The common phrase is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. In this case, I have some clients who just received a $1,000 ticket for renting a home without a business license. If this was their profession and they had 20 or so units, a $1,000 fine probably wouldn’t be a good thing but it could be absorbed. But when you are in your 80’s and retired it is a pretty big impact. Especially when the ticket is the first time you’ve heard of the new regulations.
I’ve talked to 4 property management companies, some with properties in the same area and none of them were familiar with this law. Makes me wonder how much effort the city took to alert property owners of the change.
As of January 1, 2005, the City of Des Moines (Washington, not Iowa) added rental of residential real property to the list of business that require a business license. In addition to a business license, the landlord is now also required to obtain “crime free housing endorsement