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562A.24 Landlord's noncompliance as defense to action for possession or rent.

1. In an action for possession based upon nonpayment of the rent or in an action for rent where the tenant is in possession, the tenant may counterclaim for an amount which the tenant may recover under the rental agreement or this chapter. In that event the court from time to time may order the tenant to pay into court all or part of the rent accrued and thereafter accruing, and shall determine the amount due to each party. The party to whom a net amount is owed shall be paid first from the money paid into court, and the balance by the other party. If rent does not remain due after application of this section, judgment shall be entered for the tenant in the action for possession. If the defense or counterclaim by the tenant is without merit and is not raised in good faith the landlord may recover reasonable attorney's fees.

2. In an action for rent where the tenant is not in possession, the tenant may counterclaim as provided in subsection 1, but the tenant is not required to pay any rent into court.

Section History: Early form

[C79, 81, 562A.24]

Internal References

Referred to in 648.19

562A.27 Noncompliance with rental agreement---failure to pay rent.

1. Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with section 562A.17 materially affecting health and safety, the landlord may deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than seven days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in seven days, and the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice subject to the provisions of this section. If the breach is remediable by repairs or the payment of damages or otherwise and the tenant adequately remedies the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate. If substantially the same act or omission which constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six months, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement upon at least seven days' written notice specifying the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement.

2. If rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to pay rent within three days after written notice by the landlord of nonpayment and the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within that period of time, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement.

3. Except as provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or section 562A.17 unless the tenant demonstrates affirmatively that the tenant has exercised due diligence and effort to remedy any noncompliance, and that the tenant's failure to remedy any noncompliance was due to circumstances beyond the tenant's control. If the tenant's noncompliance is willful, the landlord may recover reasonable attorney's fees.

4. In any action by a landlord for possession based upon nonpayment of rent, proof by the tenant of the following shall be a defense to any action or claim for possession by the landlord, and the amounts expended by the claimant in correcting the deficiencies shall be deducted from the amount claimed by the landlord as unpaid rent:

a. That the landlord failed to comply either with the rental agreement or with section 562A.15; and

b. That the tenant notified the landlord at least seven days prior to the due date of the tenant's rent payment of the tenant's intention to correct the condition constituting the breach referred to in paragraph "a" at the landlord's expense; and

c. That the reasonable cost of correcting the condition constituting the breach is equal to or less than one month's periodic rent; and

d. That the tenant in good faith caused the condition constituting the breach to be corrected prior to receipt of written notice of the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement for nonpayment of rent.

Section History: Early form

[C79, 81, 562A.27]

Section History: Recent form

95 Acts, ch 125, 6, 7

Internal References

Referred to in 562A.27A, 562A.29A, 562A.32, 648.3

562A.27A Termination for creating a clear and present danger to others.

1. Notwithstanding section 562A.27 or 648.3, if a tenant has created or maintained a threat constituting a clear and present danger to the health or safety of other tenants, the landlord, the landlord's employee or agent, or other persons on or within one thousand feet of the landlord's property, the landlord, after a single three days' written notice of termination and notice to quit, may file suit against the tenant for recovery of possession of the premises pursuant to chapter 648, except as otherwise provided in subsection 3. The petition shall state the incident or incidents giving rise to the notice of termination and notice to quit. The tenant shall be given the opportunity to contest the termination in the court proceedings by notice thereof at least three days prior to the hearing.

2. A clear and present danger to the health or safety of other tenants, the landlord, the landlord's employees or agents, or other persons on or within one thousand feet of the landlord's property includes, but is not limited to, any of the following activities of the tenant or of any person on the premises with the consent of the tenant:

a. Physical assault or the threat of physical assault.

b. Illegal use of a firearm or other weapon, the threat to use a firearm or other weapon illegally, or possession of an illegal firearm.

c. Possession of a controlled substance unless the controlled substance was obtained directly from or pursuant to a valid prescription or order by a licensed medical practitioner while acting in the course of the practitioner's professional practice. This paragraph applies to any other person on the premises with the consent of the tenant, but only if the tenant knew of the possession by the other person of a controlled substance.

3. This section shall not apply to a tenant if the activities causing the clear and present danger, as defined in subsection 2, are conducted by a person on the premises other than the tenant and the tenant takes at least one of the following measures against the person conducting the activities:

a. The tenant seeks a protective order, restraining order, order to vacate the homestead, or other similar relief pursuant to chapter 236, 598, or 910A, or any other applicable provision which would apply to the person conducting the activities causing the clear and present danger.

b. The tenant reports the activities causing the clear and present danger to a law enforcement agency or the county attorney in an effort to initiate a criminal action against the person conducting the activities.

c. The tenant writes a letter to the person conducting the activities causing the clear and present danger, telling the person not to return to the premises and that a return to the premises may result in a trespass or other action against the person, and the tenant sends a copy of the letter to a law enforcement agency whose jurisdiction includes the premises. If the tenant has previously written a letter to the person as provided in this paragraph, without taking an action specified in paragraph "a" or "b" or filing a trespass or other action, and the person to whom the letter was sent conducts further activities causing a clear and present danger, the tenant must take one of the actions specified in paragraph "a" or "b" to be exempt from proceedings pursuant to subsection 1.

