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Landlords are obligated under the law to keep their rental units in a state of livability. This is called a "Warranty of Habitability. The infestation of bats is an issue of safety and health and needs to be repaired because it effects the habitability of the house.
Iowa law gives tenants the right to repair and deduct from the rent the costs of the repair. This is called repair and deduct. Under Iowa law the landlord may not evict you for doing this. Iowa law provides the tenant with a defense to an eviction action if the tenant can prove that: 1) the landlord failed to comply with the rental agreement or the local housing code; 2) the tenant notified the landlord in writing, at least 7 days prior to the rent being due, of his/her intention to have the repair made and deduct the cost from the rent; 3) the tenant waited at least 7 days after the landlord received the notice before deducting the cost from the rent; 4) the cost of the repair was less than or equal to one month's rent; and 5) the tenant in good faith caused the repair to be made prior to the receipt of the landlord's notice of eviction.
Here is a link to the law:
Here is a link to a useful guide book about your rights as a tenant:
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