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Iowa Tenant Rights Laws

During some point in our lives, many of us will enter into a rental contract to live in a house or apartment. Each state has passed its own laws to protect the interests of both landlords and tenants in a residential rental arrangement, and Iowa is no exception. If you are a renter in Iowa, read on to learn more about your legal rights as a tenant.

Iowa Tenants Rights Laws at a Glance

Iowa law regulates many aspects of the landlord/tenant relationship. For example, Iowa caps how much a landlord can demand as a security deposit, and sets forth a time limit for the return of the security deposit after a tenant moves out. Iowa law also limits how much a landlord can charge in late fees for missed rent payments.

Iowa law also prohibits a landlord from retaliating against you simply for exercising your legal rights. For example, it's illegal for a landlord to evict you, arbitrarily raise your rent, refuse to make repairs, or take other adverse action against you in retaliation for:

  • Complaining about unsafe living conditions
  • Making a report to a government agent, like a building or health inspector
  • Organizing other tenants to collectively exercise legal rights

The below chart provides more detail about Iowa's tenants' rights laws.


Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

Security Deposits

  • Landlord can't charge more than 2 months' rent as security deposit
  • Security deposits or an itemized list of deductions must be returned within 30 days of tenant move-out

Paying Rent

  • Landlords and tenants can include rent amount in lease
  • If rent amount isn't included in lease, tenant shall pay fair market value for rental
  • If rent is less than $700 per month, late fees can't exceed $12 per day or $60 per month
  • If rent is more than $700 per month, late fees can't exceed $20 per day or $100 per month

Living Conditions

  • Landlords are obligated to maintain premises in fit and habitable condition
  • Tenants have the right to "repair and deduct" if a landlord fails to make important repairs /li>
  • Iowa landlords must provide 24 hours' notice of intent to enter rental unit, unless there is an emergency
  • A tenant can't unreasonably withhold permission for landlord to enter


  • Under Iowa and federal law, it's illegal for a landlord to discriminate a tenant based on race, religion, national

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Either party can terminate a tenancy by giving 30 days' notice
  • A lease for a fixed term terminates at the end of that term, with no need of notice by either party
  • If rent is payable at intervals of less than 30 days', notice need not exceed the length of the term


  • It's illegal for Iowa landlords to retaliate against tenants for exercising legal rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Iowa Tenant's Rights Resources

Get a Free Evaluation of Your Landlord/Tenant Case

If you have been treated unfairly by your landlord, there may be legal options available to you. It's important to understand your legal rights as an Iowa tenant. Also, consider getting legal help by having an experienced Iowa landlord/tenant attorney conduct a free case evaluation.

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