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Iowa Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

Ever rented a house in Iowa City to some rowdy Hawkeye undergrads? Or had trouble getting the heat fixed in your chilly Des Moines apartment? If you've ever found yourself in a testy lessor-lessee relationship, you may have wondered about landlord-tenant laws, and what your legal rights and responsibilities are. This is an introduction to leases and rental agreements laws in Iowa.

Leases and Rental Agreement Law

State lease and rental agreement laws regulate landlord-tenant relationships by defining some of the basics terms of real estate rental contracts. While these guidelines can differ depending on where you live, they tend to be fairly similar in the ways the statutes standardize the time limits for leases, what to do when and if a lease expires, and in their protections against discrimination against minorities in housing. Some states, like Iowa, have adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act in order to create consistency across state lines. Although there are states that have enacted stricter tenant rights laws, which can provide greater protections for renters.

Leases and Rental Agreements in Iowa

Iowa's legal code on leases and rental agreement limits the amounts landlords may charge for deposits at the equivalent of two months of rent, with any interest earned in the first five years of the lease going to the landlord. As with most states, when a lease term ends in Iowa, the holdover tenancy will normally become a month-to-month lease. The chart below lists the details of Iowa's lease and rental agreements laws.

Code Section

Iowa Code 562, et seq.: Owner-Lessor and Tenant-Lessee;
Iowa Code 562A, et seq.: Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Law;

Iowa Code 216, et seq.: Civil Rights Commission (Fair Housing Protections)

Terms of Leases

Holding over converts to month-to-month tenancy


Limit 2 months rent; any interest earned on deposit for first 5 years of tenancy is landlord's property; deposit must be returned within 30 days if given forwarding address


No discrimination on basis of race, color, creed, sex, religion, origin, disability, or family status; housing for older persons exempted

Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted?


Iowa Leases and Rental Agreements Laws: Related Resources

State real estate statutes can be confusing. You can find additional articles and resources in FindLaw's section on Leases and Rental Agreements. You can also contact an Iowa landlord-tenant attorney if you would like legal advice regarding a lease or rental agreement issue.

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