Given the current real estate market with its increasing foreclosure rate and ensuing credit crunch, individuals and families are choosing to rent rather than buy.  If you have the financial ability and the interest in owning rental property then this could be an intriguing possibility. However, there is more to owning rental property than simply finding a property and suitable tenants.  If you own a rental unit in central Iowa, before you can move any tenants into your property you must first obtain a rental certificate, according to the IowaUniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and the City of Des Moines Municipal Code.

If in your haste you neglect to obtain a rental certificate it could come back to haunt you should you find yourself in the unenviable position of having a tenant whom neither pays nor exits the premises on their own volition.  Under Iowa Law, without a valid rental certificate the tenant is considered a tenant at will and the landlord must give thirty days notice prior to eviction, on top of that the past due rent will not be recoverable either.  Bottom line, if you are a current landlord or a prospective landlord, be sure that you have a  rental certificate for each unit before renting.

Photo on Flickr by The Rocketeer