Iowa lease agreements are contracts that identify the rights and responsibilities of a landlord and a tenant in the tenant’s lease of a landlord’s property. The lease agreement will contain the monthly rent, responsibility for utilities, and other terms that the parties may choose. Lease agreements can be useful for both parties by making clearer what is expected of them and helping avoid disputes.
- Iowa Lease Agreements: By Type (6)
- Landlord-Tenant Laws
- Handbooks and Guides
- Commercial Lease Agreement
- Month-to-Month Lease Agreement
- Rent-to-Own Lease Agreement
- Roommate Lease Agreement
- Standard Lease Agreement
- Sublease Agreement
Agent/Landlord Identification – Landlords must disclose the names of people who are authorized to act on the landlord’s behalf to receive tenant requests or come on to the property to conduct repairs (§ 562A.13).
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – Federal law mandates landlords and managers to inform any new tenant of the possibility of lead-based paint if the property was built before 1978.
Shared Utilities – If the property contains multiple units that share a utility meter, the landlord must disclose this in the lease agreement and specify the manner in which the utilities are calculated and billed to the tenant (§ 562A.13).
Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Information System – If the property is among the “Superfund” sites identified by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the landlord must make this clear to the tenant in the lease agreement. A list of Superfund sites in the state is available here, with further information about the sites available at NETRonline (§ 562A.13).
A landlord may demand no more than two (2) months’ rent as security deposit (§ 562A.12)
A landlord must return a security deposit to a tenant within thirty (30) days of the termination of the tenancy and the tenant providing a new address, whichever comes later. For interest earned on security deposits during a tenancy, the amount accrued in the first five (5) years belongs to the landlord, but the amount for longer leases belongs to the tenant. The landlord may retain a portion of the security deposit to make up for any unpaid rent, make repairs to the unit (other than those necessitated as a result of ordinary wear and tear), and, in cases of eviction to recover costs associated with reclaiming possession of the property. Any such costs must be disclosed in writing to the tenant, and if the tenant disputes them, the landlord bears the burden of proving they are necessary (§ 562A.12).
Rent is due at the time and place specified in the lease agreement. State law does not require a grace period.
3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit – If rent is not paid on the date due date, a landlord may post this form on the premises, warning the tenant that if all owed funds are not provided within three (3) days, the landlord may initiate eviction proceedings (§ 562A.27).
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For units where the monthly rent is less than $700 landlord may charge a late fee of no more than $12 per day late, up to $60 per month. For units where the monthly rent is greater than $700 per month, landlords may charge a late fee of no more than $20 per day late, up to $100 per month (§562A.9).
Iowa law does not specify how much may be charged for providing a check with insufficient funds, but if the landlord chooses to impose such a fee, best practice is to name the fee in the lease agreement, and for the fee to be reasonably related to the costs borne by the landlord as a result of receiving an NSF check.
The Iowa Code does not lay out procedures for handling property that a tenant has left behind after the termination of a lease agreement. However, a case in the Court of Appeals of Iowa, Khan v. Heritage Property Management, did not impose a duty of care on landlords toward the leftover personal property of an evicted tenant. However, given that this ruling is somewhat case-specific, best practice is for the landlord and tenant to specify in the rental agreement what will happen with unclaimed property.