17-5-19: RESPONSIBILITIES OF OWNERS RELATING TO THE MAINTENANCE AND OCCUPANCY OF PREMISES:
   A.   Maintenance Of Structure:
      1.   Structure:
         a.   Every foundation, roof, floor, wall, ceiling, stair, step, elevator, handrail, guardrail, porch, sidewalk and appurtenance thereto shall be maintained in a safe and sound condition and shall be capable of supporting the loads that normal use may cause to be placed thereon.
         b.   Every structure shall be maintained in compliance with section 661 chapter 5 of the Iowa Administrative Code ("State Fire Code"), as amended, and the Building Codes in effect at the time the building was constructed. If the use or occupancy is changed compliance with currently adopted codes is required.
         c.   The required occupancy separations shall be provided and maintained in all structures having mixed or multiple occupancies. The one hour occupancy separation between dwellings and garages shall be provided regardless of the date of construction and may be limited to the installation of materials approved for one hour fire resistive construction on the garage side and a tightfitting, twenty (20) minute rated door or approved equivalent opening protection as required by the City Building Code.
      2.   Exterior:
         a.   Condition: Every foundation, floor, exterior wall, exterior door, window and roof shall be maintained in a weathertight, watertight, rodentproof and insectproof condition. (1978 Code §17-7; amd. 1994 Code)
         b.   Exterior Screening: In Historic and Conservation Districts, porches and decks less than five feet (5') above grade and visible from the right-of-way shall have under porch and under deck screening. The screening shall be required to be complementary to the dwelling as approved by the City.
      3.   Doors: Every door, door hinge, door latch, door lock or any associated door hardware shall be maintained in good and functional condition, and every door, when closed, shall fit well within its frame.
      4.   Windows: Every window, existing storm window, window latch, window lock, aperture covering and any associated hardware shall be maintained in good and functional condition and shall fit well with its frame.
      5.   Interior: Every interior partition, wall, floor, ceiling and other interior surface shall be maintained so as to permit it to be kept in a clean and sanitary condition. All building interior public and service areas shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.
   B.   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 vermin and shall be maintained in a good state of repair.
   C.   Rainwater Drainage System: All gutters, downspouts and associated or other roof drainage equipment on the premises shall be maintained in a good state of repair and so installed as to direct water away from the structure(s). All cisterns or similar water storage facilities shall be securely covered or protected.
   D.   Grading, Drainage And Landscaping Of Premises: Every premises shall be graded and maintained so as no stagnant water will accumulate or stand thereon 1 . Every premises shall be graded and drained in a manner to cause the flow of rainwater or other surface water away from the structure(s). Every premises shall be continuously maintained by suitable landscaping with grass, trees, shrubs, planted ground cover or other landscaping materials. Landscaping shall be designed and maintained to prevent erosion and control dust. This chapter shall not affect the existence of approved stormwater detention systems 2 .
   E.   Chimneys And Flue Piping: Every chimney and all flue piping shall be adequately supported, maintained clean and in a good state of repair. (1978 Code §17-7; amd. 1994 Code)
   F.   Exterior Surfaces:
      1.   All exterior painted surfaces of a dwelling and its accessory structures, fences, porches and similar appurtenances shall be painted in a uniform, color consistent, and complete fashion. All painted surfaces shall be properly prepped to allow for paint to adhere and remain painted regardless if items are subject to decay or deterioration. (Guidelines for the removal of lead based paint are located in section 17-5-23, appendix B of this chapter.)
      2.   All exterior surfaces, regardless of material composition, shall be maintained in a good, safe, and sanitary condition.
      3.   In historic and conservation districts, bare treated lumber is a prohibited finish for wood surfaces visible from the street.
   G.   Exits:
      1.   Every means of egress shall be maintained in good condition and shall be free of obstruction at all times. Fire escapes, exit corridors, exit stairways and escape and rescue windows and any other means of egress shall be maintained in a good state of repair at all times. Exit signs, emergency lighting, early warning systems and sprinkler systems shall be maintained in good condition at all times. Required fire doors shall be maintained self-closing and self-latching as required by the city building code.
      2.   Fire drills shall be conducted once per academic semester for all fraternities and sororities as approved by the fire department 3 .
