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Iowa Landlord Tenant Law

Iowa Landlord Tenant Law

Quick Guide to Iowa Landlord/Tenant Law

Iowa Landlord/Tenant Law

Some Iowa landlord/tenant laws are located under Chapter 562 of the state’s Code, but the majority of IA landlord/tenant law is located within the state’s Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA).  The majority of information Iowa landlord/tenant laws located in this article can be found in Chapter 562 of the Act.  

This article will discuss Iowa landlord/tenant laws for maintenance and repair for both the tenant and the landlord.  Additionally, commonly disputed cases in IA landlord/tenant law involving security deposits, evictions, and more are discussed.    

Iowa Landlord/Tenant Law on Maintenance

Section 562A.15 lists specific IA landlord/tenant law for landlords under the URLTA:  

• comply with all building and housing codes set by local IA landlord/tenant law

• “Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.” 

• keep all common areas clean and safe

• Maintain and make repairs to all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other utilities 

• provide proper receptacles for the collection and removal of garbage 

• supply running water and enough heat unless these duties are the tenant’s responsibilities

Section 562.17 of the URLTA provides basic Iowa landlord/tenant laws for tenants.  These duties under Iowa landlord/tenant law are applicable to every tenant: 

• comply with all tenant rights within the building and housing codes

• keep all rented and common premises clean and safe

• dispose of garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner

• keep all plumbing fixtures clean and in working condition

• use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other utilities in a safe manner 

Security Deposits and Evictions under Iowa Landlord/Tenant Law

Under Iowa landlord/tenant laws, a landlord must provide a tenant with an itemized list of damages if deductions were made after the termination of tenancy.  This list must usually be sent to the former tenant within 30 days of termination, and the landlord can keep the entire deposit if the tenant failed to make rental payments or was legally evicted according to IA landlord/tenant law.  

However, under Iowa landlord/tenant law, a landlord cannot take retaliatory action (such as an eviction) under Section 562A.36 of the URLTA.  In no cases can a landlord take retaliatory action against a tenant in the following conditions according to Iowa landlord/tenant laws: 

• the tenant complained about a violation of building or housing code

• the tenant has complained about a violation under Section 562A.15

• the tenant has become a member of the tenants’ union or similar organization

Iowa Landlord/Tenant Law on Access

Section 562A.19 of the URLTA provides Iowa landlord/tenant laws for rights of access by a landlord.  The IA landlord/tenant law states the following: 

• a tenant cannot unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the premises for agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, improvements

• the landlord may enter the premises in the case of an emergency

• except in an emergency, a landlord must give notice to the tenant at least 24 hours ahead of their intent to enter, and the landlord can only enter at reasonable times

• the landlord may enter the property if the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises