Iowa Landlord Tenant Law
If you have questions or believe you have a legal case under Iowa Residential Landlord Tenant Law, you should contact an attorney. No part of this information is a substitute for legal advice.
Iowa Landlord Tenant Official Rules and Regulations
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Helpful Articles for Landlords in Iowa
Iowa Landlord Tenant Security Deposit
- Security Deposit Maximum – Pursuant to 562A.12.1, a landlord cannot demand or receive more than two months rent as a security deposit.
- Security Deposit Interest: According to 562A.12.2, security deposits can be held in an interest bearing savings or trust account and that any interest earned from said account for the first five years of tenancy shall remain the property of the landlord.
- Nonrefundable Fees: No statute given
- Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: Pursuant to 562A12.2, all monies collected as security deposits must be kept in a bank or trust account that is separate from the landlord’s personal accounts.
- Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No statute is available, other than 562A.12.1. In most cases, pet deposits are included within the security deposit, but when they are not, the total of the security and pet deposits can not exceed a total of two months’ actual rent.
- Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: The landlord has 30 days after termination of the lease to return a tenant’s security deposit, pursuant to 562A.12.3. If the landlord is found to be within violation, the tenant can file suit against them in small claims court and recover both punitive and actual damages.
- Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: If any portion of the security deposit is kept by the landlord a detailed, written description must be provided to the tenant, pursuant to 562A.12.3. When the landlord retains any portion, no matter how small, a complete listing of any damages, cleaning fees, repairs and other expenses must be presented to the tenant along with the remainder of their security deposit. Failure to do so is a violation of state code 562A.12.3 and can result in fines and legal action on behalf of the tenant.
- Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute is given other than what is provided in 562A.12.2. Accurate book keeping is required to record a record of each tenant’s deposit as well as any interest earned during the first five years. After the 5 year period ends, any interest earned on a tenants’ deposit is held and returned to them at the time the lease is terminated.
- Receipt of Deposit: No statute is given
- Failure to Comply: According to 562A.12.7, the landlords failure to return a tenant’s security deposit within the 30 day time period, may result in the tenant being awarded no more than two hundred dollars. Other actual damages may also be awarded.
Iowa Landlord Tenant Lease, Rent & Fees:
- Rent Due Date: Agreed upon by both landlord and tenant and included within the lease agreement. This normally falls on the first of each month.
- Notice to Increase Rent: No statute given.
- Rent Grace Period: No statute given
- Late Fees: No statute given
- Prepaid Rent: No statute given, but early payments are accepted.
- Returned Check Fees: $30 is the allowed fee in Iowa, other fees may apply as stated within the lease agreement.
- Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Electric, Heat, Water, etc.): According to 562A.23, tenants are still responsible for paying rent, but can recover any amounts paid during periods where the landlord was deficient in supplying necessary utilities. The landlord must maintain service to all units at all times or they can be held in violation of state health and safety codes.
- Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: According to 562A.27.4c, the tenant can withhold rent as long as the landlord is given 7 days written notice and the amount to be withheld does not exceed the total amount of rent due.
- Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes, according to 562A.27.3. The landlord is allowed to recover both punitive and actual damages on a case by case basis. The court will determine to what extent the damages can be recovered.
- Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes, according to 562A.27.5
Iowa Landlord Tenant Notices and Entry
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy: Fixed End Date Lease: No notice is needed since the tenancy will automatically terminate at the end of the lease.
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy: Month to Month Lease: 30 days written notice per the lease agreement. In Iowa, unless otherwise noted, all leases are from week to week. Leases that are written for longer than that term will have specific instructions included that detail the amount of time for notice to terminate tenancy.
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy: Week to Week Lease: 10 days written notice per the lease agreement
- Tenant Holdover: Landlord may bring action for possession in accordance with 562A.34.4 if the tenant refuses to vacate the premises after the lease has been terminated either by legal action or the natural expiration of the lease agreement.
- Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute is given, but notice is often written into the lease as a courtesy to the tenant.
- Lease Terminations/Notices to Quit:
- Lease Termination for Nonpayment: Pursuant to 562A.27.2, the landlord can demand possession after 3 days.
