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If you have a written lease agreement, you should carefully read it to determine the tenant's rights and obligations regarding terminating the lease. Typically, a written lease with a term of less than one year requires a one month notice. A written or unwritten lease, characterized by payment of rent on a weekly basis, typically requires a one week notice of termination if there is no designated expiration date.
The applicable Iowa statutes are as follows:
562.4 Tenant at will — notice to terminate.
A person in the possession of real estate, with the assent of the owner,
is presumed to be a tenant at will until the contrary is shown, and thirty
days' notice in writing must be served upon either party or a successor of
the party before termination of the tenancy. However, if a rent is reserved
payable at intervals of less than thirty days, the length of notice need
not be greater than the interval.
562.6 Agreement for termination.
If an agreement is made fixing the time of the termination of a tenancy,
whether in writing or not, the tenancy shall terminate at the time agreed
upon, without notice. Except for a farm tenant who is a mere cropper, a
farm tenancy with an acreage of forty acres or more shall continue beyond
the agreed term for the following crop year and otherwise upon the same
terms and conditions as the original lease unless written notice for
termination is served upon either party or a successor of the party in the
manner provided in section 562.7, whereupon the farm tenancy shall
terminate March 1 following. However, the tenancy shall not continue
because of an absence of notice if there is default in the performance of
the existing rental agreement.
562A.9 Terms and conditions of rental agreement.
1. The landlord and tenant may include in a rental agreement, terms and
conditions not prohibited by this chapter or other rule of law including
rent, term of the agreement, and other provisions governing the rights and
obligations of the parties.
2. In absence of agreement, the tenant shall pay as rent the fair rental
value for the use and occupancy of the dwelling unit.
3. Rent shall be payable without demand or notice at the time and place
agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the
dwelling unit and periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of
one month or less and otherwise in equal monthly installments at the
beginning of each month. Unless otherwise agreed, rent shall be uniformly
apportionable from day-to-day.
4. Unless the rental agreement fixes a definite term, the tenancy shall
be week-to-week in case of a roomer who pays weekly rent, and in all other
562A.32 Remedy after termination.
If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord may have a claim for
possession and for rent and a separate claim for actual damages for breach
of the rental agreement and reasonable attorney's fees as provided in