Iowa Rental Lease Agreements
The Iowa Rental Lease Agreements are documents that provide legal basis for a landlord to lease a property to a tenant for an agreed upon period of time in exchange for equal monthly payments. Each agreement outlines a number of key matters, including, but not limited to, the Term of the lease, Utility Responsibilities, the Due date of rent, Rent Amount ($), and Utilities and Services costs.
Landlords and tenants should note that there are two distinct residential landlord-tenant laws set out by the state of Iowa. That is, one for dwelling units (as outlined here), and one for mobile home spaces.
Types of Agreements
Association of Realtors Residential Lease Agreement – A document created by the Iowa Association of Realtors that can be used as either a standard one (1) year lease or as a non-terminating monthly based lease agreement.
Download – Adobe PDF
Commercial Lease Agreement – Outlines the rights and responsibilities of a landlord leasing a property to a commercial business as well as those of the business renting out the property.
Lease to Own Agreement – A special type of lease agreement that comprises of provisions that permit a tenant to purchase a rental property from the landlord during or at the completion of the rental period.
Month-to-Month Rental Agreement – Contains the terms and conditions relevant to leases conducted on a month-to-month basis, as opposed to a long-term basis of a year or more.
Roommate Agreement – Unlike a college roommate agreement, this agreement also has some legally-binding provisions, such as the payment of rent and utilities.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – This agreement is designed to reflect the state landlord-tenant laws of Iowa.
Sublease Agreement – If the landlord so permits it, a tenant can use this form to rent out part or all of the property they are leasing from the landlord to a third party.
What is an Iowa Lease Agreement?
An Iowa Lease Agreement is a legally-binding contract created with the intention of providing legal protections to both landlords and tenants. These protections are achieved by requiring both parties to uphold certain obligations relevant to the lease of a dwelling. Landlords have the opportunity to find an ideal tenant prior to entering an agreement by asking prospective tenants to complete a rental application.
State Definition (§ 562A.6(11) – “means an agreement written or oral, and a valid rule, adopted under section 562A.18, embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.”
When is Rent Due?
According to § 562A.9(3), rent must be paid whenever and wherever the parties came to an agreement about. Unless there are terms to the contrary, rent will need to be at the dwelling unit in equal monthly installments at the start of every month. For terms of one (1) month or less, periodic rent is payable at the beginning of the term. There is no state statute governing grace periods.
Emergency (§ 562A.19 A(2)): Landlord’s right to enter a rental property without notice in emergency situation is established by state law.
Non-Emergency (§ 562A.19 A): Unless it is impractical to do so, landlords must give tenants at a full day’s notice of the landlord’s plan to enter. Landlords may only enter at a “reasonable time,” which is generally interpreted to mean normal business hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Environmental Liability (§ 562A.13(6)) The landlord or person acting on their behalf must disclose in writing if the property is “listed in the comprehensive environmental response compensation and liability information system maintained by the federal environmental protection agency.” The disclosure must take place before the commencement of the tenancy.
- Lead Paint Disclosure: Landlords must disclose to tenants of any known lead paint hazards if the rented dwelling was built prior to 1978. Moreover, they must provide this pamphlet to tenants that discusses the matter.
- Names and Addresses (§ 562A.13): The landlord or a party they have granted the authority to act on their behalf are required to record their name and address in writing and provide this to the tenant at or before the commencement of the tenancy.
- Utility Rates (§ 562A.13(4)): Before the rental agreement has been signed, landlords or the party authorized to act on their behalf must fully explain utility rates, charges, and services to prospective tenants. That is, unless the tenant pays for such services directly to the utility company.
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum (§ 562A.12(1)): The maximum deposit a landlord may demand is two months’ rent equivalent.
Returning to Tenant (§ 562A.12(3)(a)): Landlords are required to give back the security deposit within thirty (30) days from the date the tenancy is terminated and the receipt of the tenant’s mailing address or delivery instruction. If for any reason the landlord will not return the full deposit, they must explain their reasoning to the tenant in a written statement.