Iowa Landlord-Tenant Laws

Tenant Screening in Iowa

When screening tenants in Iowa the laws differ from other states. That’s why we’ve compiled an Iowa Tenant Screening Guide. In our guide you can find free resources and educational tips on screening tenants in your state.

Regarding Security Deposit

Iowa state law restricts the amount of security deposit that landlords can charge to two months’ rent.

The law requires landlords to place a tenant’s deposit in a unique, federally insured institution. The interest on this account for the first 5 years belongs to the landlord, not the tenant, according to Iowa law.

Tenant security deposits must be returned within 30 days after lease termination, either in full or with an itemized list of deductions.

Iowa laws concerning security deposits can be found in Iowa Code Title XIV Sec. 562A12.

Regarding Application Fees

Iowa law doesn’t limit the amount a landlord can charge for an application fee.

Regarding Tenant Bad Checks

Civil Penalties: Triple the value of the check not exceeding the value plus $500

Criminal Penalties: If it is considered a misdemeanor, then the tenant could get 30 days in jail, or a fine of up to $100. If it is considered a felony, then the tenant could get sentenced to 7 years in penitentiary, 1 year in jail, or a $500 fine.

Allowable Fees: $30

Regarding Notice of Termination for Nonpayment

A tenant will receive a 3-day notice to pay or quit for not paying rent. After that, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings according to Iowa Code § 562A.27(2).

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