Evictions for Rental Housing
Guidelines for Residential Evictions
Section 648 Code of Iowa
Step 1.) Three Day Notice
The sheriff's office does not supply these forms to the public anymore. There is a website that can be used, www.homeincdsm.org/tenant. At the top of the page go to tenant/landlord, do the drop down to "Handbook & Notices". Click to access handbook, scroll to bottom and view samples and generate your form. Please ensure that you use the correct form. This form must be served PERSONALLY on the tenant, mailed certified and regular mail to tenant and can be served by the landlord or the Sheriff’s Office.
Step 2.) Forcible Entry and Detainer
After waiting for three full days after the service of the Three Day Notice the landlord shall electronically file to obtain the Forcible Entry and Detainer notice forms. This notice MUST BE served on the tenant in accordance with the Code of Iowa.
An original notice such as a small claim can also be filed at this time for unpaid rent.
Step 3.) Eviction Hearing
When the Forcible Entry and Detainer is filed a court date will be given that both the landlord and tenant should attend to present their cases. Failure for the landlord to attend this hearing will result in a ruling for the tenant. The landlord should be prepared to present all documentation at this hearing, including the proof of service of the Three Day Notice and the Forcible Entry and Detainer and any other lease agreements, returned checks, photos or correspondence that will assist in presentation of their case.
After hearing the case, the judge will issue a ruling. If the ruling is for the landlord an Order of Removal will be issued and the landlord will receive a judgment. The landlord needs to print the Writ of Removal from the electronic filing website and present it to the Sheriffs office.
When the Writ of Removal arrives at the Sheriff’s Office, the landlord will be contacted by phone to schedule a date for the removal. Once the date is selected a notice will be posted by the Sheriff on the rental property advising the tenant of the removal date and time. This notice must be posted a minimum of three days prior to the removal date.
Step 4.) Removal Date
If the tenant still has not moved the following will occur:
On the date of the removal the landlord and a minimum of three other persons provided by the landlord will meet with the deputy at the property in question. The landlord and his associates are to move all of the tenant’s personal furniture and household items to public property as directed by the deputy and the Code of the State of Iowa. The landlord should bring boxes and trash bags to ease in the removal of the tenant’s belongings to the curb. Tools used to disassemble large items and an appliance dolly maybe needed. The landlord must use reasonable care when transferring personal possessions to the public property. If this occurs during inclement weather the landlord must provide a plastic cover for the items.
If the deputy arrives and the tenant will not leave the property, he/she will be advised that failure to do so will result in being arrested for trespassing and the removal of their personal possessions will proceed as described above.
Failure of the landlord to provide adequate help and/or equipment for the removal of the tenant’s personal belongings will result in the deputy postponing the Writ of Removal until the landlord acquires enough persons to remove the tenant’s belongings in a timely manner.
A landlord or his agent should not change the locks on any rental property until either the tenant has removed all property or the Writ of Removal has been executed.