Rental Housing Program

Rental Housing Image

Mason City’s rental housing inspection program was initiated January 2004. The purpose of this program is to ensure that housing facilities and conditions protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of people who reside in these facilities and for the general public as well.  

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Rental Housing Forms

Below is a list of forms and brochures that are included in our rental housing packet:


Mason City Rental Housing Program Information

Landlord License

To rent housing in Mason City, a Landlord’s License must be obtained by either the owner or manager of the property. Only one Landlord License is required per landlord, regardless of the number of apartments owned or managed. A Landlord License can be obtained by submitting a completed Landlord License Application along with the $20 fee. The license is to be renewed annually, and an invoice will be sent each year when the Landlord License comes due.


Rental Dwelling Permit

In addition to the Landlord License, a Rental Dwelling Permit Application must be submitted for each rental dwelling unit you own or manage. Rental dwelling permits are renewed every 5 years at the time of the periodic inspection when they are found to comply with the terms of the Mason City’s Housing Code.



Inspections & Notices

The inspection checklist allows you to conduct your own ‘pre-inspection’ (and complete any needed repairs). We hope this will prevent surprises and assist with a smooth inspection process.  The checklist is set up to mimic the list that the inspector will use during the inspection.  The checklist does not cover every code requirement; however the most common violations found during the inspection process are the following:
  • No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) in the kitchen or bathroom
  • No furnace inspection
  • Overload of electrical services
  • No handrail (on steps of four or more risers)
  • No batteries in smoke detectors
  • Missing screens and storm windows
  • No egress windows
  • No smoke detectors in bedrooms and basement

Big Check 2Every rental unit will be inspected once every 5 years. A notice will be sent to you prior to the inspection. After each inspection, you will receive an explanation of the results of the inspection. Inspection results are only mailed if the inspection failed.

If a landlord fails to provide for access to a unit for a scheduled inspection, a “No Show” $30.00 fee will be assessed. 
Please call the Rental Housing Secretary at 641-421-3380 if you have a conflict and are unable to keep your scheduled appointment.

Inspections Fees

After the inspection, you will receive an invoice for the inspection services.  The inspection services fee is:

q  $60 per single-family house;

q  $70 per duplex;

q  $80 per apartment building, plus an additional $17 per apartment unit.

Furnace Inspection

All rental properties must have a heating/cooling contractor inspect the furnace for safety of the unit and controls. A furnace inspection is current if it has been done within two (2) years prior to your periodic inspection. Please have a copy of the furnace inspection for the Rental Housing Inspector on or before the date of your initial inspection.

Rental Dwelling Unit Certificate of Compliance

A certificate of Compliance will only be issued once a property passes its rental inspection, a furnace inspection has been completed and mailed or faxed by you or your heating contractor, and all fees have been paid.

If you buy or sell a residential rental unit, please update us on the status of ownership for the unit.
Please contact us within 30 days of the sale, print the Change Request for Rental Property/Landlord License and mail the completed form to Neighborhood Services Division,  10 1st St NW, Mason City, IA 50401.

Helpful Links, Programs, Resources and Information


Check out the North Iowa Landlords Association on Facebook

"Advancing the general welfare of the rental housing industry in Northern Iowa and educating 
landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities

Cerro Gordo County Homeowners and Landlords!! 

Cerro Gordo County Public Health is still accepting applications for their HUD Lead Hazard Control Program! Click the link for an application and more information!