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Iowa Termination of Lease for Noncompliance Law

Landlord Tenant – Lease Termination – Iowa

Sec. 562A.27 — Noncompliance with rental agreement–failure to pay rent:

1.  Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with section 562A.17 materially affecting health and safety, the landlord may deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than seven days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in seven days, and the rental agreement hall terminate as provided in the notice subject to the provisions of this section. If the breach is remediable by repairs or the payment of damages or otherwise and the tenant adequately remedies the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate. If substantially the same act or omission which constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six months, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement upon at least seven days’ written notice specifying the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement.
2.  If rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to pay rent within three days after written notice by the landlord of nonpayment and the landlord’s intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within that period of time, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement.
3.  Except as provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or section 562A.17 unless the tenant demonstrates affirmatively that the tenant has exercised due diligence and effort to remedy any noncompliance, and that the tenant’s failure to remedy any noncompliance was due to circumstances beyond the tenant’s control. If the tenant’s noncompliance is willful, the landlord may recover reasonable attorney’s fees.
4.  In any action by a landlord for possession based upon nonpayment of rent, proof by the tenant of the following shall be a defense to any action or claim for possession by the landlord, and the amounts expended by the claimant in correcting the deficiencies shall be deducted from the amount claimed by the landlord as unpaid rent:

a.  That the landlord failed to comply either with the rental agreement or with section 562A.15; and
b.  That the tenant notified the landlord at least seven days prior to the due date of the tenant’s rent payment of the tenant’s intention to correct the condition constituting the breach referred to in paragraph “a” at the landlord’s expense; and
c.  That the reasonable cost of correcting the condition constituting the breach is equal to or less than one month’s periodic rent; and
d.  That the tenant in good faith caused the condition constituting the breach to be corrected prior to receipt of written notice of the landlord’s intention to terminate the rental agreement for nonpayment of rent.

Sec. 562A.27A — Termination for creating a clear and present danger to others:

1.  Notwithstanding section 562A.27 or 648.3, if a tenant has created or maintained a threat constituting a clear and present danger to the health or safety of other tenants, the landlord, the landlord’s employee or agent, or other persons on or within one thousand feet of the landlord’s property, the landlord, after a single three days’ written notice of termination and notice to quit, may file suit against the tenant for recovery of possession of the premises pursuant to chapter 648, except as otherwise provided in subsection 3. The petition shall state the incident or incidents giving rise to the notice of termination and notice to quit. The tenant shall be given the opportunity to contest the termination in the court proceedings by notice thereof at least three days prior to the hearing.
2.  A clear and present danger to the health or safety of other tenants, the landlord, the landlord’s employees or agents, or other persons on or within one thousand feet of the landlord’s property includes, but is not limited to, any of the following activities of the tenant or of any person on the premises with the consent of the tenant:

a.  Physical assault or the threat of physical assault.
b.  Illegal use of a firearm or other weapon, the threat to use a firearm or other weapon illegally, or possession of an illegal firearm.
c.  Possession of a controlled substance unless the controlled substance was obtained directly from or pursuant to a valid prescription or order by a licensed medical practitioner while acting in the course of the practitioner’s professional practice. This paragraph applies to any other person on the premises with the consent of the tenant, but only if the tenant knew of the possession by the other person of a controlled substance.

3.  This section shall not apply to a tenant if the activities causing the clear and present danger, as defined in subsection 2, are conducted by a person on the premises other than the tenant and the tenant takes at least one of the following measures against the person conducting the activities:

a.  The tenant seeks a protective order, restraining order, order to vacate the homestead, or other similar relief pursuant to chapter 236, 598, or 915, or any other applicable provision which would apply to the person conducting the activities causing the clear and present danger.
b.  The tenant reports the activities causing the clear and present danger to a law enforcement agency or the county attorney in an effort to initiate a criminal action against the person conducting the activities.
c.  The tenant writes a letter to the person conducting the activities causing the clear and present danger, telling the person not to return to the premises and that a return to the premises may result in a trespass or other action against the person, and the tenant sends a copy of the letter to a law enforcement agency whose jurisdiction includes the premises. If the tenant has previously written a letter to the person as provided in this paragraph, without taking an action specified in paragraph “a” or “b” or filing a trespass or other action, and the person to whom the letter was sent conducts further activities causing a clear and present danger, the tenant must take one of the actions specified in paragraph “a” or “b” to be exempt from proceedings pursuant to subsection 1.

However, in order to fall within the exemptions provided within this subsection, the tenant must provide written proof to the landlord, prior to the commencement of a suit against the tenant, that the tenant has taken one of the measures specified in paragraphs “a” through “c”.


Inside Iowa Termination of Lease for Noncompliance Law