Iowa Landlord Retaliation Laws

Iowa Landlord Retaliation Laws

Last Updated: April 24, 2023

Tenant Protected Actions
  • Health/Safety Complaints to Gov’t
  • Complaints to Landlord
  • Joining/Starting Tenants’ Organization
Landlord Retaliatory Actions
  • Raising Rent
  • Decreasing Services
  • Filing/Threatening Eviction
Penalties for Retaliation
  • End Lease
  • Repossess Property
  • Sue for Damages

When Is It Illegal for Landlords to Retaliate in Iowa?

It’s illegal for Iowa landlords to retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction against tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions in the past year:

  • Complaining to the landlord or government about habitability of the premises.
  • Participating in a tenant organization.

The law allows an exception when the landlord can prove a non-retaliatory, good-faith reason for the alleged retaliatory action. For example, a landlord who raises rent proportionately in response to a large increase in property tax is not retaliating, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.

What Can Tenants Do in Response in Iowa?

If a landlord retaliates in Iowa, the tenant can respond by suing for quiet enjoyment of the property, and can recover attorney fees, plus expenses associated with the retaliation.