupant found to be in violation of such provision of Section 29.13 of this code who has not remedied such conditions or practices within a reasonable time period may be served notice in writing by the Housing Inspector that unless the violations are remedied by repair, replacement or cleaning within 7 days after such notice, the occupant shall surrender possession to the owner within 7 days of the first notice. Failure of the tenant to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall subject the tenant to all of the penalties provided in this chapter, except, any authority to evict the occupant shall be the right of the owner or operator of the rental property. Giving possession by the occupant does not preclude or abridge any rights of the owner or operator of the rental property to pursue rights and remedies which may be provided by Chapter 562A of the Code of Iowa, nor relieve the occupant of any obligations and liabilities provided under said chapter.
(e) Emergency Order. Whenever the Housing Inspector finds that an emergency condition exists which requires immediate action, he/she shall issue an order reciting the existence of such a condition and requiring that action be taken as he/she deems necessary to abate the condition. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, such order shall be effective immediately and any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately. However, if within 48 hours (Saturdays, Sundays and holidays excluded for purposes of computing said 48 hours) of receipt of such emergency order a written request is received by Housing Inspector from the person that order was directed to appealing the decision, the inspector or designated person will notify the Housing Board of a written request to stay the provisions of the emergency order. Such order and enforcement thereof shall be stayed until such time as the Chairman of the Board may call a meeting of the Housing Board of Appeals to hear the merits of the case. Such hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Section 29.08 at which time it will be determined if the provisions of this code and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with. The Housing Board of Appeals shall continue such order in effect, or modify it, or revoke it.
(f) Placarding Procedures. Any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit which is found to be so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe or vermin infested, that it creates a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or of the general public shall be determined to be unfit for human habitation and shall be so designated at which time a notice of intent to placard shall be served to both the owner or operator and the occupant. If, after 14 days from receipt of such notice, no request for hearing before the Housing Board of Appeals is received in the office of the Housing Code Administrator, the affected premises shall be placarded by the Housing Code Administrator.
(g) Vacate Placarded Dwelling. Any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or any portion thereof, placarded as being unfit for human habitation by the Housing Code Administrator shall be vacated immediately as ordered by the Housing Code Administrator.
(h) To Re-occupy Placarded Dwelling. No dwelling unit, rooming unit or portion thereof, which has been placarded as unfit for human habitation shall again be used for human habitation until written approval is secured from, and such placard is removed by, the Housing Code Administrator. The Housing Code Administrator shall remove such placard whenever the defect(s) upon which the placarding action was based has been eliminated and a current certificate of compliance has been issued for the rental property.
(i) Removal of Placard Prohibited. No person shall deface or remove a placard from any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit which has been deemed unfit for human habitation and placarded as such, except as provided in the above paragraph.
(j) Rules and Regulations. The Housing Code Administrator is hereby authorized to promulgate written rules and regulations. Said rules and regulations shall establish administrative and procedural matters and may also establish performance criteria which shall not be inconsistent with this code. The Housing Inspector shall make all rules and regulations available to the general public. Standard forms and blank notices shall also be available upon request.
(k) Stay of Order. Upon receipt of a properly executed request for an appeal, any order issued by the Housing Inspector or Housing Code Administrator shall be stayed pending action by the Board of Appeals.
(l) Other Remedies. No provisions or section of this code shall in any way limit any other remedies available under the provisions of this code or any other applicable law. See HUD guidelines for participation in the Section 8 Existing Housing Program.
29.08 HOUSING BOARD OF APPEALS.
1. There is hereby established a board to be known as the Housing Board of Appeals, which consists of 7 members appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council. The members of the Board shall be appointed for 3-year terms, with any successive appointment for a 3-year term following the expired term. Any one or more members of such Board shall be subject to removal or replacement by the City Council at any time for cause after a public hearing before the City Council. Vacancies on such Board shall be filled by the appointing authority for the unexpired term of such vacancy. The members of such Board shall serve without compensation and shall be residents of the City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2. Officers of the Board shall be elected by the members at the annual meetings of the Board.
3. All appeals and requests to the Board shall be filed with the Housing Code Administrator’s office.
(b) Procedure. The Housing Board of Appeals shall establish its own rules of procedure for accomplishment of its duties and functions provided that such rules shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this code and the laws of the state of Iowa. Copies of the rules of procedure adopted by the Board shall be made available to the public by the Housing Inspector.
(c) Meetings. The Board shall meet at regular intervals to be determined by the Chairperson but, in any event, the Board shall act upon the appeal within 40 days after a request for a hearing has been received in the office of the Housing Code Administrator. Reasonable notice of the place, time and date of such meeting shall be given to all members of the Board and all interested parties in each case to be heard by the Board.
(d) Minutes. Minutes of all meetings of the Housing Board of Appeals shall be prepared and maintained as part of the public record.
(e) Appeals. Any person or persons adversely affected by any written notice or order of the Housing Inspector may appeal to the Housing Board of Appeals. An appeal fee as set by Council resolution shall accompany each appeal.
(f) Appeal Procedure. A request for a hearing before the Housing Board of Appeals shall be granted when a signed appeal request form or signed letter setting forth the issues is received in the office of the Housing Code Administrator, acting in behalf of the Board, within 35 days of the date of the initial notice of violation or order under this code. However, if a notice or order required the correction of a cited violation within a shorter period of time, the appeal must be made within such shorter period.
