A summary of Iowa Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.
Required Disclosures (by Landlords)
Owner or Agent Information: Landlord must disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises, and an owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving notices and demands. (Iowa Code § 562A.13)
Utilities: For shared utilities, landlord must fully explain utility rates, charges, and services to the prospective tenant before the rental agreement is signed. (Iowa Code § 562A.13)
Contamination: The landlord or a person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on behalf of the landlord must disclose to each tenant, in writing before the commencement of the tenancy, whether the property is listed in the comprehensive environmental response compensation and liability information system maintained by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. (Iowa Code § 562A.13)
Security Deposit Limit
Landlords may charge the equivalent of two months’ rent for the security deposit.
Deadline for Returning Security Deposit
The security deposit must be returned within 30 days after the tenant has moved out and returned the keys.
If the security deposit is kept in an interest-bearing account, interest must be paid to the tenant if the tenancy lasted more than five years (the landlord keeps any interest earned during the first five years).
Small Claims Lawsuits
The limit is $5,000 for trying to collect monetary awards in small claims court for landlord-tenant cases.
After the monthly due date if rent is $700 per month or less, a late fee can be assessed not to exceed $12 per day up to a maximum amount of $60 per month; If rent is more than $700 per month, late fees cannot exceed $20 per day up to a maximum amount of $100 per month.
A 30 day advance written notice is required in order to increase rent or change the terms of a month-to-month tenancy. Longer term agreements must provide for rent increases. Otherwise, no changes can take affect without the tenant’s permission.
Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent
Tenants may withhold rent or exercise the right to “repair and deduct” as long the circumstances justify the action. However, landlords must be given proper notice and a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue first. For more information, read the actual statutes: rent withholding, Iowa Code Ann. § 562A.24. Repair and deduct, Iowa Code Ann. § 562A.23.
Termination and Eviction
A 3 day unconditional quit notice may be used when a tenant is creating a clear and present danger to the health or safety of the landlord, tenants, or neighbors within 1,000 feet of the property boundaries
A 7 day unconditional quit notice may used if the tenant repeats the same lease violation within 6 months that affects health and safety
A 7 day conditional notice to cure or quit (which allows the tenant an opportunity to fix the problem) has to be used for all other lease violations.
Access to Property
Tenants must be given a 24 hour advance notice before a landlord enters the property.
- If a domestic violence victim seeks a protective order/reports the abuser to law enforcement, the landlord (if governed by public housing laws) cannot terminate the victim’s tenancy.
- Court may order the defendant to grant possession of the residence to the plaintiff or provide suitable alternative housing for the plaintiff.
Iowa Lease Agreement
Iowa Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes
Iowa Code Ann. §§ 562A.1 to 562A.37.