How to Serve Eviction & Lease Termination Notices in Iowa

How to Serve Eviction & Lease Termination Notices in Iowa

Last Updated: November 21, 2022 by Marnie Snyder

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 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 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 in Iowa, rent is late the day after it’s due.

Acceptable Forms of Service in Iowa

A landlord can deliver notices in Iowa using any of the below acceptable methods:

  1. Handing the notice to the tenant in person;
  2. Handing the notice to a person of suitable age and discretion at the property AND mailing the notice by regular AND certified mail with a return receipt;
  3. Posting the notice in a conspicuous place at the premises, such as the entry door, AND mailing the notice by regular AND certified mail with a return receipt.

When sending the notice by regular AND certified mail, add four (4) calendar days to the notice period to account for variability in post office 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.
  • Regular and Certified 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.

Iowa Eviction & Lease Termination Notice Forms

Notice Form Grounds
3 Day Notice to Quit Eviction for Unpaid Rent
3 Day Notice of Termination Eviction for Incurable Breach

(Clear & Present Danger)

7 Day Notice to Comply or Vacate Eviction for Lease Violation
7 Day Notice to Vacate Eviction for Incurable Breach

(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

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