Rental Housing Maintenance Program

REGISTRATION OF RENTAL PROPERTIES:  The Cherokee Rental Housing Program was established in 2014 with the goal of providing safe and sanitary housing for the residents of Cherokee by establishing minimum standards and ongoing inspections for all rental housing units in Cherokee. The City of Cherokee Building Official under the supervision of the City Administrator oversees the program.

All rental housing in the City of Cherokee shall be registered on an annual basis as outlined in Chapter 159 of the City of Cherokee Code of Ordinances.  

Registration of new and/or converted rental property which changes ownership shall be completed within 30 days of such activity. Failure to register will result in a penalty as described in Chapter 4, titled Municipal Infractions, of the Cherokee City Code.                                                                                                                                                                                              

Annual bills will be mailed no later than June 1 each year, along with the registration form. If the registration fee and form are not returned by July 1, a reminder will be mailed out. If the property owner fails to register the rental unit/units by October 1 of that year, a municipal infraction may be imposed.


All rental properties shall be inspected at least once every three (3) years.

After October 1, 2014, no person shall rent or lease any dwelling unless such person holds a valid City of Cherokee inspection certificate. Initial certificates shall be stamped “Provisional,” indicating that the property has not yet been inspected but that the owner has registered the dwelling unit. After the initial inspection and approval, the “provisional status” of the inspection certificate will be removed.

Properties will NOT be inspected as a part of a contingency for a real estate sales transaction. Scheduling of inspections will be done by City Hall staff (712-225-5749).

Notice of a pending inspection shall be sent to the registered owner at least 14 days in advance of the inspection. It is the OWNER’S responsibility to notify the City if the inspection time and date does not work for them, and ask for it to be re-scheduled.


Inspection of rental property shall be performed by the Building Official or his designee.


  • Smoke detectors which are missing, inoperable, or are improperly placed.
  • Storage of flammable liquids in a dwelling.
  • Fuel fired equipment with missing or inoperable flues.
  • Electrical cords or wiring that has begun to fail due to being overloaded or being damaged.

If the above items are not corrected at the time of re-inspection, a municipal infraction will be issued.

All other violations will be allowed 30 days to be corrected and will be re-inspected. If still not corrected, a municipal infraction may be issued.


Inspection of rental property shall be performed by the Building Official or his designee.


Complaints about rental housing can only be made by current tenants of the rental property and shall be made in writing, using a form provided by the City. The tenant will be advised that the landlord will be notified regarding the complaint and a determination will be made on the validity and severity of the complaint, and if an inspection is warranted. City staff will contact the landlord by phone or email within two business days if a complaint requires an inspection. If the complaint is regarding an item not covered by this Ordinance, the tenant shall be informed of such and no further action shall be taken by the City. If the issue is found to be the responsibility of the tenant, payment of any inspection fees incurred in investigating the complaint will be the responsibility of the tenant.


Owners of property who wish to make an appeal regarding a Notice of Violation of their rental property shall complete an appeal form provided by the City of Cherokee. The Cherokee City Council serves as the appeals board.


Single Family Rentals              $40 annually

Multiple Unit Rentals                $40 annually for the first unit, $20 for each additional unit

Additional/re-inspections         $40

416 West Main Street, Cherokee IA 51012 (712) 225-5749