I’m an Iowa tenant and I don’t want to move out of my home. How can I avoid eviction? What are my Iowa tenant eviction rights?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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If you are an Iowa tenant who has been given notice that your lease is being terminated, you can try to negotiate with your landlord or wait for the landlord to take the matter to evictions court. If your landlord has given you notice to pay rent, you should pay your rent to avoid eviction. If you have breached the lease in another way, you should try to remedy that before the notice period is up. In the event that you do not believe you have done anything wrong, you should wait for the evictions hearing so you can argue your side. When your landlord files for eviction, you will receive something called an “original notice.” Once you receive this, go to the Iowa courts small claims website (see “getting help,” below) and download the “Appearance and Answer of Defendant” form. Fill this out and take it to your local district court clerk. The court will then assign the case to a hearing date. On that day, you must show up and argue your side against your landlord. If you don’t show up, default judgment may be entered against you.

You may wish to seek the advice of an experienced Iowa evictions lawyer, either to give you sound advice, help you defend against the eviction, or to advise you as to any rights you may have with respect to the circumstances surrounding the notice you received and the forcible entry and detainer action.

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