Rental Housing Complaint – 112 East 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208

MEMORANDUM

From: Michael J. Merritt, USN Retired/Writer
PO BOX 187
Newton, IA 50208
cipher.hunter@cipherphoenix.com

To: City of Newton, IA Community Development Department
403 W 4th St N Suite 501
Newton, IA 50208
(641)-792-6622

SUBJ: RENTAL HOUSING COMPLAINT – 112 EAST 4TH STREET S, NEWTON, IA 50208

Ref: 1. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.13(1.)(a.) – Disclosure.
2. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.13(1.)(b.) – Disclosure.
3. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.15(1.)(a.)(1) – Landlord to maintain fit premises.
4. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.15(1.)(a.)(2) – Landlord to maintain fit premises.
5. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.15(1.)(a.)(4) – Landlord to maintain fit premises.
6. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.19 – Access.
7. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.20 – Tenant to use and occupy.
8. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.21 – Noncompliance by the landlord – in general.
9. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.30(B)(1) – Fire Safety
10. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.30(B)(2) – Fire Safety
11. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.30(B)(2)(a) – Fire Safety
12. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.30(B)(2)(b) – Fire Safety
13. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.32(A)(1) – Natural Light, Natural Ventilation and Mechanical Ventilation.
14. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.32(A)(2) – Natural Light, Natural Ventilation and Mechanical Ventilation.
15. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.32(A)(3) – Natural Light, Natural Ventilation and Mechanical Ventilation.
16. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.34(A) – Electrical Equipment
17. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.35(A) – Interior Air Quality.
18. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.35(C) – Interior Air Quality.
19. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.36(B)(2) – Potable Water Supply.
20. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.38(A) – Structure and Materials.
21. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.38(B)(2) – Structure and Materials.
22. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.40(B) – Occupancy Standards.
23. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.40(C) – Occupancy Standards.
24. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(B)(2) – Owner Responsibilities.
25. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(D)(1) – Owner Responsibilities.
26. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(J) – Owner Responsibilities.
27. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(M) – Owner Responsibilities.
28. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(O) – Owner Responsibilities.
29. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(P) – Owner Responsibilities.
30. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(R) – Owner Responsibilities.
31. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(A) – Substandard Rental Units.
32. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(B)(6) – Substandard Rental Units.
33. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(B)(14) – Substandard Rental Units.
34. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(C)(1) – Substandard Rental Units.
35. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(G)(2) – Substandard Rental Units.
36. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(G)(3) – Substandard Rental Units.
37. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(J) – Substandard Rental Units.
38. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(N) – Substandard Rental Units.

Enc: 1. August 2022 Lease – 112 East 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208
2. Facebook Messages – Michael J. Merritt
3. Facebook Messages – Monica L. Speaks
4. Facebook Public Post – Lisa Skinner McKinney
5. Material Condition Photos

1. Introduction

The purpose of this correspondence is to document the historical communications regarding evidence of material, health, and safety concerns of 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208, and evidence of the property owner’s response or alleged failure to provide an adequate response to correct reported issues.

Property Owner-Lessor

Advantage Real Estate – T06396000
McKinney Rentals, LLC – F06260000
Lisa Skinner-McKinney – B61670000
Brian McKinney

2. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.13(1.)(a.) – Disclosure.

Enclosure (1.) provides evidence that the property owner of 112 East 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208 failed to properly document and disclose contact information for those authorized to manage the premises to provide operational, maintenance, and emergency services.

3. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.13(1.)(b.) – Disclosure.

Enclosure (1.) provides evidence that the property owners of 112 East 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208 failed to properly document and disclose their contact information to allow tenants to communicate health and safety concerns as well as the distribution of monthly rental payments.

4. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.15(1.)(a.)(1) – Landlord to maintain fit premises.

See paragraphs 10 – 39. Accordingly, evidence supports the conclusion that the property owners of 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208 failed to lease this property in conditions that meet the health, safety, and material requirements of local and state code.

5. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.15(1.)(a.)(2) – Landlord to maintain fit premises.

See paragraphs 10 – 39. Accordingly, evidence supports the conclusion that the property owners of 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208, failed to adequately respond to health, safety, and material discrepancies when they were identified by current tenants appearing in Enclosure (1.).

6. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.15(1.)(a.)(4) – Landlord to maintain fit premises.

See paragraphs 10 – 39. Accordingly, evidence supports the conclusion that the property owners of 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208, failed to adequately respond to health, safety, and material discrepancies impacting the quality of essential services provided by municipal utilities when they were identified by current tenants appearing in Enclosure (1.).

7. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.19 – Access.

Upon occupying the property at 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208, tenants documented in Enclosure (1.) were above and beyond supportive of maintenance personnel arriving when available to fix the material conditions and code requirements of the property that were not completed prior to the commencement of the lease. However, upon the deterioration of communications and availability of evidence showing the property owner failed to respond and provide adequate solutions to maintenance requests, tenants directed maintenance personnel to inform the property owner to provide 24-hour entry notices in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 562A.19(3.) for proper documentation and tracking of this situation that has caused elevated concern for the tenants documented in Enclosure (1.)

8. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.20 – Tenant to use and occupy.

On 31 AUG 2022, the property owner was informed that their personal property in the form of numerous paints and miscellaneous barrels of alleged construction-based liquids, holiday decorations, and other construction materials was relocated to the garage. The property owner’s personal property was relocated to the garage to protect the tenant’s health from degassing originating from the containers of paints and other liquids left by the property owner during renovations. As of 03 OCT 2022, the property owner has failed to remove and secure their personal property from 112 E 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208 they leased to tenants identified in Enclosure (1.).

9. Title XIV – PROPERTY – Chapter 562A – UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW – SECTION 562A.21 – Noncompliance by the landlord – in general.

This document serves as notice to the City of Newton, IA, that the property owner has been informed of material discrepancies in the residence residing at 112 East 4th St South, Newton, IA 50208 consistently since 31 AUG 2022, as documented in Enclosure (2.). At the same time, the property owner has failed to produce evidence showing the correction of reported material discrepancies within a reasonable time.

10. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.30(B)(1) – Fire Safety

Upon commencement of Enclosure (1.), the property owner failed to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in accordance with local and state code. This discrepancy was communicated to the landlord, and a removable battery-powered alarm meeting UL STD 217/2034 was installed on the wall outside the kitchen and in the basement.

11. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.30(B)(2) – Fire Safety

Upon commencement of Enclosure (1.), the property owner failed to have smoke detectors installed in accordance with local and state code. This discrepancy was communicated to the landlord, and a removable battery-powered alarm meeting UL STD 217/2034 was installed on the wall outside the kitchen and in the basement.

12. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.30(B)(2)(a) – Fire Safety

Upon commencement of Enclosure (1.), the property owner failed to have smoke detectors installed in accordance with local and state code. This discrepancy was communicated to the landlord, and a removable battery-powered alarm meeting UL STD 217/2034 was installed on the wall outside the kitchen and in the basement.

13. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.30(B)(2)(b) – Fire Safety

Upon commencement of Enclosure (1.), the property owner failed to have smoke detectors installed in accordance with local and state code. As of 03 OCT 2022, there are still no detectors installed in rooms utilized for sleeping (three bedrooms on the main floor).

14. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.32(A)(1) – Natural Light, Natural Ventilation and Mechanical Ventilation.

Currently, 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208, has all basement windows sealed off, preventing natural light and ventilation from reaching the laundry facilities installed and maintained in the basement by the property owner (appliance public utility access points).

15. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.32(A)(2) – Natural Light, Natural Ventilation and Mechanical Ventilation.

Currently, 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208, has all basement windows sealed off, preventing natural light and ventilation from reaching the laundry facilities installed and maintained in the basement by the property owner.

16. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.32(A)(3) – Natural Light, Natural Ventilation and Mechanical Ventilation.

Currently, 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208, has all basement windows sealed off, preventing natural light and ventilation from reaching the laundry facilities installed and maintained in the basement by the property owner. Additionally, the mechanical ventilation system ducts feeding the basement were disconnected prior to the tenants occupying 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208. The installment of piping to the pre-existing vent has been requested numerous times by tenants to appointed maintenance personnel to improve basement airflow; however, as of 03 OCT 2022, the property owner has failed to accommodate this request.

17. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.34(A) – Electrical Equipment

The property owner of 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208 was notified of faulty outlets in the primary bedroom on 31 AUG 2022 and regular intermittent power losses in common areas. As of 03 OCT 2022, the property owner has failed to address these electrical problems. Additionally, the property has had exposed electrical wires hanging from the ceiling of the primary bedroom since the commencement of the lease. In contrast, the property owner has produced zero evidence showing a desire to correct this discrepancy.

18. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.35(A) – Interior Air Quality.

