Everyone has the legal right to decent, safe, and sanitary housing. Farmworkers are protected by state and federal laws that require employers to post bilingual notices of your legal rights, including:
- Who is in charge of your housing?
- Who do I complain to if the housing has problems?
- How much is the rent? How do I get a receipt?
- How much are the utility fees (electricity, gas, etc.)?
- Has your housing been licensed and inspected by Iowa Department of Public Health?
Migrant labor camp rules require your employer to provide:
- Adequate water supply (drinkable running water in every unit).
- Sanitary toilets, showers, and sinks.
- Adequate electrical services and heat (September 15 to June 1).
- Garbage disposal and pest control.
- Cooking, eating and refrigeration facilities.
If you believe there are possible violations of labor camp rules, call Iowa Legal Aid at 1-800-532-1275.
Rent and Utility Charges or other “Deposits”:
- Rent cannot be charged for some government-funded housing.
- Rent and other charges cannot be deducted from your paycheck unless authorized by you in writing each payday.
- Utility charges (for electric or LP gas) must be reasonable.
- DO NOT PAY RENT IN CASH WITHOUT GETTING A RECEIPT!
Mobile Home Parks and Subsidized Housing:
Special laws protect tenants in these situations. Contact Iowa Legal Aid near you if you have any problems.
Buying a House on “Land Contract”:
Buyers should make sure that they understand what the “land contract” means before signing it. You should consult an attorney before making a land contract deal.
Under Iowa law, the seller must tell the buyer in writing about all known problems in the property. Ask the seller for a “Seller’s Disclosure Statement” before offering to buy property or signing any legal documents.