Nancy Cottrell

Creston

Finally the Iowa courts are seeing that rental inspections are unconstitutionally infringing on on renters’ and landlords’ privacy rights.

Landlords and plaintiffs worked with a nonprofit law firm Institute for Justice. Under the ordinance inspections were to be made every few years, and administrative search warrants could be obtained to enter homes if owners or renters refused access to their homes.

The plaintiff said that granting someone the right to enter a private home was unreasonable since owner occupied homes aren’t subject to the same inspection requirements. And also without any evidence of wrongdoing is an unreasonable search.

There is currently no protective measures to use in evaluating administrative search warrants.

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Searching warrants under the inspection ordinance is a much needed win for renters’ civil rights.

I hope that this decision stands as a warning that tenants have a constitutional right and that these inspection ordinances are infringing on that right. Renters’ rights don’t disappear just because they rent a home.

The Iowa Constitution requires a specific evidence that a code violation is present before a warrant can be in place for an inspection on a residence.

So in conclusion, a home is treated as a sacred space and is no different for people who rent their home.


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