Iowa Code Chapter 657A
Abandoned or unsafe buildings
Abatement by rehabilitation
657A.6 Powers and duties of receiver.
Before proceeding with the receiver's duties, a receiver appointed by the court shall
post a bond in an amount designated by the court. The court may empower the receiver to
do the following:
1. Take possession and control of the property, operate and manage the property,
establish and collect rents and income, lease and rent the property, and evict tenants. An
existing housing or building ordinance violation does not restrict the receiver's authority
pursuant to this subsection.
2. Pay all expenses of operating and conserving the property, including but not limited
to the cost of electricity, gas, water, sewerage, heating fuel, repairs and supplies,
custodian services, taxes, assessments, and insurance premiums, and hire and pay
reasonable compensation to a managing agent.
3. Pay prereceivership mortgages and other liens and installments of prereceivership
mortgages and other liens.
4. Perform or enter into contracts for the performance of work and the furnishing of
materials necessary to abate the public nuisance, and obtain financing for the abatement
of the public nuisance.
5. Pursuant to court order, remove and dispose of personal property which is
abandoned, stored, or otherwise located on the property, that creates a dangerous or
unsafe condition or that constitutes a violation of housing or building regulations or
6. Obtain mortgage insurance for a receiver's mortgage
from an agency of the federal government.
7. Enter into agreements and take actions necessary to maintain and preserve the
property and to comply with housing and building regulations and ordinances.
8. Give the custody of the property and the opportunity to abate the nuisance and
operate the property to the owner or to a mortgagee or a lienholder of record.
9. Issue notes and secure the notes by mortgages bearing interest at the rate provided
for judgments pursuant to section 535.3 , and terms and conditions as approved by the
court. When transferred by the receiver in return for valuable consideration in money,
material, labor, or services, the notes issued by the receiver are freely transferable.
85 Acts, ch 222, §6
657A.7 Priority of receiver's mortgage.
1. If the receiver's mortgage is filed for record in the office of the county recorder of the
county in which the property is located within sixty days of the issuance of a secured
note, the receiver's mortgage is a first lien upon the property and is superior to claims of
the receiver and to all prior or subsequent liens and encumbrances except taxes and
assessments. Priority among the receiver's mortgages is determined by the order in which
the mortgages are recorded.
2. The creation of a mortgage lien under this chapter prior to or superior to a mortgage
of record at the time the receiver's mortgage lien was created does not disqualify a prior
recorded mortgage as a legal investment.
85 Acts, ch 222, §7
657A.8 Assessment of costs.
The court may assess the costs and expenses set out in section 657A.6 , subsection 2,
and may approve receiver's fees to the extent that the fees are not covered by the income
from the property.
85 Acts, ch 222, §8
657A.9 Discharge of receiver.
The receiver may be discharged at any time in the discretion of the court. The receiver
shall be discharged when all of the following have occurred:
1. The public nuisance has been abated.
2. The costs of the receivership have been paid.
3. Either all the receiver's notes and mortgages issued pursuant to this chapter have
been paid, or all the holders of the notes and mortgages request in writing that the
receiver be discharged.
85 Acts, ch 222, §9
657A.10 Compensation and liability of receiver.
1. A receiver appointed under this chapter is entitled to receive fees and commissions in
the same manner and to the same extent as receivers appointed in actions to foreclose
2. The receiver appointed under this chapter is not civilly or criminally liable for
actions pursuant to this chapter taken in good faith.
85 Acts, ch 222, §10; 86 Acts, ch 1238, §27
657A.10A Petition by city for title to abandoned property.
1. In lieu of the procedures in sections 657A.2 through 657A.10 , a city in which an
abandoned building is located may petition the court to enter judgment awarding title to
the abandoned property to the city. If more than one abandoned building is located on a
parcel of real estate, the city may combine the actions into one petition. The owner of the
building and grounds, mortgagees of record, lienholders of record, or other known
persons who hold an interest in the property shall be named as respondents on the
The petition shall be filed in the district court of the county in which the property is
located. Service on the owner and any other named respondents shall be by certified mail
and by posting the notice in a conspicuous place on the building. The action shall be in
2. Not sooner than sixty days after the filing of the petition, the city may request a
hearing on the petition.
3. In determining whether a property has been abandoned, the court shall consider the
following for each building that is located on the property and named in the petition and
the building grounds:
a. Whether any property taxes or special assessments on the property were delinquent
at the time the petition was filed.
b. Whether any utilities are currently being provided to the property.
c. Whether the building is unoccupied by the owner or lessees or licensees of the
d. Whether the building meets the city's housing code for being fit for human
habitation, occupancy, or use.
e. Whether the building is exposed to the elements such that deterioration of the
building is occurring.
f. Whether the building is boarded up.
g. Past efforts to rehabilitate the building and grounds.
h. The presence of vermin, accumulation of debris, and uncut vegetation.
i. The effort expended by the petitioning city to maintain the building and grounds.
j. Past and current compliance with orders of the local housing official.
k. Any other evidence the court deems relevant.
4. In lieu of the considerations in subsection 3, if the city can establish to the court's
satisfaction that all parties with an interest in the property have received proper notice
and either consented to the entry of an order awarding title to the property to the city or
did not make a good faith effort to comply with the order of the local housing official
within sixty days after the filing of the petition, the court shall enter judgment against the
respondents granting the city title to the property.
5. If the court determines that the property has been abandoned or that subsection 4
applies, the court shall enter judgment awarding title to the city. The title awarded to the
city shall be free and clear of any claims, liens, or encumbrances held by the respondents.
2004 Acts, ch 1165, §10 , 11
657A.11 Jurisdiction - remedies.
1. An action pursuant to this chapter is exclusively within the jurisdiction of district
judges as provided in section 602.6202 .
2. This chapter does not prevent a person from using other remedies or procedures to
enforce building or housing ordinances or to correct or remove public nuisances.
85 Acts, ch 222, §11