Bill Text: IA HF270 | 2019-2020 | 88th General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: A bill for an act relating to the testing of well water of dwelling units and mobile home spaces prior to entering into rental agreements.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-06 - Introduced, referred to Commerce. H.J. 220. [HF270 Detail]

Download: Iowa-2019-HF270-Introduced.html
House File 270 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 270 BY BEARINGER A BILL FOR An Act relating to the testing of well water of dwelling 1 units and mobile home spaces prior to entering into rental 2 agreements. 3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 4 TLSB 1780YH (6) 88 js/jh
H.F. 270 Section 1. NEW SECTION . 562A.13A Dwellings served by well 1 water —— testing —— corrective actions —— disclosure. 2 1. For purposes of this section, unless the context 3 otherwise requires, “corrective action” means either adding a 4 sufficient amount of chlorine to disinfect a well or installing 5 a filter system in a well. 6 2. If a dwelling unit is served by well water, the landlord 7 shall test the well serving the dwelling unit prior to entering 8 into a rental agreement or every two years, whichever is 9 longer. A well must be tested according to rules developed 10 by the department of natural resources pursuant to chapter 11 17A. Well water is considered safe for drinking if the water 12 meets the standards established pursuant to section 455B.172, 13 subsection 3. 14 3. If a well fails to have safe drinking water, the landlord 15 shall take corrective action to ensure the water is safe to 16 drink prior to entering into the prospective rental agreement 17 or as soon as possible if a tenant is occupying the dwelling 18 unit. The landlord shall be liable for all costs associated 19 with taking corrective action. If a current tenant lives in 20 the dwelling unit, the landlord shall be liable for costs 21 associated with the temporary procurement of safe drinking 22 water. 23 4. Following a test, proof that the well water is safe 24 to drink or that corrective action has been taken shall be 25 provided to the prospective or current tenant. Such proof is 26 valid for a period of two years. 27 5. a. If a landlord fails to provide proof that the water 28 is safe to drink or that corrective action has been taken, the 29 tenant shall be entitled to all rights and remedies set forth 30 in section 562A.21. 31 b. If the landlord fails to provide safe drinking water 32 or cover costs necessary to procure safe drinking water to a 33 current tenant, the tenant shall be entitled to all rights and 34 remedies set forth in section 562A.23. 35 -1- LSB 1780YH (6) 88 js/jh 1/ 6
H.F. 270 Sec. 2. Section 562A.21, subsections 1 and 2, Code 2019, are 1 amended to read as follows: 2 1. Except as provided in this chapter , if there is a 3 material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental 4 agreement , or a noncompliance with section 562A.15 materially 5 affecting health and safety , or a failure to provide 6 information under section 562A.13A , the tenant may elect 7 to commence an action under this section and shall deliver 8 a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and 9 omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement 10 will terminate upon a date not less than seven days after 11 receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in seven 12 days, and the rental agreement shall terminate and the tenant 13 shall surrender as provided in the notice subject to the 14 following: 15 a. If the breach is remediable by repairs or the payment of 16 damages or otherwise, and if the landlord adequately remedies 17 the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the 18 rental agreement shall not terminate. 19 b. If substantially the same act or omission which 20 constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given 21 recurs within six months, the tenant may terminate the rental 22 agreement upon at least seven days’ written notice specifying 23 the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement 24 unless the landlord has exercised due diligence and effort to 25 remedy the breach which gave rise to the noncompliance. 26 c. The tenant may not terminate for a condition caused by 27 the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a 28 member of the tenant’s family, or other person on the premises 29 with the tenant’s consent. 30 2. Except as provided in this chapter , the tenant 31 may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any 32 noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or 33 section 562A.13A or 562A.15 unless the landlord demonstrates 34 affirmatively that the landlord has exercised due diligence and 35 -2- LSB 1780YH (6) 88 js/jh 2/ 6
H.F. 270 effort to remedy any noncompliance, and that any failure by the 1 landlord to remedy any noncompliance was due to circumstances 2 reasonably beyond the control of the landlord. If the 3 landlord’s noncompliance is willful the tenant may recover 4 reasonable attorney fees. 5 Sec. 3. Section 562A.23, subsection 1, Code 2019, is amended 6 to read as follows: 7 1. If contrary to the rental agreement or section 562A.13A 8 or 562A.15 the landlord deliberately or negligently fails to 9 supply running water, safe drinking water, hot water, or heat, 10 or essential services, the tenant may give written notice to 11 the landlord specifying the breach and may: 12 a. Procure reasonable amounts of hot water, safe drinking 13 water, running water, heat , and essential services during the 14 period of the landlord’s noncompliance and deduct their actual 15 and reasonable cost from the rent; 16 b. Recover damages based upon the diminution in the fair 17 rental value of the dwelling unit; or 18 c. Recover any rent already paid for the period of the 19 landlord’s noncompliance which shall be reimbursed on a pro 20 rata basis. 