Iowa Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 22, 2021 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 following disclosures are either 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.

Landlords, owners, or any authorized individuals that act on the landlord’s behalf must provide the tenant with their name and business address. Typically, this information is in the rental agreement so that future service of process, legal notices and demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered. The tenant should be notified immediately if there are any changes in contact information.

Utility Disclosure

Applicable to units that share utilities or do not directly deal with the utility company.

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 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 any rental property that is listed in the CERCLA system.

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 following 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 following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Iowa law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

  • Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the lease agreement or signed as a separate document.
  • Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. 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.
  • Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings or walls begin to deteriorate.
  • Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to a tenant’s negligence during the lease term.