Official State of Iowa Website

Icon of two people, one who is looking at a document and the other who is talkingThe Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and Other Law

The rental process can be affected by federal law, state law, and local law. For example, there are federal laws on discrimination in rental housing, state laws on how much of a security deposit a landlord can require, and local laws on standards for rental properties.

Our section on landlord/tenant law focuses on residential rental situations (meaning leasing a place to live), versus commercial rentals (leasing a space for your business).

An important state law related to renting a place to live is the Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, which is located at Iowa Code chapter 562A. The Act covers topics like landlord and tenant responsibilities, terms that cannot be included in leases, and security deposits, among other things.

What housing does the law apply to?

The law applies to rental agreements for most types of houses and apartments. This can include apartment buildings, single family homes, duplexes, rooms in houses or apartments, and other types of housing.

The law also applies to elder group homes and assisted living programs. See Iowa Code sections 231B.18 and 231C.19.

Is there housing that the law does not apply to?

There are certain residential rental situations that are not covered by the law. These include:

  • College dorms
  • Prisons
  • Non-profit transitional housing
  • Rent-to-own home purchases
  • Leasing a farm

You can find a full list of rental situations that are not included in Iowa Code section 562A.5.

For more information on landlord-tenant law in Iowa, visit Iowa Legal Aid’s Summary of Landlord and Tenant Law.