I’m an Iowa landlord with a difficult tenant. I’ve given the tenant the proper Iowa termination notice, but he still won’t leave. What next? What is the Iowa eviction process?

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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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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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If you are an Iowa landlord and your tenant will not leave your property even though you have given him or her adequate Iowa termination notice, you should file an eviction suit. To file an eviction, go to the Iowa courts small claims website and download the “Action for forcible entry and detainer” form. Take this form (filled out) to your local district court clerk. You will have to pay an $85 filing fee. The court clerk will have this served on your tenant, who will then file his or her answer. Regardless of whether your tenant files an answer, the court will set a hearing date on which you will both be expected to show up to argue your sides. The judge will make his or her decision, and the loser has 20 days to appeal. If you win and the tenant still does not move, you will have to request the assistance of your local sheriff to remove the tenant. Ask you local court clerk about this process. Remember, never remove the tenant by yourself without an authority present. If you do, you may be liable for damages to the tenant.

If you are feeling overwhelmed at any time during this process, remember that you can always seek the advice and counsel of an experienced Iowa evictions attorney.

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