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Iowa Code 562A.9 governs the terms and conditions of rental agreements. This section tells us what may be included in the rental agreement. Below are the basics of a rental agreement.
When is it paid?
What is accepted as payment and where is it accepted?
How long does the lease run?
What requirements of notice are needed when one or both parties would like to terminate the agreement?
In the case of roommates, who receives the deposit when the lease has been terminated?
Which utiliites do the landlord pay?
Which utilities do the tenant pay?
When is the tenant required to have the utilities turned on?
Assignment of the lease
What happens if the landlord sells the rental unit?
Can the tenant sublet?
What charges will be assessed for the tenant to sublease or to terminate the lease?
What rules must the tenant follow?
Who pays for which repairs?
Prohibited provisions in rental agreements
The following list of prohibited provisions in rental agreements comes from Iowa Code 562A.11.
1. Rental agreements shall not provide that the tenant or landlord:
Agrees to waive or to forego rights and remedies under 562A. (this does not cover single family residences on land assessed as agricultural land and located in an unincorporated area)
Authorizes a person to confess judgement on a claim arising out of the rental agreement.
Agrees to pay the other party's attorney fees
Agrees to the limitation of any liability of the other party arising under law or to indemnify the other party for that liability or the costs associated with it.
2. Any provision above is unenforceable and if a landlord uses one knowingly, the tenant can be awarded damages and attorney's fees.
Required Disclosure in writing
Iowa Code 562A.13 requires landlords to disclose to tenants in writing at or before the
commencement of their tenancy the following:
1. The person authorized to manage the premises.
2. The owner or his/her designee that will serve as a contact for being served legal notices and demands.
3. Utility rates, charges and services must be fully explained to prospective tenants before the rental agreement is signed unless the tenant pays for the utilities directly to another company.
4. Any rent increase notice must be delivered to the tenant, in writing, at least thirty days before the increase is to take effect. The increase's effective date can not be sooner that the expiration date of the original lease or any renewal that the landlord and tenant have agreed to.
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