(g) Waiver. Failure of any person to file an appeal request in accordance with the provisions of this code shall constitute a waiver of his/her right to an administrative hearing and adjudication of the notice or order, or to any portion thereof.
(h) Decisions. The Housing Board of Appeals may sustain, modify, extend or revoke a notice from the Housing Inspector which decision shall be deemed to be an order and the owner, operator or occupant as the case may require, shall comply with all provisions of such order within a reasonable period of time which shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the affected parties within 7 days. The Board may also grant a variance from any provision of this code and in granting any variance or extension of time to make repairs, the Board shall observe the following conditions:
1. Extension of Time. In lieu of or in addition to administrative extensions, the Housing Board of Appeals may grant an extension or extensions of time for the compliance of any order or notice; provided, that the Board makes a determination that there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in carrying out the strict letter of any notice or order.
2. Specific Variance. The Housing Board of Appeals may grant a variance in a specific case and from a specific provision of this chapter; provided, that the Board makes a determination related to the following:
A. That the existing structure or structures cannot practicably meet the standards in this code but are not unsafe for habitation; or
B. That an extension would not constitute an appropriate remedy.
3. Petition for Certiorari. Any person or persons, jointly or severally, aggrieved by any decision of the Housing Board of Appeals under the provisions of this chapter, or any officer, department, board, or bureau of the municipality, may present to a court of record a petition, duly verified, setting forth that such decision is illegal, in whole or in part, specifying the grounds of the illegality. Such petition shall be presented to the court within 30 days after the filing of the decision of the office of the Board.
(a) Certificate of Compliance. A certificate of compliance shall mean a document which shows that the unit or units for which it is issued was in compliance with the applicable provisions of this code at the time of the last inspection. The certificate shall be automatically transferred from one owner or operator to another. The date of issuance of a new certificate of compliance shall be the date of the initial inspection of the property as required by Section 29.06(c). A certificate of compliance shall state the date of last inspection, the address of the structure to which it is applicable and the type or classification of the dwelling.
(b) Disclaimer. A certificate of compliance shall in no way signify or imply that the premises for which it is issued is in conformance or compliance with the Fire or Zoning Code of the City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
(c) Registration. Each owner/operator, title holder or contract purchaser of rental property subject to the provisions of this chapter shall register the same with the office of the Housing Code Administrator within 30 days of transfer of title or possession of such property. Failure to comply will constitute a violation. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, title holder, contract purchaser or operator of the rental property to inform the office of the Housing Code Administrator of any change in address for the purposes of conducting business and communicating with the office of the Housing Code Administrator.
The owner or operator shall then be issued a certificate of registration acknowledging registration of the rental property only, and specifically stating that such certificate does not indicate that the property meets the requirements of the Cedar Rapids Housing Code. No person shall rent, lease or let for occupancy any dwelling unit or rooming unit unless the property has been registered as above provided. The Housing Code Administrator will provide the registrant with a certificate of registration within 30 days of such registration. A registration fee as set by Council resolution shall accompany such registration form.
(d) Certificate of Compliance. The City of Cedar Rapids shall issue a certificate of compliance which shall be obtainable from the office of the Housing Code Administrator when:
1. There exists a certificate of registration on file with the office of the Housing Code Administrator;
2. It has been determined by a Housing Inspector that the provisions of Sections 29.10, 29.11 and 29.12 of this chapter have been complied with by the owner or operator; and
3. Inspection fees, the amount of which shall be determined by resolution of the City Council of Cedar Rapids, has been received by the Housing Inspector. The certificate, if withdrawn, shall be restored only upon a reinspection showing compliance with this code and any additional fees due are paid in full.
4. Additionally, when a certificate of occupancy is issued by the City of Cedar Rapids Department of Community Development for new construction or comprehensive rehabilitation of a dwelling containing one or more units, the Housing Code Administrator shall issue a certificate of compliance upon registration of the property.
(e) Certificate of Compliance Required. It shall be a violation of this code for any person to let to another for rent and/or occupancy any dwelling unit or rooming unit (except a rooming unit or units located within an owner-occupied, single family dwelling or condominium containing no more than 2 roomers) unless the owner or operator holds a valid rental certificate of compliance.
(f) Validity of Certificate of Compliance. A certificate of compliance shall be valid during the term of the inspection cycle unless suspended as set forth below.
(g) Suspension of Certificate of Compliance. The Housing Code Administrator shall suspend a certificate of compliance if the owner or operator has not complied with a notice of code violation. The Administrator shall issue a notice of suspended certification to the owner or operator that includes the following information:
1. That the certificate of compliance has been suspended as of the date of the notice;
2. The reason for the suspension;
3. That any rental unit that is vacant at the time of suspension or which becomes vacant during the period of suspension shall not be rented or reoccupied until the certificate of compliance is reinstated or a new certificate of compliance is issued;
4. That failure to comply with the terms of suspension, as set out in this section, shall be a violation of this code;
5. That suspension of a certificate of compliance may be appealed to the Housing Board of Appeals as provided for in Section 29.08 of this code.
