Property Management

Frequently Asked Questions

Disposal of state-owned assets

What is your mailing list?

The DOT maintains a mailing list of prospective bidders and others who express interest. When items are to be sold, the DOT sends out notices to those on the mailing list.

How do I get on the mailing list and is there a cost?

The mailing list service is free to the public. To be placed on the mailing list, simply call 515-239-1300 during regular office hours or send to the address on page 1 your request in writing.

What forms of payment does the DOT accept?

The DOT will accept the following forms of payments:
  • Certified checks
  • Official bank checks
  • Cashier's checks
  • Money orders
The DOT cannot accept:
  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Personal checks

Explain the performance deposit. Does the DOT deposit the funds? Do I get these funds back?

The DOT will deposit the performance deposit. Once all the terms of the agreement have been fulfilled, the performance deposit is refunded. However, should the buyer not fulfill the terms of the sale, the DOT may retain a portion or all of the performance deposit.

How do I know how much of my bid is required when the bids are opened, and how much the performance deposit will be?

The bid proposal packet will explain both requirements. However, should you have any questions, please call and staff will be happy to answer your questions.

What if I do not use your bid form or do not fill the bid form out correctly?

Bids not submitted on the proper forms and correctly completed are generally rejected.

As long as I mail the bid to the DOT prior to the opening date, will my bid be considered?

For bids to be considered, the Property Management Section must RECEIVE the bids prior to the bid deadline. Any bids received after the deadline cannot be considered as part of the sale.

Can I hand deliver my bid and watch the bid opening?

Yes, but all bids must be delivered before the sale deadline. All members of the public are encouraged to attend the bid openings.

Where do you hold the bid openings

The bid openings are generally held at the DOT headquarters located in Ames. Please call the Property Management Section for the exact location of the bid opening for a specific sale and directions on how to find the location.

How often do you have sales?

The Property Management Section usually has a sale every month. Some months the DOT may have more than one sale.

Can I buy trees and shrubs from the DOT?

We receive many requests for trees, shrubs and landscaping. Unfortunately, the DOT cannot dispose of these items. In order to dispose of these items, the DOT would be required to have the items certified as disease-free. Costs of implementing these requirements, as well as staffing limitations, reduces the practicality of these types of sales.

The DOT often utilizes landscaping that has been acquired for other official DOT uses.

Where does the money the DOT receives from the sale go?

The proceeds of all sales are deposited in the road fund and used for other highway projects.

Leasing State Property

How does the DOT determine lease rates?

To protect the public's assets, the Property Management Section attempts to obtain rental rates appropriate for the area (market rent). However, market rent may take many forms.

The Property Management Section looks forward to discussing individual situations with you.

How long are the leases?

Properties being leased are being held in anticipation of a future use. With this in mind, the DOT must have the ability to cancel all leases relatively quickly to protect the public's anticipated project use. Generally all leases have a 30-day cancellation clause even though some properties may be held for a longer period of time.

What forms of payment for rent will the DOT accept?

The DOT will accept the following forms of payments:
  • Certified checks
  • Official bank checks
  • Cashier's checks
  • Money orders
The DOT cannot accept:
  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Personal checks

Does the DOT require damage deposits?

Yes, when leasing buildings and/or improvements the DOT requires damage deposits. The deposits are returned at the end of the lease, provided the tenant fulfills the terms of the lease.

The DOT may require the tenant to maintain liability insurance on some types of properties.

Where does the money the DOT receives from rent go?

The proceeds of all leases are deposited in the road fund and used for other highway projects.

Who is eligible to lease DOT properties?

Anyone over 18 that is not employed by the DOT is eligible to lease DOT properties.

Local Public Agencies

Do the local public agency coordinators do the actual work for the local governments?

On occasion a local government will need special services that are difficult to obtain. In those cases the local government may contract with the coordinators through an inter-governmental agreement. Usually the coordinators limit their activities to assistance and providing information.

Can I call the coordinators when I am affected by a local project?

Local governments are responsible for their projects. Generally calls will be referred to the responsible local officials.


Does this record center have all the records concerning my property?

No. This record center only maintains records concerning right-of-way on state and federal roadways.

I think the state of Iowa owns a small tract of land that abuts my property, but I'm not sure. Is this record center the place for me to start my search?

The most convenient place to start your search is probably your local county courthouse. But, if you supply the pertinent legal descriptions, staff can start a search in the Property Management Record Center.

Can I call the Record Center?

Of course! The telephone number is 515-239-1539 and fax is 515-233-7859.