Iowa regulates residential rental agreements through Chapter 562A of the state's statutes, the uniform residential landlord and tenant law. Subsections 562A.27 through 562A.33 detail the legal process of eviction, describing notice requirements, the eviction process and tenant recourse. Landlords must follow the legal eviction process to regain possession of the rental unit after terminating a tenant's lease to allow tenants fair and adequate notice.
A landlord cannot file for an eviction in Iowa before he provides the proper lease termination notice. Iowa leases can be terminated early if you do not pay your rent, do not follow all of the lease terms, willfully destroy property, disrupt the quiet enjoyment of other residences or use the home for illegal purposes. Other than that, the landlord cannot evict you.
Most termination notices for lease violations and nonpayment of rent include a way to restore tenancy by catching up on rent or fixing the violation. The Iowa tenant has the right to the full notice time to leave the home, and the landlord cannot do anything to try to harass or force the tenant to leave the home.
Once the termination notice period expires, the landlord can file for a forcible entry and detainer suit, the legal name of an eviction case. The landlord cannot file for the eviction before the termination period is up or the eviction case can be dismissed. An Iowa tenant has the right to defend himself in an eviction hearing. If the landlord is asking for more rent than is actually owed or is making up excuses to get you out of the home, you can attempt to get the eviction case dismissed during the hearing by providing evidence of this behavior in the form of lease documents, check receipts and cancelled checks and other relevant paperwork.
If the Iowa landlord wins the forcible entry and detainer suit, he is awarded with a Writ of Removal, which permits the sheriff's department to remove a tenant from a home; otherwise known as physical eviction. You have the right to appeal the court judgment awarding the Order and Writ of Removal as well as the right to receive a notice period to leave before the sheriff arrives.