(h) Reinstatement of Suspended Certificate of Compliance. The Housing Code Administrator will reinstate a suspended certificate of compliance after a regular inspection has been completed, fees have been paid, and the property has been brought into compliance with the applicable standards of this code. Reinstatement of the certificate shall not extend or change the next inspection date of the certificate.
(i) Notice on Sale of Dwelling. Every person owning a rental property under this chapter and offering such property for sale shall inform a prospective buyer of the following:
1. Current status of the certificate of compliance;
2. Any notice regarding violations of the housing code that is outstanding due to failure to correct violations;
3. Full information regarding any court action presently filed against the property.
29.10 MINIMUM STRUCTURE STANDARDS FOR ALL DWELLINGS.
(a) Supplied Facility. Every supplied facility, piece of equipment and required utility shall be constructed and/or installed such that it will not constitute a violation of this code nor expose occupants to any unsafe or unsanitary conditions. Buildings and structures erected with applicable permits and inspections and in possession of certificates of occupancy shall be deemed as meeting the intent of the code. Modifications of said structures shall satisfy current code requirements.
(b) Kitchens. Every dwelling unit shall have a kitchen room or kitchenette. Every kitchen or kitchenette shall be equipped with the following:
1. It shall include a kitchen sink;
2. It shall contain space capable of properly accommodating a refrigerator and a stove or range and/or a microwave oven;
3. It shall contain proper access terminals to utilities necessary to properly operate a refrigerator and stove or range in addition to 2 duplex outlets;
4. It shall include at least one cabinet suitable for the storage of food and eating and cooking utensils;
5. Counters for food preparation shall be furnished with surfaces that are easily cleanable and that will not impart any toxic or harmful effect to food;
6. It shall contain at least one switched ceiling or wall-type electric light fixture.
(c) Toilet Required. Every dwelling unit shall contain a toilet.
(d) Bath Required. Every dwelling unit shall contain a bath.
(e) Lavatory Basin Required. Every dwelling shall contain a lavatory basin within or adjacent to the room containing the toilet.
(f) Privacy in a Room Containing Toilet and Bath. One toilet and a minimum of one bath shall be contained within a room or within separate rooms which afford privacy for a person within said rooms.
(g) Water Heating Facilities Required. Every kitchen sink, bath and lavatory basin required by this code shall be properly connected to supplied water heating facilities. Every supplied water heating facility shall be properly connected and shall be capable of heating water to such a temperature as to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every kitchen sink, bath, lavatory basin required by this code to a temperature of not less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius). Such supplied water heating facilities shall be capable of meeting the requirements of this section when the required space heating facilities are not in operation.
(h) Connection of Sanitary Facilities to Water and Sewer System. Every kitchen sink, toilet, lavatory basin and bath shall be properly connected to an approved water and sewer system.
1. Every dwelling unit and rooming unit shall have at least one exit. When one or more living/sleeping rooms are provided on the third floor, a second exit shall be provided if the distance from the egress window is more than 2 stories to the ground (up to a 2 story drop from a third floor window to a first or second floor porch roof or appurtenance). Every sleeping room below the fourth story shall have at least one operable window or door approved for emergency escape or rescue which shall open directly into a public street, public alley, yard or exit court. The emergency door or window shall be operable from the inside to provide a full, clear opening without the use of separate tools.
A. Fire escapes may be used as one means of egress, if the incline does not exceed 60 degrees, the width is not less than 18 inches, the treads are not less than 4 inches wide and they extend to no more than 7 feet from the surface elevation or are provided with counterbalanced stairs reaching to no more than 7 feet from the surface elevation. Access shall be by an opening having a minimum dimension of 29 inches in height when open. The sill shall be not more than 36 inches above the floor and landing.
B. A ladder device when used in lieu of a fire escape shall conform to the following:
(1) Serve an occupant load of 10 people or less;
(2) The building does not exceed 3 stories in height;
(3) The access is adjacent to a window opening having a sill not more than 48 inches above the interior floor surface for emergency egress or from a platform or balcony;
(4) The device does not pass in front of any building opening below the unit being served.
2. Every means of egress shall comply with the following requirements:
A. Handrails. All stairways comprised of 4 or more risers shall be provided with one handrail, except where a handrail is also utilized as a guardrail. Handrails may be rebuilt to their original legal nonconforming installation standards where strict compliance to the code would create a structural hardship or be aesthetically unpleasing due to structural styling.
B. Guardrails. All unenclosed floor and roof openings, open and glazed sides of landings and ramps, balconies or porches which are more than 30 inches above adjoining grade or above the floor below, and any roof used for other than service of the building, shall be protected by a guardrail. Guardrails may be rebuilt to their original legal nonconforming installation standards where strict compliance to the code would create a structural hardship.
C. Every stairway shall have a uniform riser height and uniform tread width which shall be adequate for safe use.
D. Doors and windows readily accessible from outside the unit shall be lockable from inside the unit.
E. In basement units where one means of egress is a window, such window shall have an unobstructed opening no less in area than that required by the Building and/or Fire Code.
F. Doorways within a dwelling unit shall be at least 6 feet high and 24 inches wide. Door heights less than stated minimums shall be at the discretion of the Housing Code Administrator subject to compliance being a structural hardship.
