Building, Housing & Rental Inspections

The City of Ottumwa has adopted the International Building Code (IBC) developed by the International Code Council. The Code provides minimum safeguards for people at home, at school and in the workplace. Health Department Building Inspectors provide permitting and inspection services for new construction and rental housing. Building, electrical, plumbing, signs and heating and cooling installation permits are issued by the Health Department.

New Construction and Remodeling

Most new construction & remodeling projects in Ottumwa require a Building Permit. The permitting process helps you determine if your project is feasible or even allowed before you invest time and money completing the project.

Download the Building Permit application form

Rental Housing

Rental housing is registered and inspected once every three years and presently Ottumwa has approximately 2,600 registered rental units.

Registered Rental Properties in Ottumwa

Placarded Houses

If a building is unfit for habitation due to safety or health violations, a bright yellow tag or placard is placed on the front of the house. At that point, it is illegal for anyone to live there until the violations have been corrected.

We post a list of houses that have been placarded by the Health Department as unfit to live in. Most of the houses are privately owned and could be repaired. In some cases, the owners want to get rid of the property, as-is, making these houses a good opportunity for rehabilitation. Contact the owner of record for further information.

Download list of placarded houses (PDF)



Doug Maize
(641) 683-0611

Phil Northup
(641) 683-0653


The following codes are adopted by reference with very few additions or deletions in the Municipal Code.

•2015 International Building Code
• 2015 International Residential Code
• Iowa Plumbing Code (2015 Uniform Plumbing Code with amendments)
• Iowa Mechanical Code (2015 International Mechanical Code with amendments)
• International Fire Code
• HUD Housing Quality Standards

City of Ottumwa
Health & Inspections

105 E. Third Street
Ottumwa, IA 52501
Open Monday -Friday
7:00 am 5:30 pm
(641) 683-0650
or (641) 683-0610