Because of Iowa City's large student population, most leases here begin in August and end in July. This creates a situation where thousands of apartments must be inspected and put in move in condition in a very short period of time. Unfortunately, many landlords in Iowa City have dealt with this by drafting leases that run for less than 12 months, ending a week or more before the end of July and starting a week or more after the beginning of August. Many students are effectively rendered temporarily homeless and without a place to store their belongings during the lease gap.
SLS advises students to plan ahead for this situation and look for leases that run a full year if possible. University Housing and Dining has started a program that allows students affected by a lease gap to stay in a Residence Hall for $35 a night during a lease gap. More information is available here.