1. Every habitable room except kitchens, kitchenettes, or bathrooms shall have at least one window or skylight facing directly to outdoors. The minimum total window or skylight area, measured between stops, for every habitable room shall be at least 8 percent of the floor area of such room. Sharing of natural lights and ventilation is allowed when porches or other appurtenances provide at least the minimum of the required natural light and ventilation for the habitable room being served.
2. For the purpose of determining natural light and natural ventilation requirements, any room may be considered as a portion of an adjoining room when one-half of the area of the common wall is open and unobstructed and provides an opening of not less than one-tenth of the floor area of the interior room or 25 square feet, whichever is greater.
A. Every dwelling unit and rooming unit shall be free from dangerous levels of air pollution from carbon monoxide, sewer gas, fuel gas, and dust.
A. For natural ventilation, every habitable room shall have a window or other such ventilating device with a total openable area equal to at least 45 percent of the minimum window area as required above. Sharing of natural light and ventilation is allowed when porches or other appurtenances provide at least the minimum of the required natural light and ventilation for the habitable room being served.
B. For natural ventilation, every kitchen or kitchenette shall have a window or other such ventilating device with a total openable area equal to at least 4 percent of the floor area of such room.
C. For natural ventilation, every bathroom or toilet compartment shall have at least one openable window of a minimum of 2 square feet of openable area facing directly to the outdoors or a properly vented mechanical fan.
E. Every window, soffit or roof vent, used or intended to be used for ventilation of nonhabitable space and every other opening to a cellar, crawl space or interior roof area, which might provide an entry for rodents or birds, shall be supplied with a heavy wire screen of not larger than one-fourth-inch mesh or such device as will effectively prevent their entrance.
3. Mechanical Ventilation.
A. In lieu of openable windows or other such devices for natural ventilation, adequate ventilation may be a system of mechanical ventilation which provides not less than 2 air changes per hour in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and/or toilet compartments.
B. Any kitchen or kitchenette lacking natural ventilation shall be equipped with a system of mechanical ventilation which provides at least 2 air changes per hour in said room. The system shall exhaust and discharge directly to outside air.
C. Any mechanical exhaust system for a bathroom shall be discharged into an attic within 4 inches of a roof vent or directly to the outside of the structure. All mechanical exhaust systems for a kitchen shall be discharged directly to the outside of the structure.
D. Bathrooms which contain a bathtub, lavatory and toilet must meet all requirements for bathrooms. When there exists a toilet and/or shower in a room which is comprised of 400 square feet or more and is in operating condition, requirements for ventilation and area separation from fuel-burning devices are not necessary. (This primarily deals with toilets and showers in the basement.) If the fixture is present, it must work; if it is enclosed by more than 40 percent solid walls (a stall), then it must meet the rest of the requirements of a bathroom.
Exception: The provision requiring mechanical ventilation in kitchens and kitchenettes shall be waived upon a showing to the Housing Inspector that a certificate of occupancy or building permit or Housing Board of Appeals approval has been issued in accordance with the local Building Code for the affected dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit by the appropriate authority.
1. Every dwelling shall have heating equipment and appurtenances which are properly installed, and are capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, kitchenettes and toilet rooms located therein to a temperature of at least 68 degrees maintaining said temperature at a distance of 3 feet above the floor level. Such heating facilities shall be designed and equipped that heat, as herein specified, is available for all dwelling units and rooming units.
2. No central heating unit, space heater, water heater nor cooking appliance shall be located such that it obstructs any portion of an exit.
3. Every fuel-burning heating unit or water heater shall be effectively vented with adequate clearance in a safe manner to a chimney or duct leading to the exterior of the building. The chimney, duct and vent shall be of such design as to assure proper draft and shall be adequately supported.
4. No fuel-burning furnace shall be located within any sleeping room or bathroom unless provided with adequate ducting for combustion air supply from the exterior and the combustion chamber for such heating unit shall be sealed from the room in an air-tight manner. Fuel-burning water heaters are prohibited in bathrooms and sleeping rooms.
5. Every steam or hot water boiler and every water heater shall be protected against overheating by functioning pressure and temperature limit controls.
(m) Electrical Requirements.
1. Every habitable room shall contain one switched light fixture and 2 duplex outlets in each habitable room or one switched duplex outlet and one other duplex outlet. Duplex outlets shall be separate and remote, and where possible, located on opposite walls. All outlets located above and adjacent to work counters within 3 feet of a sink or water source shall be ground fault type.
2. Every bathroom or room containing a lavatory shall contain at least one single convenience ground fault outlet. All outlets located above and adjacent to the lavatory and/or vanity top within 3 feet of a water source shall be of the ground fault design.
All rental units shall meet this requirement by January 1, 1999. Units subjected to remodeling activity shall comply during remodeling. Owners/managers shall notify the Housing Inspections Department as compliance is achieved.
3. Every kitchen, kitchenette, bathroom lavatory room, toilet room, laundry room, furnace room, basement and cellar shall contain at least one ceiling or wall-type electric light fixture.
4. Every outlet and fixture shall be properly installed. Temporary wiring, extension cords and insufficiently sized wiring shall not be used as permanent wiring.