However, in order to fall within the exemptions provided within this subsection, the tenant must provide written proof to the landlord, prior to the commencement of a suit against the tenant, that the tenant has taken one of the measures specified in paragraphs "a" through "c".

Section History: Recent form

92 Acts, ch 1211, 1; 95 Acts, ch 125, 8, 9

Internal References

Referred to in 562A.29A

562A.28 Failure to maintain.

If there is noncompliance by the tenant with section 562A.17, materially affecting health and safety, that can be remedied by repair or replacement of a damaged item or cleaning, and the tenant fails to comply as promptly as conditions require in case of emergency or within seven days after written notice by the landlord specifying the breach and requesting that the tenant remedy it within that period of time, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit and cause the work to be done in a competent manner and submit an itemized bill for the actual and reasonable cost or the fair and reasonable value of it as rent on the next date when periodic rent is due, or if the rental agreement has terminated, for immediate payment.

Section History: Early form

[C79, 81, 562A.28]

Section History: Recent form

85 Acts, ch 67, 50; 95 Acts, ch 125, 10

Internal References

Referred to in 562A.19

562A.29A Method of notice and service of process.

Notwithstanding sections 631.4 and 648.5, the written notice of termination required by section 562A.27, subsection 1, a notice of termination and notice to quit under section 562A.27A, a notice to quit as required by section 648.3, or a petition for forcible entry and detainer pursuant to chapter 648, may be served upon the tenant in any of the following ways:

1. By personal service.

2. By sending notice by certified or restricted certified mail, whether or not the tenant signs a receipt for the notice.

Section History: Recent form

92 Acts, ch 1211, 2

Footnotes

Definition of certified and restricted certified mail, see 618.15

562A.31 Landlord liens---distress for rent.

1. A lien on behalf of the landlord on the tenant's household goods is not enforceable unless perfected before January 1, 1979.

2. Distraint for rent is abolished.

Section History: Early form

[C79, 81, 562A.31]

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 section 562A.27.

Section History: Early form

[C79, 81, 562A.32]

Internal References

Referred to in 648.19

562A.33 Recovery of possession limited.

A landlord may not recover or take possession of the dwelling unit by action or otherwise, including willful diminution of services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of electric, gas, water or other essential service to the tenant, except in case of abandonment, surrender, or as permitted in this chapter.

Section History: Early form

[C79, 81, 562A.33]

562A.34 Periodic tenancy---holdover remedies.

1. The landlord or the tenant may terminate a week-to-week tenancy by a written notice given to the other at least ten days prior to the termination date specified in the notice.

2. The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month tenancy by a written notice given to the other at least thirty days prior to the periodic rental date specified in the notice.

3. If the tenant remains in possession without the landlord's consent after expiration of the term of the rental agreement or its termination, the landlord may bring an action for possession and if the tenant's holdover is willful and not in good faith the landlord, in addition, may recover the actual damages sustained by the landlord and reasonable attorney's fees. If the landlord consents to the tenant's continued occupancy, section 562A.9, subsection 4 applies.

Section History: Early form

[C79, 81, 562A.34]

Internal References

Referred to in 562A.14

631.4 Service---time for appearance.

The manner of service of original notice and the times for appearance shall be as provided in this section.

1. Actions for money judgment or replevin. In an action for money judgment or an action of replevin the clerk shall cause service to be obtained as follows, and the defendant is required to appear within the period of time specified:

a. If the defendant is a resident of this state, or if the defendant is a nonresident of this state and is subject to the jurisdiction of the court under rule of civil procedure 56.2, the plaintiff may elect service under this paragraph, and upon receipt of the prescribed costs the clerk shall mail to the defendant by certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt to the clerk requested, a copy of the original notice together with a conforming copy of an answer form. The defendant is required to appear within twenty days following the date service is made.

b. If the defendant is a resident of this state, or if the defendant is a nonresident of this state and is subject to the jurisdiction of the court under rule of civil procedure 56.2, the plaintiff may elect service under this paragraph, and upon receipt of the prescribed costs the clerk shall cause a copy of the original notice and a conforming copy of an answer form to be delivered to a peace officer or other person for personal service as provided in rule of civil procedure 52, 56.1 or 56.2. The defendant is required to appear within twenty days following the date service is made.

