How To Serve an Eviction Notice in Iowa

How To Serve an Eviction Notice in Iowa

Last Updated: March 30, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

In Iowa, in order for the delivery of a lease termination or eviction notice to be legal, certain rules and procedures must be followed. If they are not and the case proceeds to court, the case may be postponed or dismissed by a judge.

Who Can Serve Eviction Notices in Iowa?

In Iowa, landlords can serve eviction notices and lease termination notices themselves. Landlords may choose to hire a sheriff, process server or independent party over eighteen (18) years old to serve an official notice, but they are not required to do so by law.

When Can Eviction Notices Be Served in Iowa?

In Iowa, most lease termination and eviction notices can be served immediately on any day of the week and at any time of day.

For a 3 Day Notice to Quit, the eviction notice form is used for tenants that do not pay rent in full and on time, a landlord can serve notice the day after rent is due. There is no legal grace period for paying rent in Iowa, rent is late starting the day after it’s due.

Acceptable Forms of Service in Iowa

Iowa landlords may deliver an eviction notice to a tenant by any of the following methods: 

  1. Hand delivery to the tenant
  2. Hand delivery to the tenant’s spouse, if a reasonable person has cause to believe they live with the tenant
  3. Hand delivery to a person residing at the premises who is at least 18 years old (may be a roommate, family member, or manager/proprietor, if the residence is a rooming house, hotel, club or apartment building)
  4. Other form of delivery to the tenant, evidenced by an acknowledgment of delivery that is signed and dated by a resident of the dwelling unit who is at least 18 years of age
  5. Posting on the primary entrance door of the dwelling unit, PLUS mailing by both regular mail AND certified mail to the tenant’s dwelling or last known address

Mailed notice extends a notice period by four (4) calendar days, to account for variable delivery times.

Obtaining Proof of Service in Iowa

A landlord can demonstrate proof that a notice was delivered through the following methods:

  • Hand Delivery – by completing a Declaration of Service at the time of delivery
  • Mail – via a return receipt and by completing a Declaration of Service at the time of mailing
  • Posting at the Premises – by taking a photograph and completing a Declaration of Service at the time of delivery
  • Other Form of Delivery – by having a resident of the dwelling unit, at least 18 years of age, sign and date an acknowledgement of delivery

Iowa Eviction and Lease Termination Notice Forms

Notice Form Grounds
3 Day Notice To Quit Eviction for Unpaid Rent
3 Day Notice of Termination Eviction for Illegal Activity

(Clear & Present Danger)

7 Day Notice To Comply or Vacate Eviction for Lease Violation
7 Day Notice To Vacate Eviction for Repeat Lease Violation
10 Day Notice To Vacate Ending a Weekly Lease / No Lease
30 Day Notice To Vacate Ending a Monthly or Longer Lease / No Lease