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What Is an Iowa Rental Application?

In the state of Iowa, a rental application is a document that a landlord will use to find the best possible tenant. This document is essential to collecting all applicants’ information in a clear and concise form to protect both the landlord and prospective tenants.

For the landlord, this document protects him or her from renting an apartment to someone who cannot afford to pay rent or has a history of late payments and evictions. For the tenant, this ensures that they are treated fairly and that their information is collected in a fair and uniform fashion. Furthermore, rental applications must adhere to federal fair housing laws.

There are also fees associated with rental applications. Tenants should expect to pay between $25 to $75 per application.

Becoming a landlord? Download your free Iowa lease agreement now!

The Iowa Rental Application Process

The Iowa rental application allows landlords to verify a prospective tenant's background information and credit history before signing a lease agreement. In Iowa, there is no maximum for an application fee; the landlord may ask for any amount to recoup the costs associated with the application.

Landlords in Iowa are restricted to asking a maximum of two (2) months' rent for a security deposit.

A Sample Iowa Rental Application with Examples for Each Step

The rental application should include the following sections:

  • Prospective Property including complete address, type of unit, square footage, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, start date, and monthly rent
  • Personal Information about the Applicant including full name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number or any form of state ID (does not need to be issued by Iowa), current address, phone number/cell phone number, email address, and familial status/composition
  • Rental History for the last three rental addresses, including current/previous address(es), name and phone number of landlord/manager, rent paid, how long they lived at the address, and reason for leaving/if asked to leave
  • Employment History/Income/Assets including current/previous employer(s), address, position, dates of employment, supervisor name and phone number, annual salary/monthly income, other sources of income, monthly income, name, address, and phone number of provider, and bank account(s)/bank balance(s)
  • Expenses including prescription medicines, physician/dentist expenses, health insurance, and childcare/disability expenses
  • Other Occupants/Roommates including full name and relationship to the prospective tenant
  • Personal References (unrelated to the applicant) including name, occupation, address, phone number, and how long known
  • Emergency Contact including name, address, phone number(s), and relationship to the prospective tenant
  • Vehicles including make/model, year, and license plate number/state
  • Pet Information if any; if there are any restrictions regarding pets on the property, they should be listed on the rental application
  • Personal History/Statement including the need for a service animal or other disability/mobility needs, prior evictions, prior bankruptcies, and prior criminal convictions
  • Dated Agreement and Authorized Signature including consent to a credit/criminal background check

Rental Application Resources for Tenants in Iowa

Iowa Legal Aid                                    

Iowa State Bar Association     

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  

Iowa Rental Application Laws

Iowa’s laws on security deposit dictate that a landlord may not demand more than the equivalent of two months’ rent. Furthermore, a landlord must return the security deposit to a tenant no more than 30 days after the lease has been terminated (§ 562A.12 of the Iowa Code).

Download a PDF or Word Template

Iowa Rental Application

Iowa Rent Receipt

Iowa Lease Agreement

Iowa Sublease Agreement