Looking for answers to your Iowa landlord tenant law questions? Find them here with our complete Iowa Landlord Tenant Law Act guide.
IA Landlord Tenant Law
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
A background check will show a person's history of addresses, evictions, bankruptcies, judgments and liens.
A full credit report comes with a basic background check, credit check plus criminal check. A basic background check shows a person's history of addresses, evictions and bankruptcies.
Landlords do not need the tenant or applicant's consent to run background and credit checks. Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)
The Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from discriminating against prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, sex, *familial status, national origin or physical/mental handicap. 42 U.S.C. § 3604
*Familial status - pregnant women and families with person(s) under 18.
In addition, Iowa landlord tenant law disallows landlords from discriminating someone as a renter because of his or her ancestry. Iowa Code § 216.8
However if the dwelling has four or less rental units and the landlord lives in one of them, then he or she won't have to follow the above Fair Housing laws. 42 U.S.C. § 3603(b)
(also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement)
Whether you're a landlord or tenant, it's important to have a written lease agreement with terms and conditions that favors you and follows your state laws.
To save time and avoid mistakes, you can customize your own lease agreement at LawDepot. This site will ask you a set of questions related to your tenancy and create a state-specific agreement based on your answers.
In the absence of a rental agreement, the tenancy shall be month to month by default. Iowa Code § 562A.9.(5)
Iowa landlord tenant law Iowa Code § 562A.13 requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:
According to Iowa landlord tenant law Iowa Code § 562A.11.(1), your lease agreement CANNOT:
Iowa landlord tenant law allows the landlord to ask for up to two month's rent as security deposit. Iowa Code § 562A.12.(1)
Iowa landlord tenant law requires the landlord to hold the security deposit in a bank's trust account, savings loan association or credit union insured by a federal government agency. The landlord is not allowed to combine security deposits with personal funds.
The landlord gets to keep any deposit interest earned by a trust account (unless he or she agrees to forgo it in the lease agreement). Iowa Code § 562A.12.(2)
Iowa landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions (under Iowa landlord tenant law) include:
The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use. Iowa Code § 562A.12.(3)(a)(2)
Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a list of security deposit deductions and refund any remaining deposit within 30 days. This list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing. If the landlord fails to do so, he or she shall lose all claims to the security deposit. Iowa Code § 562A.12.(3)(a)
If the tenant doesn't provide the landlord with a mailing address or mailing instructions within one year (of lease termination), the landlord shall keep the full deposit.
If the landlord fails to follow Iowa landlord tenant law for deducting and returning security deposit, the tenant can recover actual damages PLUS two month's rent PLUS attorney fees. Iowa Code § 562A.12.(7)
The previous owner is no longer responsible for the security deposit once the following conditions are met:
Once the tenant has been informed of the transfer, he or she can object to the deposit amount (transferred) within 20 days. Iowa Code § 562A.12.(6)
Des Moines, Iowa IA
The tenant has to pay the rent without demand or reminders. As long as the landlord and tenant are agreeable, they can choose the time, place and method of rent payment. Iowa Code § 562A.9.(3)
By default, rent is payable once the tenancy begins and shall be paid on the beginning of each month for a month to month tenancy. Rent is to be collected at the rental property and shall be pro-rated daily.
If the rent is $700 or less per month, the landlord can charge a late fee of up to $12 per day, adding up to a maximum of $60 every month. Iowa Code § 562A.9.(4)
If the rent is more than $700 per month, the landlord can charge a late fee of up to $20 per day, adding up to a maximum of $100 every month.
The landlord can charge the tenant up to $30 for every bounced check.
According to the Iowa Landlord Tenant Act, the landlord can choose to raise the rent by any amount.
For a month to month tenancy, the landlord has to inform the tenant of a rent increase in writing at least 30 days in advance. For a fixed term tenancy, the landlord isn't allowed to raise the rent until the tenancy expires. Iowa Code § 562A.13.(5)
The Iowa Landlord Tenant Act Iowa Code § 562A.15.(1)(a) requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition:
Iowa landlord tenant law Iowa Code § 562A.17 also requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition:
If the landlord fails in his or her responsibilities, the tenant has two choices:
1. The tenant can move out (if it affects the tenant's health and safety)
The tenant must give the landlord a written notice stating the problem and giving the landlord seven days to fix it, or else the tenant will move out in seven days. If the problem is fixed within seven days (of the landlord receiving this notice), the tenancy will continue.
2. The tenant can choose to sue the landlord
If the landlord violates the lease agreement or Iowa landlord tenant law, the tenant can sue the landlord in court for damages or to obtain a court order (that requires the landlord to do, or stop doing something). If total damages are less than $5,000, the tenant may sue the landlord in small claims court.
If the landlord commits a similar violation within six months, the tenant can terminate the tenancy with a written seven day notice stating the violation date and details. In this case, the termination shall be unconditional and the landlord won't be given the chance to correct his or her violations. Iowa Code § 562A.21
If the landlord fails to provide an essential service (such as heat, water, electricity, plumbing or sanitation), the tenant has three choices:
1. The tenant can obtain essential service(s) and deduct the cost from rent
The tenant has to inform the landlord in writing that he or she intends to obtain essential service(s) and deduct the expenses from next month's rent. The tenant should keep the receipts for all related costs.
2. The tenant can sue the landlord for damages
The tenant can sue the landlord for damages based on how much the property's rental value has diminished.