5. All exterior outlets must be GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected with covers.
(n) Numbering. Every dwelling, whether occupied or vacant, shall be identified with address numbers not less than 3 inches in height placed conspicuously on said dwelling so as to be plainly visible and legible from the street and alley if the lot adjoins an alley. Alternative methods that provide a comparable level of identification may be approved by the Housing Code Administrator.
(o) Minimum Space, Use and Location Requirements.
A. Dwelling units shall conform to the requirements of the code as herein provided:
(1) Not more than one family, as defined by Section 29.05 of this chapter;
(2) The unit shall be provided with a separate closet;
(3) The unit shall be provided with a separate bathroom containing a water closet, lavatory and bathtub or shower;
(4) Board houses/congregate housing units shall meet the provisions of this section and Section 29.11 of this chapter.
Exception: Existing legal nonconforming structures and mobile homes shall be exempt from the above provisions provided original construction complied with the codes in effect at that time and that no alterations or reconstruction has caused the room or rooms to be less than when originally constructed.
(5) The dwelling unit shall have at least one living/sleeping room for each 2 persons.
B. (1) The minimum ceiling height in any habitable room must be 7 feet except in any habitable room where the ceiling is part of a sloping roof, at least one-half of the floor area shall have a ceiling height of 7 feet. Floor area, as stated above, shall mean the area of the floor where the vertical measurement from floor to ceiling is 5 feet or more. Minimum ceiling heights. Habitable spaces, hallways, corridors, laundry areas, bathrooms, toilet rooms and habitable basement areas shall have a clear ceiling height of not less than 7 feet.
(2) Exceptions: Basement rooms in one and 2 family dwellings occupied exclusively for laundry, study or recreation purposes having a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches with not less than 6 feet 4 inches of clear height under beams, girders, ducts and similar obstructions.
C. Obstructions of space by items such as plumbing equipment, mechanical equipment and cabinetry shall be permitted when such obstructions:
(1) Are located within 2 feet of a partition or wall;
(2) Do not interfere with normal ingress and egress; and
(3) Would not interfere with emergency ingress or egress; and, if any obstructing item is obstructing ceiling space, then such items shall not:
a. Be located less than 6 feet 4 inches from the floor level; and not
b. Occupy more than 25 percent of the cubic area in the room which is between 6 feet 4 inches and 7 feet from floor level.
29.11 MINIMUM STRUCTURE STANDARDS FOR ALL RENTAL HOUSING.
1. Access to each dwelling unit or rooming unit shall not require first entering any other dwelling unit or rooming unit (except that access to rooming units may be through a living room, kitchen or hallway of a unit occupied by the owner or operator of the structure).
2. No dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit containing 2 or more sleeping rooms shall have such room arrangements that access to a bathroom or toilet room can be had only by going through another sleeping room; nor shall room arrangements be such that access to a sleeping room can be had only by going through another sleeping room.
Exception: This provision shall be waived upon a showing to the Housing Inspector that a family is occupying the affected unit as one housekeeping organization.
3. A bathroom or toilet room shall not be used as the only passageway to any habitable room, hallway or to the exterior of the dwelling unit or rooming unit.
(b) Lighting of Public Halls and Stairways.
1. Public passageways and stairways in dwellings accommodating not more than 4 dwelling units or rooming units shall be provided with a constantly activated or automatically activated lighting system or a convenient wall-mounted light switch which activates an adequate lighting system.
2. Public passageways and stairways in buildings accommodating more than 4 dwelling units or rooming units shall be lighted at all times with an adequate artificial lighting system, except that such artificial lighting system may be omitted from sunrise to sunset where an adequate natural lighting system is provided.
3. Intensity of Light. An adequate lighting system as required herein, shall mean an intensity of 2 foot-candles at floor level. The required intensity shall apply to both natural and artificial lighting.
(c) Fire Extinguishers. All fire extinguishers shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times and shall be replaced or repaired when defective in accord with the Cedar Rapids Fire Code.
1. Single Family Structure (Rental). One 1A10BC fire extinguisher shall be provided in a properly mounted readily accessible location preferably located near an exit and near the kitchen.
2. Multifamily Structures. Shall provide one 1A10BC fire extinguisher for each dwelling unit properly mounted in a readily accessible location preferably located near an exit and near the kitchen, or, for those structures with common corridors may provide one 2A10BC fire extinguisher on each occupied level within 75 feet of each dwelling unit extinguishers must be readily accessible to all occupants for which they are provided.
3. One 2A10BC fire extinguisher shall be provided in a properly mounted readily accessible location preferably located near an exit for each laundry/mechanical room that is shared by 2 or more dwelling units.
(d) Smoke Detectors. All rental dwelling units, dwellings containing one or more rooming units and multiple dwellings shall be provided with smoke detectors on all levels required by the Cedar Rapids Fire Code regulations and, when actuated, shall provide an alarm for the dwelling unit or rooming unit. Detectors hereafter installed in areas where sleeping rooms are on an upper level shall be placed above the stairway.
1. In dwelling units and in rooming units containing kitchens or kitchenettes, smoke detectors shall be mounted on the ceiling or wall in a location required by the Cedar Rapids Fire Code regulations, centrally located in the corridor or area giving access to rooms used for sleeping purposes.
