How Can a Rental Agreement Be Ended?

Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid LSC Funded
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(Section 562A.34, Code of Iowa)

Either a landlord or a tenant can end a rental agreement as follows:

  • If the arrangement is month-to-month, the person wanting to end the arrangement must give the other a written notice at least 30 days in advance of the intended ending date. The notice should actually say what the ending date will be, and the ending date must be a date when rent would normally be due.
  • If the arrangement is week-to-week, a written notice must be given at least 10 days before the termination date.
  • If the arrangement is for some exact period of time, such as 1 year, the arrangement will end automatically on the last day of the agreed period, unless the agreement also sets out some special procedures for renewal of the arrangement.
  • If a tenant moves out without giving proper advance notice, that tenant may be responsible for paying rent to the landlord for the rest of the agreed rental period. But a landlord in this situation has a duty to try to rent the place to a new tenant a soon as possible. If the landlord doesn't try reasonably hard to rerent the place, that landlord can't go after the old tenant for the rent the landlord supposedly lost due to the tenant's leaving. Also, if the landlord ends the lease before the lease is up, the tenant may not be responsible for the rent for the rest of the lease term.
  • A landlord or tenant may sometimes want to put an end to a rental agreement right away, without giving a 30 or 10 day notice, due to the other person's failure to live up to the agreement. Such situations are described in other articles posted on this website and in the Iowa Legal Aid Publication "A GUIDE TO LANDLORD TENANT LAW IN IOWA," especially the parts on eviction and on the duties of landlord and tenant.

Any tenant with problems involving an eviction should see an attorney for advice. 

Iowa Legal Aid provides help to low-income Iowans. 
To apply for help from Iowa Legal Aid:call 800-532-1275. 
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If Iowa Legal Aid cannot help, look for an attorney on “Find A Lawyer” on the Iowa State Bar Association website   A private attorney there can talk with you for a fee of $25 for 30 minutes of legal advice.
*As you read this information, remember this article is not a substitute for legal advice. 
Last Review and Update: Dec 27, 2007

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