On 13 SEP 2022, a tenant identified in Enclosure (1.) asked the property owner if radon levels had ever been tested at 112 East 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208 (Enclosure 2.). Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated, “The house has never been tested for radon.” on 14 SEP 2022 (Enclosure 2.). On 18 SEP 2022, a tenant identified in Enclosure (1.) communicated that he has documented respiratory problems (Enclosure 2.). On 23 SEP 2022, a tenant identified in Enclosure (1) reported to the property owner that radon levels were 7.72 pCil in the basement (Enclosure 2.). On 24 SEP 2022, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated, “I did say it’s a basement for storage…and that every basement has radon. That is not a “legal” basement for sleeping. No egress.” (Enclosure 2.). On 24 SEP 2022, the property owner was informed that preliminary indications show radon levels on the main floor of the house are approximately 8 pCil where the common areas and sleeping areas are located (Enclosure 2.). Lisa Skinner McKinney ignored requests for help for the next several days after her 24 SEP 2022 message. On 26 SEP 2022, while ignoring requests for help from the tenants at 112 East 4th ST S, Newton, IA 50208, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated publicly on Facebook, “I have a new tenant that has be become quite difficult in the past week. They checked radon levels in the basement that were…surprise..8” [sic] (Enclosure 4.). Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated on 14 SEP 2022 that the residence had never been tested for radon. At the same time, her public communications on Facebook with other realtors (Public Facebook group (Real Estate Investors Des Moines Iowa | RealEstateInvesting.com) indicates she had prior knowledge of existing high radon levels in the residence she leased to 4 people on 01 AUG 2022 including two children. On 28 SEP 2022, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated (Enclosure 3.), “I have read that he is looking for a new place, and I believe that is for the best, unfortunately. Our responsibilities do not include radon mitigation.” On 29 SEP 2022, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated (Enclosure 3.), “If you read up on it, studies show that out of 1000 people, 15 people COULD get lung cancer over a LIFETIME at 8 pCi/L. You’re in the medical field…you can get cancer from anything, and we all have cancer cells in our bodies. Brian has suggested that we offer to sell it to you on contract so you may do whatever improvements you wish. I have always wanted you to be comfortable, but only you can decide what that means. It saddens me that this has become so ugly so quickly. 3 weeks ago I was being told that you loved the place, would stay there for 5 years, and I was working on a plan to accommodate requests. But I have no tolerance for drama. You decide what you want todo and let me know.” On 03 OCT 2022, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated regarding rental payments (Enclosure 3.), “You can pay through venmo or PayPal, whichever you prefer.”

19. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.35(C) – Interior Air Quality.

On 13 SEP 2022, a tenant identified in Enclosure (1.) asked the property owner if radon levels had ever been tested at 112 East 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208 (Enclosure 2.). Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated, “The house has never been tested for radon.” on 14 SEP 2022 (Enclosure 2.). On 18 SEP 2022, a tenant identified in Enclosure (1.) communicated that he has documented respiratory problems (Enclosure 2.). On 23 SEP 2022, a tenant identified in Enclosure (1) reported to the property owner that radon levels were 7.72 pCil in the basement (Enclosure 2.). On 24 SEP 2022, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated, “I did say it’s a basement for storage…and that every basement has radon. That is not a “legal” basement for sleeping. No egress.” (Enclosure 2.). On 24 SEP 2022, the property owner was informed that preliminary indications show radon levels on the main floor of the house are approximately 8 pCil where the common areas and sleeping areas are located (Enclosure 2.). Lisa Skinner McKinney ignored requests for help for the next several days after her 24 SEP 2022 message. On 26 SEP 2022, while ignoring requests for help from the tenants at 112 East 4th ST S, Newton, IA 50208, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated publicly on Facebook, “I have a new tenant that has be become quite difficult in the past week. They checked radon levels in the basement that were…surprise..8” [sic] (Enclosure 4.). Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated on 14 SEP 2022 that the residence had never been tested for radon. At the same time, her public communications on Facebook with other realtors (Public Facebook group (Real Estate Investors Des Moines Iowa | RealEstateInvesting.com) indicates she had prior knowledge of existing high radon levels in the residence she leased to 4 people on 01 AUG 2022 including two children. On 28 SEP 2022, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated (Enclosure 3.), “I have read that he is looking for a new place, and I believe that is for the best, unfortunately. Our responsibilities do not include radon mitigation.” On 29 SEP 2022, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated (Enclosure 3.), “If you read up on it, studies show that out of 1000 people, 15 people COULD get lung cancer over a LIFETIME at 8 pCi/L. You’re in the medical field…you can get cancer from anything, and we all have cancer cells in our bodies. Brian has suggested that we offer to sell it to you on contract so you may do whatever improvements you wish. I have always wanted you to be comfortable, but only you can decide what that means. It saddens me that this has become so ugly so quickly. 3 weeks ago I was being told that you loved the place, would stay there for 5 years, and I was working on a plan to accommodate requests. But I have no tolerance for drama. You decide what you want todo and let me know.” On 03 OCT 2022, Lisa Skinner McKinney communicated regarding rental payments (Enclosure 3.), “You can pay through venmo or PayPal, whichever you prefer.”

20. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.36(B)(2) – Potable Water Supply.

On 31 AUG 2022, the originator of this correspondence began communicating with the property owner through electronic-based communications regarding the lack of water pressure and hot water. Unfortunately, the property owner failed to correct the lack of hot water until late September. As of 03 OCT 2022, the water pressure issue has still not been corrected.

On 31 AUG 2022, the originator of this correspondence reported a water leak on the plumbing under the kitchen sink going to the basement. As of 03 OCT 2022, this problem has still not been corrected.

On 21 AUG 2022, the originator of this correspondence began communicating with the property owner through electronic-based communications regarding installing a working toilet and removing the one that was non-functional in the basement. The tenant communicated a willingness to take care of the purchase and installation while requesting authorization to commence the replacement of the downstairs toilet that was non-functional and apply the cost to a future rent payment. Unfortunately, as of 03 OCT 2022, the toilet in the basement is still non-functional.

On 30 SEP 2022, an elevated sewage gas odor began originating from the basement. Upon adding water to this toilet’s reservoir that was faulty prior to Enclosure (1.), the sewage odor was minimized, and high radon levels reported to the property owner on 23 SEP 2022 dropped significantly (currently still exceeding EPA 4.0 pCil mitigation guidance).

21. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.38(A) – Structure and Materials.

See paragraphs 18, 19, and 25.

22. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.38(B)(2) – Structure and Materials.

Prior to the tenants identified in Enclosure (1.) moved into 112 E 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208. Lisa Skinner McKinney identified cracking paint peeling off the wall as not being allowed. However, as of 03 OCT 2022, she has done nothing to correct this deficiency. It is unknown if the paint is lead-based.

23. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.40(B) – Occupancy Standards.

The originator of this correspondence is requesting a copy of the rental housing occupancy permit and zone assignment records for 112 East 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208, in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22.

24. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.40(C) – Occupancy Standards.

The originator of this correspondence is requesting a copy of the rental housing occupancy permit and zone assignment records for 112 East 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208, in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 22.

25. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(B)(2) – Owner Responsibilities.

On 18 SEP 2022, water on the basement walls and floors of 112 East 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208 was reported to the property owner after the first substantial rain after the tenants identified in Enclosure (1.) moved into 112 E 4th Street S, Newton, IA 50208. No tenant property damage was identified; however, the water leakage was substantial enough to travel from the walls and collect under personal property and reach the basement floor drain. As of 03 OCT 2022, the property owner has failed to address or seal the basement areas that have produced evidence of not being weather-proof. Additionally, further evidence of compromised foundational walls was produced on 23 SEP 2022 with the discovery of elevated radon levels the property owner communicated on 28 SEP 2022 were not her responsibility.

26. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(D)(1) – Owner Responsibilities.

Rain Gutters on the south side of the property show evidence of being compromised as they leak water during heavy rain. Consequently, the location of this water leak is also where water entered the basement on 18 SEP 2022 as documented in paragraph (25.).

27. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(J) – Owner Responsibilities.

On 31 AUG 2022, the originator of this correspondence began communicating with the property owner through electronic-based communications regarding the lack of water pressure and hot water. Unfortunately, the property owner failed to correct the lack of hot water until late September. As of 03 OCT 2022, the water pressure issue has still not been corrected.

On 31 AUG 2022, the originator of this correspondence reported a water leak on the plumbing under the kitchen sink going to the basement. As of 03 OCT 2022, this problem has still not been corrected.

On 21 AUG 2022, the originator of this correspondence began communicating with the property owner through electronic-based communications regarding installing a working toilet and removing the one that was non-functional in the basement. The tenant communicated a willingness to take care of the purchase and installation while requesting authorization to commence the replacement of the downstairs toilet that was non-functional and apply the cost to a future rent payment. Unfortunately, as of 03 OCT 2022, the toilet in the basement is still non-functional.

On 30 SEP 2022, an elevated sewage gas odor began originating from the basement. Upon adding water to this toilet’s reservoir that was faulty prior to the commencement of Enclosure (1.), the sewage odor was minimized, and high radon levels reported to the property owner on 23 SEP 2022 dropped significantly (currently still exceeding EPA 4.0 pCil mitigation guidance).

28. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(M) – Owner Responsibilities.

The kitchen of 112 East 4th Street South, Newton, IA 50208 has carpet installed, which conflicts with logic given that it is the one room where liquids, oils, and other cooking supplies are heavily utilized, making sanitation difficult and drying spills impossible. Additionally, the tenants identified in Enclosure (1.) have concerns regarding a possible fire hazard of having carpet installed against a kitchen appliance (oven) that produces heat above 450 degrees Fahrenheit in a house that had no smoke detectors upon the commencement of the lease, and as of 03 OCT 2022 still has no smoke detectors in designated sleeping areas (bedrooms).

29. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(O) – Owner Responsibilities.

On 31 AUG 2022, the originator of this correspondence began communicating with the property owner through electronic-based communications regarding the lack of water pressure and hot water. Unfortunately, the property owner failed to correct the lack of hot water until late September. As of 03 OCT 2022, the water pressure issue has still not been corrected.

On 31 AUG 2022, the originator of this correspondence reported a water leak on the plumbing under the kitchen sink going to the basement. As of 03 OCT 2022, this problem has still not been corrected.

On 21 AUG 2022, the originator of this correspondence began communicating with the property owner through electronic-based communications regarding installing a working toilet and removing the one that was non-functional in the basement. The tenant communicated a willingness to take care of the purchase and installation while requesting authorization to commence the replacement of the downstairs toilet that was non-functional and apply the cost to a future rent payment. Unfortunately, as of 03 OCT 2022, the toilet in the basement is still non-functional.

On 30 SEP 2022, an elevated sewage gas odor began originating from the basement. Upon adding water to this toilet’s reservoir that was faulty prior to the commencement of Enclosure (1.), the sewage odor was minimized, and high radon levels reported to the property owner on 23 SEP 2022 dropped significantly (currently exceeding levels EPA recommends professional mitigation).

30. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(P) – Owner Responsibilities.

Upon commencement of Enclosure (1.), the property owner failed to have smoke detectors installed in accordance with local and state code. This discrepancy was communicated to the landlord, and a removable battery-powered alarm meeting UL STD 217/2034 was installed on the wall outside the kitchen and in the basement. However, as of 03 OCT 2022, there are still no detectors installed in rooms utilized for sleeping (three bedrooms on the main floor).

31. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.41(R) – Owner Responsibilities.

See paragraphs 10 – 31.

32. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(A) – Substandard Rental Units.

See paragraphs 10 – 31.

33. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(B)(6) – Substandard Rental Units.

See paragraphs 14 – 16.

34. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(B)(14) – Substandard Rental Units.

See paragraphs 23 and 24.

35. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(C)(1) – Substandard Rental Units.

See paragraphs 25, 26

36. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(G)(2) – Substandard Rental Units.

See paragraphs 25, 26

37. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(G)(3) – Substandard Rental Units.

See paragraphs 26, 27

38. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(J) – Substandard Rental Units.

See paragraphs 26, 27

39. City of Newton, IA – Municipal Code – 151.43(N) – Substandard Rental Units.

See paragraphs 23 and 24.

40. Conclusion

Enclosure (2.) shows the tenants have only produced evidence of on time rent payments while attempting to communicate with the property owner to maintain and improve the property’s value. Evidence, the property owner, has produced supports the conclusion that drama, as defined by Lisa Skinner McKinney in Enclosure (4.), is any variable that may interrupt the flow of revenue into her pocket regardless of its impact on her client’s or tenant’s health and safety. Lisa Skinner McKinney has communicated that radon is not her responsibility. Logic would suggest that the property owner’s drastic change of course regarding offering to sell this leased property on contract to a current tenant a few days after tenants reported elevated radon levels might provide evidence of her internal thought process regarding her responsibility. Although the originator of this complaint has had landlords in the United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain, he has never experienced a property owner offering to sell a leased property on a contract upon communicating a problem with that property.

Tenants have contracted with a professional radon mitigation company to verify readings collected and documented utilizing an AirThings Model: “Corentium Home .” Readings have fluctuated between approximately 4 pCil and approximately 16 pCil since 23 SEP 2022.

Respectfully,


Michael J. Merritt, USN Retired/Writer
Founder:  cipherphoenix.com
Creative Writer/Musician
Information Warfare Specialist
Information Systems Manager
PO BOX 187
Newton, IA 50208
cipher.hunter@cipherphoenix.com