c. If the defendant is a nonresident of this state and is subject to the jurisdiction of the court under rule of civil procedure 56.2, the plaintiff may elect service in any other manner that is approved by the court as provided in that rule, and the defendant is required to appear within sixty days after the date of service.

d. If the defendant is a nonresident of this state and is subject to the jurisdiction of the court under section 617.3, the plaintiff may elect that service be made as provided in that section. The clerk shall collect the prescribed fees and costs, and shall cause duplicate copies of the original notice to be filed with the secretary of state and shall cause a copy of the original notice and a conforming copy of an answer form to be mailed to the defendant in the manner prescribed in section 617.3. The defendant is required to appear within sixty days from the date of filing with the secretary of state.

2. Actions for forcible entry or detention.

a. In an action for the forcible entry or detention of real property, the clerk shall set a date, time and place for hearing, and shall cause service as provided in this subsection.

b. Original notice shall be served personally upon each defendant as provided in rule 56.1 of the rules of civil procedure, which service shall be made at least three days prior to the date set for hearing. Upon receipt of the prescribed costs the clerk shall cause the original notice to be delivered to a peace officer or other person for service upon each defendant.

c. If personal service cannot be made upon each defendant, as provided in rule of civil procedure 56.1, the plaintiff may elect to post, after at least three attempts to perfect service upon each defendant, one or more copies of the original notice upon the real property being detained by each defendant at least five days prior to the date set for hearing. In such instances, the plaintiff shall also mail, by certified mail and first class mail, to each defendant, at the place held out by each defendant as the place for receipt of such communications or, in the absence of such designation, at each defendant's last known place of residence, a copy of the original notice at least five days prior to the date set for hearing. Under this paragraph, service shall be deemed complete upon each defendant by the filing with the clerk of the district court of one or more affidavits indicating that a copy of the original notice was both posted and mailed to each defendant as provided in this paragraph.

3. Actions for abandonment of mobile homes or personal property pursuant to chapter 555B.

a. In an action for abandonment of a mobile home or personal property, the clerk shall set a date, time, and place for hearing, and shall cause service to be made as provided in this subsection.

b. Original notice shall be served personally on each defendant as provided in section 555B.4.

Section History: Early form

[C73, 631.3--;631.5; C75, 77, 79, 81, 631.4]

Section History: Recent form

84 Acts, ch 1322, 2; 86 Acts, ch 1077, 2; 93 Acts, ch 154, 19, 20; 95 Acts, ch 125, 13

Internal References

Referred to in 562A.29A, 562B.27A, 631.3

648.3 Notice to quit.

Before action can be brought in any except the first of the above classes, three days' notice to quit must be given to the defendant in writing. However, a landlord who has given a tenant three days' notice to pay rent and has terminated the tenancy as provided in section 562A.27, subsection 2, or section 562B.25, subsection 2, if the tenant is renting the mobile home or the land from the landlord may commence the action without giving a three-day notice to quit.

Section History: Early form

[C51, 2365; R60, 3955; C73, 3614; C97, 4210; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, 12265; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, 648.3; 81 Acts, ch 183, 2]

Section History: Recent form

84 Acts, ch 1054, 1

Internal References

Referred to in 562A.27A, 562A.29A, 562B.25A, 562B.27A

Footnotes

Owner, landlord and tenant provisions, ch 562, 562A, 562B

648.4 Notice terminating tenancy.

When the tenancy is at will and the action is based on the ground of the nonpayment of rent when due, no notice of the termination of the tenancy other than the three-day notice need be given before beginning the action.

Section History: Early form

[C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, 12266; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, 648.4]

Footnotes

Farm tenancies, 562.5 to 562.7 ~ISee also 562.4, ch 562A, 562B

648.5 Jurisdiction---hearing---personal service.

The court within the county shall have jurisdiction of actions for the forcible entry or detention of real property. They shall be tried as equitable actions. Unless commenced as a small claim, a petition shall be presented to a district court judge. Upon receipt of the petition, the court shall order a hearing which shall not be later than seven days from the date of the order. Personal service shall be made upon the defendant not less than three days prior to the hearing. In the event that personal service cannot be completed in time to give the defendant the minimum notice required by this section, the court may set a new hearing date. A default cannot be made upon a defendant unless the three days' notice has been given.

Section History: Early form

[C51, 2367; R60, 3957; C73, 3616; C97, 4211; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, 12267; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, 648.5]

Section History: Recent form

86 Acts, ch 1130, 1; 95 Acts, ch 125, 14

Internal References

Referred to in 562A.29A, 562B.27A, 648.10, 648.19