Iowa Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: July 12, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

The Iowa residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) outlines the conditions of the residential use of real estate in exchange for rent payments. The landlord will usually have a tenant fill out an application before signing a lease to make sure they are qualified to pay the rent amount each month.

Iowa Lease Agreement Disclosures

The below disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in Iowa.

Disclosure Applicable to
Landlord’s Name/Address All Units
Shared Utility Meter All Units with Shared Utility Meters
CERCLA All Units in CERCLA System
Lead Paint All Units Built Prior to 1978
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Landlord’s Name & Address

Applicable to all rental units in Iowa.

Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.  This information should be provided at or before the commencement of the tenancy. Additionally, the tenant should be notified immediately if there are any changes in contact information.

Shared Utility Meter Disclosure

Applicable to units that share utility meters in Iowa.

If the utilities supplied to the dwelling unit are shared with another unit or common area and the utilities are paid by the landlord on the tenants’ behalf, the landlord must explain the breakdown of how utilities are charged and any service fees that will be charged to the tenant. If the tenant pays the utility company directly, this section does not apply.

The following notice is an example of sufficient disclosure:

UTILITIES: This rental unit shares the following utilities with another unit or common area:
[ ] Electricity
[ ] Water
[ ] Gas
[ ] Sewage
[ ] Other: _________________________________________

This lease uses the following method for calculating utility charges between Tenant(s):
[ ] Home Square Footage
[ ] Number of Tenants
[ ] Even Split Between Tenants
[ ] Other:___________________________________________________________

Tenant agrees to pay the monthly utility charge to Landlord, plus a $__ service charge as part of each month’s rental payment.

Download: Iowa Shared Utility Disclosure Form (PDF)

CERCLA (Superfund) Disclosure

Applicable to rental properties that are listed in the CERCLA system in Iowa.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as “Superfund” aims to reduce pollutants and contaminants in the environment. Some properties in Iowa are located and listed in the CERCLA directory and must be disclosed in the rental agreement.

The below notice is an example of sufficient disclosure:

CERCLA (SUPERFUND) DISCLOSURE. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this property is included in the “Superfund” system and may have been exposed to toxic contaminants and pollutants in the past.

Download: Iowa CERCLA/Superfund Disclosure Form (PDF)

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.

It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Iowa to:

  • Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
  • Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
  • Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.

Download: Iowa Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)

The below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Iowa law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

Optional Disclosure How the Disclosure is Helpful
Asbestos This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.
Late/Returned Check Fees Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement.  Iowa limits late fees up to $12 per day or $60 per month for rent below $700, and $20 per day or $100 per week for rents over $700. Returned checks fees may be assessed up to $30.
Medical Marijuana Use Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.
Mold Disclosure Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.
Move-in Checklist A move-in checklist holds the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause.
Non-Refundable Fees A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.
Smoking Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.

If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)

It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.

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