2. In all multiple dwellings and in all dwellings containing one or more rooming units, smoke detectors shall be mounted on the ceiling or wall of each common corridor or adjacent to sleeping areas or rooms.
(e) Toilets and Lavatory Basins. At least one toilet and one lavatory basin shall be supplied for each 8 persons or fraction thereof residing within a dwelling containing a rooming unit or units, wherever they share the facilities. Where rooming units are let only to males, flush urinals may be substituted for not more than one-half of the required number of toilets.
(f) Baths. At least one bath shall be supplied for each 8 persons or fraction thereof residing within a dwelling containing a rooming unit or units, including members of the owner’s/operator’s family whenever they share the use of said facilities.
(g) Location of Communal Toilets and Baths. Communal toilets and baths shall be located on the same floor or the floor immediately above or below the rooming unit.
(h) Communal Kitchens. If a communal kitchen is supplied, it shall comply with the following requirements:
1. The minimum floor area of a communal kitchen shall be 35 square feet for the first occupant using such facilities and there shall be additional 5 square feet for each additional occupant using such facilities.
2. The minimum floor area of a communal kitchen in which an occupant is permitted to prepare and eat meals shall be 40 square feet and there shall be an additional 10 square feet of floor space provided for each additional occupant using such facilities.
3. It shall contain a refrigerator with an adequate food storage capacity.
4. It shall contain a kitchen sink.
5. It shall contain a stove or range.
6. It shall include at least one cabinet of adequate size suitable for the storage of food and eating and cooking utensils.
7. Every communal kitchen shall be located such that it is accessible to the occupants of each rooming unit sharing the use of such kitchen, without going outside of the dwelling and without going through a dwelling unit or rooming unit of another occupant.
(i) Communal Dining Rooms. In every dwelling within which the occupant of any rooming unit is permitted to prepare meals or cook within a communal kitchen which contains less than the minimum floor area as required in subsection (h) of this section, there shall be supplied a communal dining room which complies with all of the following requirements:
1. Every communal dining room shall be located on the same floor as the communal kitchen and such dining room shall be as nearly adjacent to the communal kitchen as is practicable.
2. Every communal dining room shall be located such that it is accessible to the occupant of each rooming unit sharing such dining room without going outside of the dwelling and without going through a dwelling unit or rooming unit of another occupant.
3. Every communal dining room shall contain not less than 70 square feet of floor area.
(j) Kitchens–Stoves and Refrigerators.
1. Every kitchen and kitchenette shall contain a stove/microwave or range and a refrigerator which shall be supplied by the owner, operator or occupant.
(k) Screens. Every required openable window must have a screen installed at all times, at least #16 mesh. Exception-non combination windows may have the screens removed and storm panel in place during the heating season.
29.12 RESPONSIBILITIES OF OWNERS AND OPERATORS RELATING TO THE MAINTENANCE AND OCCUPANCY OF PREMISES.
(a) Maintenance of Structure and Premises.
1. Every foundation, root floor, wall, ceiling, stair, step, elevator, handrail, guardrails, porch, sidewalk and appurtenance attached thereto shall be maintained in safe and sound condition and shall be capable of supporting the loads that normal use may cause to be placed thereon.
2. Every foundation, floor, basement hatchway, exterior wall, exterior door, window and roof shall be weathertight.
3. Every door, door hinge, door latch and door lock shall be maintained in good and functional condition and every door, when closed, shall fit reasonably well within its frame. If deadbolt locks are installed, they must be operable from the inside without a key, tool, combination thereof or any other special knowledge or effort.
4. Every window, existing storm window, window latch, window lock and other aperture covering, including its hardware, shall be maintained in good and functional condition and shall fit reasonably well within its frame.
5. Every interior partition, wall, floor, ceiling and other interior surface shall be maintained in an acceptable, serviceable and sanitary condition, and where appropriate, shall be capable of affording privacy.
6. The exterior of all structures and the premises shall meet all provisions of this code at all times, regardless of whether the property is occupied or vacant.
7. Repairs, maintenance work, alterations or installations which are caused directly or indirectly by the enforcement of this code shall be executed and installed in a workman like manner and meet all applicable Building and Housing Code and/or manufacturer’s installation instructions.
(b) Maintenance of Accessory Structure. Every foundation, exterior wall, roof, window, exterior door and appurtenance of every accessory structure shall be so maintained as to prevent the structure from becoming a harborage for rats or other vermin and shall be kept in a reasonably good state of repair.
(c) Rainwater Drainage. All eaves, troughs, downspouts and other roof drainage equipment on the premises shall be maintained in good state of repair and so installed as to direct rainwater away from any structure.
(d) Grading and Drainage of Premises. Every premises shall be graded and drained so no stagnant water will accumulate or stand thereon.
(e) Chimneys and Smokepipes. Every chimney and every supplied smokepipe shall be adequately supported and maintained in a clean and reasonably good state of repair.
(f) Protection of Exterior Surfaces. All exterior surfaces that deteriorate from exposure to weather shall be protected from the weather by a properly applied water-resistant paint or waterproof finish. Any exterior surface treated with paint or other preservative shall be maintained so as to prevent chipping, cracking or other deterioration of the exterior surface or the surface treatment. During seasonal periods when painting is prohibited, said areas shall be scraped with all painting being completed by the following July 1st. The Housing Code Administrator may extend this time period if the weather has not permitted sufficient time to complete repairs.
