Small Claims Assistance
Charging for Routine Maintenance or Ordinary Wear & Tear
By law, Iowa Code section 562A.15 landlords are required to repair and maintain apartments. Under Iowa Code section 562A.17 tenants are required to keep their units clean and to refrain from damage. Both the Clarks/Apartments Downtown, aka Apartments Near Campus and Michael's Properties, and Barkalow, aka Big Ten Property Management, have lease clauses that make tenants responsible for ALL damage to doors, windows, carpets and floors. The policy of the Clarks/Apartments Downtown appears to be to charge tenants for any damage in units, when they are not allowed to charge for damage due to ordinary wear and tear. Only extraordinary damage or damage due to the negligence or deliberate acts of tenants or their guests can be charged to tenants.
Here is a Routine Maintenance brief that gives the full legal explanation of why charging tenants for all damage and/or routine maintenance in their units is illegal.
Here is a link to return to the main small claims assistance page.
The Iowa City Tenants' Project is committed to tenants' rights and to fair play for both tenants and landlords. The Tenants' Project seeks to educate tenants and landlords about their legal rights and responsibilities and to empower tenants to vindicate their rights in court.
For further information go to the Iowa Tenants' Project Contact Page