Iowa Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 22, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

An Iowa residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a residential property and a tenant who wishes to rent it. A residential lease may, on or before move-in, additionally require a security deposit from the tenant as assurance against future property damage.

Iowa Residential Lease Agreement Disclosures

These disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in Iowa:

Disclosure Applicable To
Landlord’s Name and Address All Units
Shared Utility Meter Units Sharing a Utility Meter
CERCLA Units in the CERCLA Directory
Lead Paint All Units Built Before 1978

Landlord’s Name and Address

Applicable to all Iowa rentals.

Iowa leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice. This contact information is most often written in the lease agreement, for maximum convenience. The landlord has an obligation to notify the tenant in the event of a change in contact information.

Shared Utility Meter Disclosure

Applicable to Iowa rentals which share a utility meter.

Iowa landlords must disclose how charges are billed to individual tenants, including service fees, when multiple rental units share a utility meter for the whole building or property. This ensures tenants receive fair charges and understand what uses contribute to their bill.

This is an example of a shared utility meter 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 Iowa rentals which are listed in the CERCLA system.

Iowa properties listed in the directory of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as “Superfund,” must disclose this status in a rental agreement.

This is an example of a CERCLA 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 Iowa rentals built before 1978.

Iowa residential leases for property built before 1978 must, by federal law, contain a lead-based paint disclosure. This requires landlords to do the following:

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

Optional Disclosures and Addenda (Recommended)

The following lease agreement disclosures and addenda are not required by Iowa law in residential lease agreements, but assist with tenant management and help limit landlord liability.

Optional Disclosure Purpose
Asbestos Informs tenants about any asbestos hazards related to the property. Tenants can take precautions to reduce asbestos hazards by avoiding any disturbance of asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs Informs tenants whether the property or an adjacent unit has a history of suspected bed bug infestation, and reminds the tenant of the obligation to report suspected infestation immediately.
Late/Returned Check Fees Specifies late fees or returned check fees related to the lease. Iowa caps late fees at $12 per day or $60 per month for monthly rent below $700, $20 per day or $100 per week for monthly rent over $700. Returned check fees have a $30 cap.
Medical Marijuana Use Informs tenants about policy related to medical marijuana use on the rental property. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only, or allow use only in designated smoking areas.
Mold Disclosure Informs tenants about actual or suspected mold contamination on the property, along with any remediation efforts, to help limit landlord liability.
Move-In Checklist Takes inventory of existing property damage, when the tenant takes possession of the rental property. This enables accurate deductions from the security deposit upon move-out.
Non-Refundable Fees Charges not agreed by the tenant in the lease may be refundable upon lease termination. For Iowa landlords to charge a non-refundable fee, it must be disclosed and agreed as such in the lease.
Smoking Informs tenants of designated smoking areas that do not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of other tenants.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Mandatory disclosures outline important health, safety, and property information for the benefit of both landlord and tenant. A landlord who fails to provide federally or state-mandated disclosures could face legal consequences or monetary penalties, either from a tenant lawsuit or from state officials. Many lease provisions may be unenforceable without legally required disclosures.

Failure to comply with the federal lead-based paint hazard disclosure risks fines of tens of thousands of dollars per violation.