21 Sec. 4. NEW SECTION . 562B.14A Mobile home spaces served by 22 well water —— testing —— corrective actions —— disclosure. 23 1. For purposes of this section, unless the context 24 otherwise requires, “corrective action” means either adding a 25 sufficient amount of chlorine to disinfect a well or installing 26 a filter system in a well. 27 2. If a mobile home space is served by well water, the 28 landlord shall test the well serving the mobile home space 29 prior to entering into a rental agreement or every two years, 30 whichever is longer. A well must be tested according to rules 31 developed by the department of natural resources pursuant to 32 chapter 17A. Well water is considered safe for drinking if 33 the water meets the standards established pursuant to section 34 455B.172, subsection 3. 35 -3- LSB 1780YH (6) 88 js/jh 3/ 6
H.F. 270 3. If a well fails to have safe drinking water, the landlord 1 shall take corrective action to ensure the water is safe to 2 drink prior to entering into the prospective rental agreement 3 or as soon as possible if a tenant is occupying the mobile home 4 space. The landlord shall be liable for all costs associated 5 with taking corrective action. If a tenant is currently 6 occupying the mobile home space, the landlord shall be liable 7 for costs associated with the temporary procurement of safe 8 drinking water. 9 4. Following a test, proof that the well water is safe 10 to drink or that corrective action has been taken shall be 11 provided to the prospective or current tenant. Such proof is 12 valid for a period of two years. 13 5. If a landlord fails to provide proof that the water is 14 safe to drink or that corrective action has been taken, or 15 fails to provide safe drinking water or cover costs necessary 16 to procure safe drinking water prior to the completion of 17 corrective action, the tenant shall be entitled to all rights 18 and remedies set forth in section 562B.22. 19 Sec. 5. Section 562B.22, subsections 1 and 2, Code 2019, are 20 amended to read as follows: 21 1. Except as provided in this chapter , if there is a 22 material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental 23 agreement, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the 24 landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the 25 breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a 26 date not less than thirty days after receipt of the notice if 27 the breach is not remedied in fourteen days. If there is a 28 noncompliance by the landlord with section 562B.16 materially 29 affecting health and safety or with section 562B.14A , the 30 tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying 31 the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the 32 rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 33 thirty days after receipt of the notice if the breach is 34 not remedied in fourteen days. The rental agreement shall 35 -4- LSB 1780YH (6) 88 js/jh 4/ 6
H.F. 270 terminate and the mobile home space shall be vacated as 1 provided in the notice subject to the following: 2 a. If the breach is remediable by repairs or the payment of 3 damages or otherwise and the landlord adequately remedies the 4 breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental 5 agreement will not terminate. 6 b. The tenant may not terminate for a condition caused by 7 the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, 8 a member of the tenant’s family or other person in the 9 manufactured home community or mobile home park with the 10 tenant’s consent. 11 2. Except as provided in this chapter , the tenant may 12 recover damages , and obtain injunctive relief for any 13 noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or with 14 section 562B.14A or 562B.16 . 15 EXPLANATION 16 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 17 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 18 This bill requires a landlord of a dwelling unit or 19 manufactured or mobile home space served by well water to 20 test the well prior to entering a rental agreement with a 21 prospective tenant or every two years, whichever is longer, 22 pursuant to rules and standards adopted by the department 23 of natural resources and county boards of health. If the 24 well water is not safe to drink pursuant to such standards, 25 the landlord must take corrective action prior to entering 26 the rental agreement with a prospective tenant or as soon as 27 possible if a current tenant occupies the dwelling unit or 28 mobile home space. If there is a current tenant, the landlord 29 shall be liable for providing safe drinking water or covering 30 costs associated with procuring safe drinking water until 31 corrective action is complete. The landlord shall provide to a 32 prospective or current tenant proof that the well water is safe 33 to drink or that corrective action has been taken. Such proof 34 is valid for up to two years. If a landlord fails to provide 35 -5- LSB 1780YH (6) 88 js/jh 5/ 6
H.F. 270 proof that the water is safe to drink or that corrective action 1 has been taken or fails to provide safe drinking water or cover 2 costs necessary to procure safe drinking water to a tenant, a 3 tenant is entitled to the rights and remedies set forth in Code 4 section 562A.21, 562A.23, or 562B.22, as applicable. 5 -6- LSB 1780YH (6) 88 js/jh 6/ 6
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