(g) Means of Egress. Every means of egress shall be maintained in good condition and shall be free of obstruction at all times.
(h) Hanging Storm Windows. When provided, the owner or operator of the premises shall be responsible for hanging all storm windows except where there is an agreement between the owner and the occupant to the contrary.
(i) Electrical System. The electrical system of every dwelling or an accessory structure shall not by reason of overloading, dilapidation, lack of insulation, improper fusing or for any other cause expose the occupants to hazards of electrical shock or fire, and every electrical outlet, switch and fixture shall be maintained in good and safe working condition.
(j) Maintenance of Plumbing Fixtures. Every required plumbing fixture and water and waste pipe that is not under the exclusive control of an occupant shall be maintained in good and sanitary working condition.
1. All plumbing hereafter installed or replaced shall be so designed and installed as to prevent contamination of the water supply through backflow, back siphonage or cross-connection.
2. Water pressure shall be adequate to permit a proper flow of water from each open outlet.
3. Kitchen garbage disposals (garbage grinder): if a garbage disposal is provided it must be in operable condition otherwise it must be repaired, replaced or removed.
(k) Maintenance of Gas Appliances and Facilities.
1. Every gas appliance shall be connected to a gas line with solid metal piping except that listed metal appliance connectors or semi-rigid tubing may be used if approved by the Housing Inspector.
2. Every gas pipe shall be sound and tightly put together and shall be free of leaks, corrosion or obstruction so as not to reduce gas pressure or volume.
3. Gas pressure shall be adequate to permit a proper flow of gas from all open gas valves at all times.
(l) Maintenance of Heating Equipment. The fuel burning heating equipment of each dwelling shall be maintained in good and safe working condition and shall be capable of heating all habitable rooms, kitchens, kitchenettes, bathrooms and toilet rooms located therein to the minimum temperature required by this code. At the time of each regular rental inspection, every furnace, boiler, etc., must be checked by a licensed mechanical contractor or certified service technician for proper drafting, combustion and integrity of total operation system which shall include the thermostat, gas valve, vent and/or chimney and determine that carbon monoxide levels are within safe limits for human habitation (exception when heating equipment has been installed within 2 years of the regular inspection with proper documentation of installation date).
(m) Floors–Kitchen and Bathroom. Every toilet room floor surface, bathroom floor surface and kitchen or kitchenette floor surface shall be constructed and maintained so as to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean, dry and sanitary condition. If replacing, every bathroom or toilet room floor shall be constructed and maintained to be a smooth, hard, nonabsorbent surface to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
(n) Required Facilities. Every facility and piece of equipment required by this code shall function safely and shall be maintained in proper working condition. No required facility shall be removed, shut off or disconnected from any occupied dwelling unit or rooming unit except for such temporary interruption(s) as may be necessary while actual repairs, replacements or alterations are being made.
(o) Supplied Facilities. Facilities and equipment not required by this code shall be maintained in safe and operable condition by the owner or operator except when there is an agreement between the owner or operator and the occupant stating that the occupant shall perform the duties as specified herein.
(p) Refrigerators and Stoves. All supplied refrigerators, stoves and ranges shall be maintained in safe working condition.
(q) Sealed Passages. All pipe passages, chutes and similar openings through walls or floors shall be adequately enclosed or sealed to prevent the spread of fire or passage of vermin.
(r) Pest Extermination. Extermination of infestations shall be the property owner’s responsibility in every instance and shall be provided as required.
Exception: Tenants of single family dwellings, nonowner occupied, shall be responsible for said exterminations. This exception does not apply to participants in the HUD Section 8 Existing Housing Program.
(s) Owner or Operator to Let Clean Units. No owner or operator shall permit occupancy of any vacant dwelling unit or rooming unit unless it is sanitarily acceptable and fit for human occupancy.
(t) Maintenance of Public Area.
1. Every owner or operator of a dwelling containing 2 or more dwelling units or more than one rooming unit shall be responsible for maintaining, in a safe and sanitary condition, the shared public areas of the dwelling and premises thereof, unless there is an agreement between the owner and occupant to the contrary.
2. The occupant of a single family structure shall be responsible for maintaining the exterior of the structure and the premises in a safe and sanitary condition and prevent the accumulation of garbage, refuse, rubbish, household goods or personal possessions. Household furniture shall not be permitted to be stored or placed on an unenclosed porch or on the premises. The owner/operator of the single family structure shall be ultimately responsible for maintaining the exterior of the structure and the premises if the tenant fails to do so.
(u) Maintenance of Fences. Every fence shall be kept in a reasonably good state of repair or shall be removed. Fence repairs shall be made with materials that match the balance of the fence.
(v) Garbage Disposal. Every owner or operator of a structure or complex containing 5 or more dwelling units shall contract with a commercial disposal company to provide a container(s) and regular scheduled removal of garbage so that no trash is over the top of the container or on the ground. Tenants/occupants will be responsible for supplying containers in all other occupancies and making available for city pickup.
