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Guidelines for Iowa Residential Eviction
Non-Payment of Rent

Please note: This information and forms are applicable for residential evictions only

Section 648.3, Code of Iowa

RHOL includes the many of the basic forms necessary for evictions for non-payment of rent. However, most judges prefer to see the forms provided by their court clerk because they don't have to read the whole thing; they can just look at what has been filled in the blanks. This short summary of the legal procedure is targeted toward regaining possession of your property. It briefly touches on suits for the payment or recovery of back rent and damages owed to you. 

Step 1. Notice:  Send the tenant(s) a notice of nonpayment of rent or a notice to quit.

Step 2. Court Date: The landlord should  go to the Clerk of Court for Forcible Entry and Detainer notice forms. This notice may be served on the tenant by a Sheriff or by mailing. The notice must include the reason for the eviction, the date of the scheduled eviction hearing, and the signature of the landlord, or the landlord's attorney. The hearing will usually take place within seven days of the time the landlord filed the eviction notice.

Back rent and damages

In addition to evicting the tenant, the landlord may sue the tenant for unpaid rent or damage. Generally the date and time of the eviction hearing is set up automatically. The date and time will be on the Original Notice.

The hearing that is for the action of back rent or damages, is not automatically set up. The tenant must fill in a form and return it to the Clerk of Court. This form is usually included with all of the other papers. The tenant has twenty days to return this form and if they don't, they automatically lose. If the tenant does return the form, a hearing will be set up later.

Step 3. Eviction Hearing: The tenant must appear in court on the date stated or the tenant automatically loses. The landlord also loses if they don't show up. After hearing both sides of the story, the judge can rule for either party. If they rule for the landlord , an Order of Removal will be issued, and the landlord will receive a Writ of Removal.

If the tenant is not out by the date and time ordered, the Sheriff's office will remove the tenant and the tenant's property.

Unless the court rules otherwise, tenants who lose at the hearing could be evicted within one day. They could ask the court to order that they be allowed to stay a few days after the judgment, as long as they are out within three days. The judge is not obliged to allow them this time.

If the tenant wins, he or she can remain a tenant and the landlord may even have to pay the tenant any money the court finds is owed to the tenant.

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Iowa Non Payment of Rent Word
Iowa Non Payment of Rent PDF
Iowa Non Payment of Rent Word
Iowa Non Payment of Rent PDF
Iowa Checklist.pdf




  The information we have provided here is believed to be accurate and up-to-date except where indicated. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended, nor can it be used as legal advice. You are reminded that laws and regulations constantly change; we cannot make any representation, expressed or implied, that the information contained on our pages can be used without independent research of your state and local laws, or without professional legal advice. Nor can we determine how any particular statute would be interpreted in any way by any governmental agency or court.

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