3. The tenant can recover rent that has been paid
The tenant can recover any (pro-rated) rent paid during the period that the landlord failed to provide an essential service. Iowa Code § 562A.23
According to Iowa landlord tenant law Iowa Code § 562A.19.(1), the landlord is only allowed to enter the property for the following reasons:
In the above situations, the landlord must inform the tenant at least 24 hours in advance before entering the property. The landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours. Iowa Code § 562A.19.(3)
According to Iowa landlord tenant law IA Code § 562A.19, the landlord may enter the property without permission in the following situations:
The tenant cannot deny access if the landlord has a valid reason to enter the property. Otherwise the landlord can EITHER
In addition, the landlord may also sue the tenant for actual damages plus attorney fees. Iowa Code § 562A.35.(1)
The landlord must have a valid reason and obtain the tenant's permission (whenever required) to enter the property. If the landlord fails to do so or harasses the tenant, the tenant can EITHER
In addition, the tenant may also sue the landlord for one month's rent PLUS attorney fees. Iowa Code § 562A.35.(2)
There are no specific Iowa landlord tenant laws on subletting.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa IA
Iowa landlord tenant law requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit before terminating a tenancy.
For a week to week tenancy, you must give this notice at least 10 days before its termination date. Iowa Code § 562A.34.(1)
For a month to month tenancy, you have to give this notice at least 30 days in advance. Iowa Code § 562A.34.(2)
For a periodic tenancy longer than a month (e.g. year to year tenancy), you have to give this notice at least 30 days before the next rental term.
If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:
Landlord failed to maintain property
Property isn't safe or habitable at beginning of tenancy
Tenant or dependent is a victim of family violence
Property damage due to fire or disaster
If the tenant or tenant's dependent might be harmed due to family violence, the landlord cannot stop the tenant seeking law enforcement or emergency assistance. Iowa Code § 562A.27B
If the tenant or tenant's dependent is a victim of family violence, the landlord cannot use it as a reason to:
If the tenant wants to be protected by the above laws, he or she must give the landlord a written statement (under oath or affirmation) that the tenant or tenant's dependent is a victim of domestic abuse PLUS a police, court or government record describing the domestic violence suffered by the tenant or tenant's dependent.
If the property is badly damaged by fire or natural disaster (such as earthquake or flood), the tenant can immediately move out and stop paying rent. The tenant must inform the landlord within 14 days of that he or she intends to terminate the tenancy, and the tenancy will be terminated once the tenant moves out. Iowa Code § 562A.25
After the tenant moves out, the landlord must return the security deposit (after any deductions) to the tenant. The tenant won't have to pay rent starting from the date of the fire or natural disaster, so the landlord must also return any prepaid rent to the tenant.
If only part of the property is damaged, the tenant should move out of the damaged area. The rent amount will be lowered based on how much of the property is still livable.
The landlord can serve the notice to the tenant in the following ways:
The tenant can serve the notice to the landlord in the following ways:
According to Iowa landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:
Tenant did not pay rent
Tenant violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties
Tenant endangered other people on or near property
Whether you are a landlord evicting someone or a tenant facing eviction, it's important that you handle matters correctly according to your state laws.
If you have any questions or doubts on eviction, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
If the tenant did not pay rent on time, the landlord can send the tenant a three day written notice to terminate the tenancy. This notice must state the amount of rent owed and inform the tenant that he or she can choose to pay or move out. Iowa Code § 562.27A.(1)
If the rent is paid within three days, the tenant may stay.
If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement in a *significant manner, the landlord can send the tenant a seven day written notice to terminate the tenancy. *Significant manner refers to situations that affects human health and safety. Iowa Code § 562A.27.(1)
Similarly if the tenant fails to perform his or her duties (as required by Iowa landlord tenant law) in a significant manner, the landlord can also send the tenant a seven day written notice to terminate the tenancy.
This written notice has to state what is the tenant's violation or failure in duty. If the tenant corrects the problem within seven days, the tenant may stay.
However if the tenant violates the tenancy agreement (or fails in his or her duty) in a similar manner within six months, the landlord can evict the tenant by sending him or her a written seven day notice. In this case, the tenant must move out.
If the tenant's dangerous action or activity threatens the health and safety of others (within one thousand feet of the property), the landlord can send the tenant a three day written notice to terminate the tenancy. Iowa Code § 562.27A.(1)
This written notice has to state what is the dangerous activity and that the tenant has the right to challenge this termination in court.
Clear examples of dangerous actions or activities include:
Also known as "Notice of Termination of Tenancy" or "Notice to Quit", Iowa landlord tenant law requires all eviction notices to contain the following:
If Iowa landlord tenant law allows the tenant to avoid eviction by correcting the problem(s), the eviction notice must also contain:
According to Iowa landlord tenant law, the landlord CANNOT force the tenant to move out or shut off utilities (electricity, water, gas, sanitation) without a court hearing. Iowa Code § 562A.26
The landlord can only shut off utilities if the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the property. Iowa Code § 562A.33
If the landlord forces the tenant to move out or shuts off utilities, the tenant can EITHER
In addition, the tenant may also sue the landlord for actual damages PLUS (up to) two month's rent PLUS attorney's fees. Iowa Code § 562A.26
If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all prepaid rents and security deposits to the tenant.
There are no specific Iowa landlord tenant laws on when the property is considered abandoned by the tenant.
If the tenant did not inform the landlord he or she will be away from the property for a long period of time, the landlord can recover actual damages from the tenant. Iowa Code § 562A.29.(1)
Once the property is abandoned, the landlord may enter it, clean it, and re-rent it.
As long as the landlord makes a proper effort to re-rent the property at a fair rate, the abandoning tenant will be responsible for paying rent until the tenancy ends. If a new tenant is moving in before the tenancy ends, then the abandoning tenant can stop paying rent once the new tenant moves in. Iowa Code § 562A.29.(3)
There are no specific Iowa landlord tenant laws on how to deal with the tenant's abandoned belongings.
Iowa Landlord Tenant Law: Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Law
Iowa Landlord Tenant Handbook: Iowa Landlord Tenant Handbook
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.