Small Claims Assistance
Charging for Common Area Vandalism
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 vandalism in common areas by unknown third parties. While there is definitely a vandalism problem in Iowa City, it is unfair and illegal to try to make tenants responsible when they are not at fault. Legally tenants can be charged for their own negligence or deliberate damage or damage by their guests, but otherwise landlords are legally required to take care of all maintenance and repair in common areas.
Here is a Common Area Vandalism brief that gives the full legal explanation of why charging tenants for vandalism by unknown third parties in common areas 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