With over two million households receiving evictions per year, there's no doubt that every landlord should be prepared for the legal risks associated with this process. This guide is intended to help landlords in Council Bluffs, Iowa, understand their obligations when it comes to eviction. Staying compliant can help you regain possession of your property more quickly.
Here are some of the most important things you should know about evictions in Iowa.
Reasons for Eviction
In Iowa, the most common reason for eviction is late rent payments. However, rent isn't the only issue that calls for you to ask the tenant to leave. If the renter breaks a rule in the lease agreement or damages your property, these are valid reasons for eviction as well.
Complaints from many neighbors about the tenant's behavior are also grounds for eviction. It proves that the tenant is causing problems for the community and maybe a safety threat to other residents.
Begin With a Written Notice
According to Iowa eviction laws, the first step is to send a notice. What you'll need to do is draft a written notice and send it to the tenant.
It lets them know why the eviction process started (like late rent payments) and how much time they have to fix the problem, if possible. In Iowa, these notices should be sent at least three days before you wish to start eviction proceedings.
Depending on the reason for eviction, the notice period might vary. Non-payment of rent requires a three-day notice. Likewise, if a landlord thinks a tenant is dangerous, they can break the lease with a three-day notice.
A breach of lease agreements might require a seven or 30-day notice, depending on the specifics of the breach.
3-Day Notice to Quit
Property owners sometimes need to issue an additional notice after ending a tenancy, known as a "Notice to Quit." This isn't a move to end the tenancy, but rather, a directive for the tenant to vacate within three days. Circumstances that call for this include instances where:
A tenant has not remedied any other lease violations within seven days' notice
A repeat issue surfaces within six months, despite a prior seven-day notice to rectify it
A thirty-day termination notice has been given
As landlords, you must wait for three days after serving the 'Notice to Quit' before filing any eviction lawsuit. Doing so prematurely can lead to these cases being dismissed at the hearing.
Going to Trial
If the tenant doesn't comply with the notice, landlords should file a lawsuit. In Iowa, this is a Forcible Entry and Detainer action (FED). Through this legal process, landlords can reclaim their rental property.
How to Stay Compliant When Handling Evictions
Evictions are challenging but necessary when dealing with problematic tenants. Always start with a written notice and be sure to follow the recommended timeframe for each type of notice. Landlords in Council Bluffs can make this process less stressful by hiring a property management firm to handle evictions for them.
Contact PMI of the Midlands to subscribe to our eviction protection plan. In addition to managing the eviction procedure, we pay up to $2000 in connected legal fees.