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Landlord-Tenant and Rental Property

What is Forcible Entry and Detainer or FED?

“Forcible entry and detainer” (FED) is the legal proceeding a landlord uses to evict a tenant. The landlord must follow very specific steps, such as properly serving a notice to quit. The landlord must prove the right to take back the rented property and give the proper legal notice to the tenant. If the landlord does not give the right notice, the court may dismiss the case. See Iowa Code chapter 648.

If you are a tenant or renter and have been served with a notice to quit or other legal papers threatening eviction, you should talk to an attorney immediately.

Iowa Legal Aid has information available on housing and landlord-tenant issues that can be found on its website at: http://www.iowalegalaid.org/.

What is a Notice to Quit?

A “Notice to Quit” informs a renter (or tenant) that rent was not paid to the landlord on the day it was due or that the renter is causing a clear and present danger, and in either case the landlord intends to remove the renter. The notice gives the tenant a set number of days to pay the rent due or to move out of the rented space.

With a three-day notice of nonpayment of rent, the landlord cannot evict the tenant if the tenant pays the rent within three days of getting notice. If the tenant does not pay the rent within three days, the landlord may file an eviction case to have the tenant removed from the property. See Iowa Code section 562A.27(2).

A notice to quit may be filed if a person creates a clear and present danger to the health and safety of others. Common examples of clear and present danger include:

  • Physically assaulting or threatening another person.
  • Illegally using or possessing a firearm.
  • Possessing illegal drugs.

If the tenant did not create the danger and takes the proper steps to cure the danger, then the tenant cannot be evicted. See Iowa Code section 562A.27(1).

If you are a tenant or renter and have been served with a notice to quit or other legal papers threatening eviction, you should talk to an attorney immediately.

Does a Notice to Quit count weekends and holidays?

Yes, a notice to quit includes weekends and holidays.

I’ve been evicted, how do I get my stuff out of my house or apartment?

If you have possessions in the rental property after your eviction, to get your possessions back, you must make an application to the court in writing by efiling the application in your case, with a copy of the application provided to the opposing party. The judge will set a hearing to determine what property or possessions you may remove, when the removal will take place, and under what conditions.

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