   H.   Screens And Storm Windows: On structures having interchangeable storm windows and screens, the owner or operator of the premises shall be responsible for hanging all screens and storm windows, except when written agreement between the owner and the occupant provides otherwise. Screens shall be provided no later than May 1 of each year, and storm windows shall be provided no later than November 1 of each year. All windows manufactured to be operable for ventilation shall be provided with screens of not less than sixteen (16) mesh per square inch. However, windows in areas not accessible to tenants or areas which are exclusively service areas shall be exempted from screen requirements. All single pane windows which serve habitable rooms and bathrooms shall be provided with storm windows. (1978 Code §17-7; amd. 1994 Code)
   I.   Electrical System: The electrical system of every dwelling or 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 receptacle, switch and fixture shall be complete as manufactured and maintained in a good and safe working condition. Only approved extension cords and multiplug adapters or other devices approved by the inspector shall be allowed. All electrical wiring newly installed or replaced shall be in compliance with the city electrical code. All receptacles in kitchens and bathrooms shall have ground fault circuit interrupter for personnel.
   J.   Plumbing System: Every supplied plumbing fixture, water piping and waste piping shall be maintained in a good and sanitary condition. All plumbing installed or replaced shall be so designed as to prevent contamination of the water supply through backflow, back siphonage or cross connection. All plumbing newly installed or replaced shall be in compliance with the city plumbing code. A minimum water pressure of fifteen (15) pounds shall be maintained to all open outlets at all times.
   K.   Gas Piping And Appliances: All gas piping shall be properly installed, properly supported and shall be maintained free of leaks, corrosion or obstruction so as to reduce gas pressure or volume. Every gas appliance shall be connected to a gas line with solid metal piping or approved listed metal appliance connector preceded by an approved listed shutoff valve. Gas pressure shall be adequate to permit a proper flow of gas from all open gas valves at all times. All gas piping shall be in compliance with the city plumbing code.
   L.   Heating And Cooling Equipment: The heating equipment of each dwelling shall be maintained in good and safe working condition and shall be capable of heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms located therein to the minimum temperature required by this code. Supplied cooling equipment shall be maintained in a good and safe working condition. However, heating and supplied cooling equipment shall not be required to be maintained in operational condition during that time of the year when said equipment is not normally used. No combustible material shall be stored within three feet (3') of a fuel burning furnace and/or fuel burning hot water heater. Carbon monoxide alarms shall be provided in dwelling units which contain fuel fired appliances or have an attached garage with an opening that communicates with the dwelling unit.
   M.   Kitchen And Bathroom Flooring: Every toilet room, bathroom and kitchen floor surface shall be constructed and maintained so as to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean, dry and sanitary condition.
   N.   Supplied Facilities:
      1.   Every facility, utility and piece of equipment required by this code, including a radon mitigation system, and/or present in the unit and/or designated for the exclusive use of the occupants of said unit, at the time that either the rental agreement is signed or possession is given, shall function safely and shall be maintained in proper working condition. Maintenance of facilities, utilities and equipment not required by this code shall be the owner's responsibility unless stated to the contrary in the rental agreement.
      2.   No supplied facility, including a radon mitigation system, 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.   Equipment Rooms: Boiler rooms, mechanical rooms and electrical panel rooms shall not be used for the storage of combustible material or equipment. A minimum three foot (3') clearance shall be maintained in front of electrical panels and disconnects.
   P.   Pest Extermination: Whenever infestation exists in two (2) or more dwelling units or rooming units of any dwelling or in the shared or public parts of any dwelling containing two (2) or more dwelling units or more than one rooming unit, the extermination thereof shall be the responsibility of the owner. (1978 Code §17-7; amd. 1994 Code)
   Q.   Fire Protection:
      1.   All fire extinguishing devices and all early warning fire protection systems shall be maintained in good working condition at all times. All fire protection equipment and early warning equipment shall be maintained in compliance with the city fire code and subsections 17-5-18C and D of this chapter. Buildings which are required to have an automatic fire alarm system shall have that alarm system tested annually by a qualified alarm technician to certify that the alarm system is in compliance with the current standard of NFPA 72, as amended. Buildings which are required to have an automatic sprinkling system shall have that system tested biennially by a qualified sprinkler system technician to certify that the system is in compliance with the current standard of NFPA chapter 25, as amended.
      2.   Approved numbers or addresses shall be placed on all buildings in such a position as to be plainly visible and legible from the public way fronting the property, and from the vehicle access area if vehicle access is from other than the front of the building. Said numbers and letters shall contrast with their background and shall be a minimum of four inches (4") in height. Where access to or within a multi-family structure or any area is unduly difficult because of secured openings or where immediate access is necessary for life saving and firefighting purposes, a key box shall be installed in an approved location. The key box shall be a type approved by the fire chief and shall contain keys and/or access code(s) necessary to gain access. If applicable, a key switch may be installed in an approved location.
   R.   Guardrails And Handrails: All guardrails and handrails shall be maintained in a safe and sound condition at all times. Guardrails shall be provided where there is an abrupt elevation change exceeding thirty inches (30") adjacent to pedestrian areas. Guardrails and handrails which are newly installed or replaced shall comply with the city building code.
