Iowa Eviction Laws
Like many states, the Iowa eviction process provides for a quick procedure to expel a tenant. Below are the most important eviction laws to take note of.
3-Day Eviction Notice to Quit
- Nonpayment of rent
The Iowa eviction notice for nonpayment of rent is 3 days. In these situations, the written notice must advise the tenant of the amount due and any other fees or sums owed and that the lease will be terminated unless payment is made within 3 full days after the notice is served. The notice is served after the day the rent is due.
- Partial rent payment
A landlord may accept a partial rent payment by giving the tenant a written grace period to pay the remainder. If the tenant does not pay the due amount by the end of the grace period, the landlord may proceed with the next step in the Iowa eviction process without the need for another notice.
- Clear and present danger
The 3-day Iowa eviction notice is also used where the tenant has created a clear and present danger to the landlord. This notice advises the tenant that he or she must vacate the property and that no compliance or remedy is possible. A clear and present danger may be verifiable threats of violence against the landlord or other tenants, illegal use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon or possession of a controlled substance.
The landlord must prove the “clear and present danger” by use of affidavits from witnesses but a police report verifying the danger may be sufficient.
7-Day Notice to Quit
Where the reason for the eviction is other than nonpayment of rent or for presenting a clear and present danger, the Iowa eviction notice is 7 days. This notice must state the specific lease provision that has been violated and that the tenant may cure the violation such as by paying for damages caused by the tenant or by removing unauthorized pets or tenants within the 7 day period or the lease will be terminated.
30-Day Eviction Notice
In cases of month-to-month tenancies, the landlord need only give a 30-day notice without a reason for the eviction.
Service of a Tenant Eviction Notice
Service of an Iowa eviction notice may be performed by the landlord or representative by:
- Personal delivery to the tenant.
- To an adult living in the unit and obtaining a signature confirming receipt.
- By posting the notice on the unit door and sending the notice by certified and regular mail. If done in this manner, the notice period begins 4 days after the mail is postmarked.
Forcible Entry and Detainer Action
Should the tenant not pay the total rent, vacate the premises or cure the rental agreement violation, the next step in the Iowa eviction process is for the landlord to start a court action called Forcible Entry and Detainer (F.E.D.). This is an action for possession only and the landlord must initiate a separate action for any damages or back rent owed.
The landlord must present a copy of the served notice and a return of service to the court clerk before filing the F.E.D. Once filed, the hearing may be scheduled very quickly so long as the tenant is given at least 3 full days between the service of the action and the hearing date.
- Money damages
A landlord bringing an F.E.D. must be careful in what the suit alleges, If the landlord is alleging damages in the F.E.D., the tenant can request that the action be treated as a money judgment so that an answer is due 20 days after service of the F.E.D. with a hearing scheduled several weeks later. This can slow the eviction process considerably.
For more information about Kansas Eviction Laws please go to:
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