Iowa Eviction Laws

Eviction Laws

Iowa eviction laws provide landlords with the following reasons for evicting tenants in the state.

Reasons for Eviction in Iowa

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Violation of lease terms
  • No lease or end of lease
  • Material health or safety violations
  • Illegal actions including:
    • Assault
    • Selling or using drugs
    • Owning an unregistered firearm

Notice to Vacate

The landlord must provide:

  • A 30-day notice to quit when a month-to-month or annual lease is over.
  • A three-day notice to quit for illegal actions committed within 1,000 ft. of the property.

Notice to Comply

The landlord must give:

  • A three-day notice to pay for nonpayment of rent.
  • A seven-day notice to cure or vacate for lease violations.
  • A seven-day notice to comply for health or safety violations. If the issue remains unresolved, then you can give a three-day notice to quit.

Learn more about the eviction process, including the average cost.

Serving the Tenant

  • Notice can be delivered by:
    • Handing the documentation to the tenant in person
    • Handing a copy to someone living there of legal age AND mailing a copy by regular AND certified mail with a return receipt
    • Posting the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises AND mailing the notice by regular AND certified mail with a return receipt
  • Summons and complaint must be served to the tenant by an individual who is not part of the eviction, by:
    • Giving a copy to the tenant in person
    • Leaving a copy with anyone over the age of 18 at the premises
    • Leaving a copy with the owner of the unit
    • Leaving a copy with the tenant’s family member
    • Posting in a conspicuous place on the premises AND mailing a copy by mail AND certified mail.

Tenant Possessions

Iowa eviction laws stipulate that landlords must notify tenants of any property left at the premises with a value greater than $50 with instructions that they have 30 days to retrieve abandoned property. If no one claims the property after 30 days, landlords can dispose of the property.

County-Specific Eviction Laws

Linn and Scott County have specific eviction requirements.

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Eviction Timeline

Below you’ll learn the average timeline for a complete eviction in Iowa. This projected timeline could change based on the complexities of your specific case.

Typically, the Iowa eviction process takes between three to eight weeks.

How to Start the Eviction Process in Iowa?

Serve your Notice on the Tenant. If not cured or vacated, filed FED action with the local court. Then, serve the tenant at least three days before the hearing date

An eviction hearing must be held eight days after the complaint is filed unless the landlord requests a later date, but it can be no later than 15 days from the date of filing.

If the tenant doesn’t appear in court or file an answer, a default judgment will be entered in favor of the landlord. A writ of possession will be issued and eviction shall proceed.

Tenants must move out within three days or the Sheriff will forcibly remove them.

How to Stop the Eviction Process in Iowa?

The tenant can cure the violation to stop the eviction process in Iowa. Alternatively, the landlord can file a motion to dismiss the suit.

How Long is the Eviction Process in Iowa?

On average, the Iowa eviction process takes three to eight weeks or longer, depending on circumstances.

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