   S.   Sealed Passages: All pipe passages, chutes and similar openings through walls, floors or ceilings shall be adequately closed or sealed to prevent the spread of fire or the passage of vermin.
   T.   Trees And Plant Materials: All trees and plant materials shall be maintained in a manner which prevents damage or decay to a structure(s). Trees required by the Iowa City tree ordinance shall be maintained 4 .
   U.   Clean Units: No owner or operator shall permit occupancy of any vacant dwelling unit or rooming unit unless it is clean, safe, sanitary and fit for human occupancy. (1978 Code §17-7; amd. 1994 Code)
   V.   Exterior Area Maintenance:
      1.   a.   Maintenance Responsibility: Every owner or operator shall be responsible for maintaining the exterior areas in a safe, clean and sanitary condition. (1978 Code §17-7; amd. 1994 Code)
         b.   Outdoor Storage: The storage of trash bags, landscaping, construction, or compost material or any other similar materials determined by the city to create a substantial interference with the use of enjoyment of the property shall not be permitted in areas visible from the street facing right of way.
      2.   Fences, screening, and retaining walls shall be maintained in a safe, structurally sound manner and shall comply with the Iowa City zoning ordinance. All wood or painted surfaces shall be painted and/or stained in a uniform, color consistent, and complete fashion. All other surfaces shall be maintained in a uniform, color consistent, and complete fashion. At the discretion of the director of neighborhood and development services or designee, landscaping timbers and other related items may be exempt from this provision.
      3.   No owner or operator shall keep, store or maintain outdoors any indoor upholstered furniture, household furniture or household furnishing not manufactured for outdoor use, including, but not limited to, upholstered chairs and couches. "Upholstered furniture" means any furniture constructed with stuffing or cushions or springs, not intended for outdoor use. The term "outdoor" includes a porch. However, the use, storage or placement of household appliances, household furniture or household furnishings on a porch is not prohibited if the porch is completely enclosed by fully intact glass or fully intact screens. The following shall constitute an affirmative defense to any alleged violation of this provision: a) that the furniture was temporarily placed outside during the move of a resident; or b) that the furniture was temporarily placed outside during the hours of six o'clock (6:00) A.M. to six o'clock (6:00) P.M. in order that it be offered for sale at a yard or garage sale and that a sign visible from the right of way is placed on or near the furniture indicating that it is for sale. The second defense is not available if the furniture is located outside for more than two (2) days in any six (6) month period.
      4.   The storage and use of furniture on surfaces thirty inches (30") above grade, which include, but are not limited to, decks and roofs, without guardrails is prohibited.
   W.   Solid Waste Facilities:
      1.   Every owner of a dwelling or rental structure shall supply adequate facilities for the disposal of solid waste which are approved by the inspector and/or are in compliance with the Iowa City solid waste ordinance 1 .
      2.   All solid waste facilities located at multi-family dwellings shall be screened with materials that are complementary to the dwelling as approved by the city.
   X.   Occupancy Requirements:
      1.   A dwelling unit shall not be occupied by a number of persons greater than allowed by the Iowa City zoning ordinance. (1978 Code §17-7; amd. 1994 Code)
      2.   No room shall be used as a habitable room unless certified as a habitable room at the time the certificate of structure compliance is issued or amended.
   Y.   Cooking In Rooming Units: No owner or operator shall knowingly allow the use of cooking equipment within any rooming unit. (1978 Code §17-7; amd. 1994 Code)
   Z.   Duplex; Units To Be Separated: The two (2) dwelling units of a duplex must be physically and permanently separated, and the separation must be continually maintained. By way of illustration, a duplex shall not have a door that opens from one duplex unit directly into the other duplex unit.
   AA.   Deadbolt Locks Required: Every dwelling unit and rooming unit shall have a deadbolt lock that can be operated from inside and locked from the outside. "Deadbolt" means a locking mechanism where the bolt cannot be moved to an open position except by rotating the locked cylinder.  (Ord. 95-3681, 6-27-1995; amd. Ord. 08-4315, 9-9-2008; Ord. 15-4648, 11-10-2015; Ord. 18-4761, 7-17-2018; amd. Ord. 19-4816, 12-17-2019)

 

Notes

1
1. See also subsection 6-1-2E of this code.
2
2. See title 16, chapter 3, article G of this code.
3
3. See section 7-1-2 of this code, amendment to fire code §405.2.
4
1. See title 10, chapter 8 and title 14, chapter 5, article E of this code.
1
1. See title 16, chapter 3, article H of this code.