While most evictions in Iowa are being postponed, Iowa Legal Aid litigation director Alex Kornya says tenants should still pay their rent or work out an agreement with their landlord.
“Landlords cannot terminate someone’s lease if they don’t pay rent,” Kornya says. “Now, this doesn’t mean that rent does not continue to accrue during this time, it just means that a landlord can’t terminate their lease during this time.”
While Iowans cannot be evicted for not paying rent, Kornya says they will have to pay, eventually. “The obligation to pay rent continues,” he says. “Rent will continue to accrue and at some point, when the moratoriums are lifted, the tenants are going to have to be able to either make arrangements with their landlords or pay all the rent that has accrued over this time.”
A state order postpones most evictions until April 17th, a date that may be pushed back still further. A federal moratorium on certain evictions extends until July, for people in qualifying housing programs and those living in properties with federally-backed mortgages.
More information is available on the Iowa Legal Aid website: iowalegalaid.org
(By Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)