Iowa Sublease Agreement

Last Updated: December 20, 2023 by Jessica Menefee

Iowa Residential Sublease Agreement Template_1 on

The Iowa sublease agreement is a legal contract that allows a tenant to rent out all or a portion of the property to a subtenant in exchange for regular payments.

Does a Tenant Need the Landlord’s Permission to Sublet in Iowa?

A tenant does have to get the landlord’s explicit written consent to sublet in Iowa. Even after consent is given, a landlord still has the right to reject a subtenant if they are unqualified, such as for having a low income or a criminal history. 

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Standard Iowa Sublease Agreements

Here’s what is generally included in an Iowa sublease agreement:

  • The Names of the Parties – The original tenant under the lease is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessor.” The third-party that is subleasing the rental unit is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessee.”
  • Rental Unit Location – The address for the rental unit as described in the original lease.
  • Term – List the exact date of the sublease beginning and ending date.
  • Master Lease Inclusion – A copy of the Master Lease is attached to the sublease. If any exceptions in the Master Lease are not included they should be clearly stated in this section.
  • Rent – List how much the rent is, when, and how to pay it.
  • Security Deposit – Iowa state law limits the maximum security deposit to two months’ rent. This security deposit is held by the Sublessor (not the landlord).
  • Pet Deposit – Landlords can collect an additional pet deposit in Iowa, however, the total security deposit cannot exceed two months’ rent.
  • Return of Security Deposit –Iowa landlords have 30 days after the lease term ends and the tenant provides their forwarding address or delivery instructions to return any remaining portion of the security deposit. If a tenant fails to provide a forwarding address or delivery instructions within one year after the lease term ends, they forfeit their right to the deposit.
  • Liability – The sublessee will be liable for any damages to the Sublessor. The Sublessor is responsible for paying for any damages as stated in the original lease agreement.
  • Authorized Occupants – A list that identifies the new tenant(s) and those who are authorized to live in the rental unit including any policy about short-term guests.
  • Inventory of Included Items – The list of items in the rental unit that are part of the sublease (furniture or appliances).
  • Lead-Based Paint Notice – Under Federal law, if the rental unit’s premises were built before 1978, the Sublessee must be given a written warning notice, called a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure.
  • Disputes – A description of how disputes between the Sublessor and Sublessee are to be settled, which may include mediation and binding arbitration to avoid more expensive legal proceedings.
  • General Conditions – A statement that the written sublease agreement contains all of the agreements between the parties and can only be modified by written consent of the parties to the agreement.
  • Utilities – The utilities to be paid by the Sublessor and those that are to be paid by the Sublessee.
  • Smoking Policy – If smoking is restricted in the rental unit and any designated smoking areas are identified in the sublease.
  • Landlord’s Consent – This section describes how the landlord is asked to consent (if consent is not already included in the Master Lease). Tenants may create a signed sublease that is conditional on being accepted by the landlord before the sublease becomes effective.

Tax Implications of a Sublease in Iowa

A sublessor may be subject to a 5% Iowa State Hotel Tax and an additional city or county tax if they sublet a property for 32 days or less.