- Termination for Violation of Lease: According to 562A.28, the landlord can terminate a tenant’s lease for any number of violations that result in the tenant’s failure to maintain the property.
- Termination of Lease for Falsification of Information: No statute given
- Immediate Lease Termination: Pursuant to 562A.27A, a landlord may terminate a lease immediately if the tenant creates an unsafe or unhealthy atmosphere and creates a situation involving clear and present danger.
- Required Notice before Entry: The landlord must give tenants 24 hour written notice before entering and only enter at reasonable times, according to 562A.19.3
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Only with 24 hours written notice and at reasonable times, pursuant to 562A.19.3.
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: According to 562A.19.3, only after 24 hours written notice and only at reasonable times.
- Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes pursuant to 562A.19.2.
- Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: After an absence of 14 days, the landlord is allowed to enter and inspect the property without giving notice..
- Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute given
- Lockouts Allowed: No
- Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No
Iowa Landlord Tenant Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes
- Landlord Responsibilities:
- The landlord must comply with all state and local building and health codes
- Maintain a clean and well kept property free of debris and rubbish
- Supply running water, heat and other utilities pursuant to state codes
- Make repairs in a timely fashion once they have been reported by the tenant or noticed during a regularly scheduled inspection
- Offer sufficient written notice in terms of termination, entry to the premises and any changes in the lease or rental agreement.
- Tenant Responsibilities:
- Tenants must comply with all state and local building and health codes and maintain a safe and healthy environment
- Remove all garbage, trash, rubbish, ashes and other waste materials generated within the residence
- Maintain all utilities and appliances and keep them in good working order
- Report to the landlord any and all issues that would require repairs to be made
- Refrain from undertaking any illegal activities or actions that would violate the neighbors’ rights to the quiet enjoyment of their property
- Recording of Rental Property: No statute is given
- Name and Addresses: Names and addresses of both landlord and tenant must be disclosed within the lease agreement, pursuant to 562A.13. Proper disclosure is required in the event an issue arises where service of process is needed upon either the tenant, owner or member of the property management organization.
- Disclosure of the Landlord and Tenant Act: No statute given
- Move-In Documents: No statute given
- Bedbugs: No statute given
- Domestic Violence Situations: No statute given
- Assumption of Retaliation: No retaliatory behavior is permitted by either the landlord or the tenant pursuant to 562A.36. Legal action, however, is permitted within the scope of the law pertaining to either party’s financial or material loss.
- Tenant’s Personal Property: Landlord may only take possession of a tenant’s personal property if it has been proven the premises has been abandoned by the tenant. Liens cannot be placed on tenant’s personal property pursuant to 562A.31.
Iowa Landlord Tenant Court Related
- Small Claims Court Limits: $5,000
- Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims: No. Evictions do not fall under the jurisdiction of Small Claims court, however, landlords and tenants alike can use small claims to recover any damages or compensation if the other party violates or breaches the lease agreement in any way.
- Small Claims Court
- Iowa Judicial Branch
- Iowa Attorney General
- State Bar of Iowa
- Iowa Legal Aid
- Business Licenses Required: Although there are no statutes pertaining to requiring landlords to possess a business license in order to manage multiple properties at the state level, city and county governments may have their own rules and regulations. Check with local housing authorities as well as other city government agencies to find out what the rules and regulations are for each particular area.
Iowa Tenant Screening Background Checks
A key component of landlord tenant laws is also Iowa Tenant Screening Background Checks. We’ve dedicated an entire page to it because of its importance. Visit Iowa Tenant Screening Background Checks to screen your tenant.
Iowa Landlord Forms
All states require a variety of forms to rent an apartment to a tenant and Iowa is no exception. Check out American Apartment Owners Association’s Iowa Landlord Forms now.
Nationwide Landlord Tenant Laws
Looking for landlord tenant laws outside of Iowa? The American Apartment Owners Association offers helpful landlord tenant laws for all 50 states. Click on any of the states listed below and go directly to its landlord tenant law page. To visit the homepage of landlord tenant laws, click here.
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