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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102505
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Iowa law. My fiancee suddenly decided to call off

Customer Question

Iowa law. My fiancee suddenly decided to call off engagement, and now evicting my 9 year old daughter and I. We have lived in the home she bought. I have always paid all utilities. She claims to have given me a 30 day notice. But 36 hours ago, she actually gave me one? I have been trying to find something quickly as possible. She is now going to have a 3 day notice to quit served and sent certified?! She has been emotionally abusive all year. But she claims it was me?! Idk what to do. She slept with me just a few weeks ago. There are no illegal drugs or firearms on the premises. I haven't even told my daughter as where will I tell her we are going or why?! I try to do all she asks. Live in basement. Barely any contact, then I go to bed and there is stuff piled there with vindictive notes. I am doing all I can, but if I don't have appropriate dwelling to move, my daughter's mother, whom lost in court for primary custody due to neglect will make this all even worse. I am desperate!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation.

If your name is ***** ***** the title of the home, then you do not own it and have no interest in it regardless of your prior engagement with the fiancee or your help with the property over that time. It also does not matter as to the emotional abuse claims, I am afraid, or whether or not someone did something illegal in the apartment.

What you and your daughter are considered is called "tenants at sufferance." That is, staying at the pleasure of the landlord, and that is her.

A tenant at sufferance has few rights, but one of these rights is to be evicted. So in other words, one cannot simply physically kick them out of the home. You must be evicted like a tenant who has not paid rent.

Under Iowa Code, section 562.4, a tenant at sufferance seems to receive the same rights as a "tenant at will" (a closely related definition) meaning that they can demand a 30 days notice in writing before eviction.

If she claims that she has already given you a 30 days notice and it has been 30 days, and tries to file for an eviction, someone in your situation can tell the Judge at the hearing that it has NOT been 30 days and one only received notice 36 hours ago. The Court - if it believes you - will likely disallow the eviction and ask her to refile after 30 days has passed since the written notice.

Good luck.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand about the being pretty much at her mercy. Believe me I know! She is operating that as far as the law sees it, I am a tenant. And I also know that in respects to that, the only way she can give 3 day Notice to Quit is either for failure to pay "rent". Which I already paid all the monthly bills. Or due to "clear and present"- presenting a danger or threatening, illegal use of firearm, or in possession of an illegal substance. Not of those are true, unless her projection of "emotional abuse" could hold water. There isn't any proof of any other Notice?! Except the one I have in my possession now?! On those grounds, how can I protect myself?! Honetly, everything you just told me, I already know... and cannot believe I paid $58 for the obvious. Except what to do to protect My daughter and I?! I shouod have known, she is a licensed social worker, and we were going to have a "better relationship" when she finished her second Masters degree in clinical counseling And her internship to be a licenced therapist. Which just got over at the same time she did this. Wow, was I a chump. But I am not the concern. I have multiple exchanges stating that I am adhering to nearly all her requests, save hiding my daughter and I in the basement. And when my daughter is at her mother's every weekend... I DO hide! So besides what to do abiut the 3 Day I asked about initially, if I am a tenant... according to Iowa Tenant-Lanlord: Landlord’s breach of implied covenant of quiet enjoyment. All leases in Iowa have an implied promise that the landlord will interfere with the tenant’s right to enjoy the property. By not remedying a dangerous condition or by performing some act that interferes with the tenant’s right to a fit and habitable premises, the court may permit a tenant to vacate with no further obligations or to pay a reduced rent for the period of the breach. Thoughts so I might get more for that money?! Thanks!
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Honetly, everything you just told me, I already know... and cannot believe I paid $58 for the obvious.

Keep in mind that just because you know it does not mean it is incorrect. You asked for an expert's opinion and this is what you are receiving. You are paying for confirmation/explanation, and not just new information.

1) If she claims to have given notice, but you state that you have not received it or it has not yet been 30 days, then the Court looks to each party's testimony and makes a decision. This is why many landlords sent the notice via certified mail, or take a photo of it being posted on the door - etc. Without this, it is her word versus yours and it depends on whoever is more believable.

2) Your argument for warrant of habitability under Iowa Statutes §562A.15 et seq fails, I am afraid. This is actionable even if the tenant is a tenant at sufferance/will, but cannot be used as an affirmative defense against a valid notice/eviction (which this is). A warranty of habitability applies if the person continues to live in the property but basic needs are not met. If so, the tenant can often move out without liability for breach of the contract. This simply does not apply here. I am sorry.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!