Iowa Apartment Lease Agreement

An Iowa apartment lease agreement comes in various forms, from fixed-term and month-to-month contracts to written and oral contracts. However, all of these leases have specific legal aspects you must include. These terms and clauses give your contract a lawful purpose, and a court of law can enforce them. That’s why we delve into what specific terms and disclosures you must add to your contract when drawing it up.

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Iowa Apartment Lease Agreement

While an apartment lease can be written or oral, some exceptions exist. If the lease lasts for a fixed period of more than one (1) year, it must be in writing. The following clauses must be present in the agreement.

Security Deposit

  • Lessors can only charge up to two (2) months’ rent as the security deposit.
  • A lessor doesn’t need to provide a deposit receipt to the tenant when they receive it.
  • There are no requirements for a landlord to pay the lessee interest on their security deposit if the lease is less than five (5) years. However, they must pay the accrued annual interest to the tenants for leases longer than five (5) years.
  • The lessor can’t mingle the security deposit with their personal funds. Instead, the deposit can be held in a trust account with interest.
  • The lessor must return the security deposit within 30 days of the lease ending. A written statement of deductions should also accompany it.

Entry and Access 

  • Lessors must provide at least 24 hours’ notice before entering the premises.
  • They must enter during reasonable hours, which means business hours.
  • The landlords requires the lessee’s consent to enter the premises for non-emergency reasons. However, the lessee can’t unreasonably refuse the landlord entry in this case.
  • Lessors aren’t allowed to abuse this privilege to harass the tenant or enter the premises for unreasonable reasons.
  • Should it be an emergency, a landlord can enter the property without the tenant’s permission.

Pets Policy 

  • Iowa’s pet policies depend on the landlord and apartment complex. If the complex’s regulations prohibit pets, then even the landlord can’t approve pets in their apartment.
  • Should the lessor allow pets, they can ask for a pet deposit. This deposit is over and above the usual security deposit.
  • Pet policies can state the type or size of pets allowed in the apartment, with a fee if the lessee breaks it. Lessors can even start the eviction process for pet policy infractions.


There are a few disclosures landlords must provide:

  • Identification: Names and addresses of the property’s authorized agents.
  • Environmental: The lessor must notify the lessee if the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) lists the property.
  • Lead-Based Paint: Should the building be constructed before or during 1978, lessors must inform tenants about the presence of lead-based paint.
  • Shared Utilities: If tenants share meters, the landlord must inform them how they calculate the utility costs.
  • Radon Gas: Lessors must disclose if radon gas is on the property.
  • Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm: Lessors must state the presence and good condition of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.