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Iowa Concern


For what reasons may a landlord withhold a deposit when the tenant moves out?

If a tenant leaves a forwarding address (or some other arrangement for delivery) then the landlord must return the deposit within 30 days and a written notice for the reasons that all or part of the deposit was not returned. The landlord has a right to keep all or part of the deposit only if there was unpaid rent under the original rent agreement or the tenant damaged the property other than “ordinary wear and tear.”  A landlord may NOT keep part of the deposit for ordinary wear and tear, which includes cleaning or shampooing of carpeting, washing of the walls and certain other reasonably expected problems. 
Reference: Iowa Code §562A.12(3) (1999)

Author: Iowa Concern Attorney

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Date last updated: 07/08/2002
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