Occupancy Control. No owner or operator shall knowingly allow the occupancy of any dwelling unit or rooming unit to exceed the number of persons permitted by this code.
(x) Tiedowns. In the case of a mobile home, the home shall be securely anchored by a tiedown device which distributes and transfers the load posed by the unit to appropriate ground anchors so as to resist wind overturning and sliding.
(y) Securing of Buildings. Every unoccupied dwelling and accessory structure shall be maintained in a secure fashion with all exterior openings, including windows, doors and any other openings, intact and locked so as to prevent entrance thereto by vandals, criminals, children or other unauthorized persons. When a structure is required to be secured, openings shall be secured with a minimum of one-half inch exterior plywood or OSB or such other comparable material as may be approved by the Housing Code Administrator, sized to fit the opening, suitably coated with an appropriate neutral color blending or harmonizing with the exterior colors of the structure so as to be as inconspicuous as possible.
29.13 RESPONSIBILITIES OF OCCUPANTS RELATING TO THE MAINTENANCE AND OCCUPANCY OF PREMISES.
(a) Occupant Responsible for Controlled Area. Every occupant of a dwelling unit or rooming unit shall keep said part of the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises thereof he/she occupies and controls in an acceptable sanitary and safe condition.
1. Every interior partition, wall, floor, floor covering, ceiling and other interior surface shall be kept in a reasonably clean and sanitary condition.
2. No dwelling or the premises thereof shall be used for the storage or handling of refuse.
3. No dwelling or the premises thereof shall be used for the storage or handling of dangerous or hazardous materials.
4. The exterior of the structure and the premises shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition and the occupant shall prevent the accumulation of garbage, refuse, rubbish, household goods or personal possessions. Household furniture shall not be permitted to be stored or placed on an unenclosed porch or on the premises.
(b) Plumbing Fixtures. The occupants of a dwelling unit and the occupants of a rooming unit which have exclusive use of such plumbing fixtures shall keep all supplied plumbing fixtures therein in a clean and sanitary condition and shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care, proper use and proper operation thereof.
(c) Storage and Disposal of Garbage. Every occupant of a dwelling shall dispose of rubbish, garbage, animal waste and any other organic waste in a clean and sanitary manner by placing it in the supplied disposal facilities or storage containers required by this code or by having it removed from the premises. Such containers are to be provided by the tenant(s) except as provided for in Section 29.12(v).
(d) Use and Operation of Heating Facilities. Every occupant of a dwelling unit or rooming unit shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care, proper use and proper operation of any heating facilities that are under the control of the occupant.
(e) Electrical Wiring. No temporary wiring or extension cords shall be used except extension cords which run directly from portable electric fixtures to convenience outlets and which do not lie beneath floor coverings or extend through doorways, transoms or similar apertures and structural elements or attached thereto. No occupant shall knowingly overload the circuitry of the dwelling unit or rooming unit.
(f) Smoke Detectors. Every occupant of a dwelling unit shall, if the smoke detector is battery operated, be responsible to maintain the device in proper working condition or notify the owner or operator of any inoperability. No occupant shall cause a smoke detector to be removed or disconnected from its power source.
(g) Means of Egress. No occupant of a dwelling unit or rooming unit shall cause any means of egress to be obstructed at any time.
(h) Required Facilities. Every occupant of a dwelling unit or rooming unit shall keep all required fixtures and facilities that are under the exclusive control of the occupant in a clean and sanitary condition and shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care, proper use and proper operation thereof.
(i) Supplied Facilities. Every occupant of a dwelling unit or rooming unit shall keep all supplied fixtures and facilities that are under the exclusive control of the occupant in a clean and sanitary condition.
(j) Preparation of Meals in Rooming Units. No occupant of a dwelling unit or rooming unit shall prepare or cook meals in his/her rooming unit unless an approved kitchen is contained within the rooming unit. The cooking and eating of meals may take place in dwellings containing a rooming unit or units if the provisions of Section 29.11 of this chapter are complied with.
(k) Unlicensed Vehicles. No occupant shall cause an unlicensed vehicle, inoperable vehicle or parts thereof to be stored on the premises unless in an enclosed garage. This subsection shall be enforced under the provision of the Cedar Rapids Zoning Ordinance.
(l) Window Screens. Every occupant of a dwelling unit or rooming unit shall be responsible for maintaining screens in a good state of repair.
Any owner, operator or occupant violating any provision, section or paragraph of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof be subject to a fine of not more than $500.00 or be imprisoned for not more than 30 days. In addition, a violation of any provision, section or paragraph of this chapter is a municipal infraction subjecting the owner, operator or occupant violating any provision, section, or paragraph of this chapter to any of the penalties or remedies provided in Section 364.22 of the Code of Iowa. If any owner, operator or occupant violates any provision, section or paragraph of this chapter, the City Council, in addition to other remedies, may institute injunctive proceedings to enforce the provisions of this chapter. That for purposes of this remedy, the injunctive relief sought will be to have the violator mandatorily enjoined to correct the violations, and upon failing to do so, the violator be punished for contempt of court.
(Note: Chapter 29 adopted by Ordinance 85-05, passed December 21, 2005)
Senator Harkin is using this case law West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish (1937) to JUSTIFY all of this!