Iowa Landlord Facing Class Action for Wrongly Charging Tenants.

A landlord is legally obligated to keep rental properties safe for their tenants. Furthermore, a landlord is legally barred from taking advantage of tenants by charging unnecessary or excessive fees and penalties. If a tenant is physically injured because of the dangerous condition of an apartment, which is caused by the landlord’s negligence or recklessness, the tenant may be entitled to collect money damages as compensation. Furthermore, a tenant can file a lawsuit against a landlord if he or she wrongly charges the tenant for damage that the tenant did not cause or for charging unnecessary fees.

Thousands of tenants have filed a class action lawsuit against Apartments Downtown, an Iowa City, Iowa landlord group, for allegedly charging fees and penalties for things that the tenants were not responsible for. A judge has recently ruled that the lawsuit may continue. The judge found that the tenants’ leases violated the Iowa Landlord Tenant Act because the landlord group was charging illegal fines, penalties and fees.  

According to CBS 2 News, the tenants are being represented by attorney Christopher Warnock, who started these court proceedings over five years ago. The lawsuit alleges that tenants were being charged for maintenance repairs that they thought were included in the price of their rent. For instance, if a light bulb needed to be changed, tenants would be charged $40 at the end of the year. Likewise, tenants were charged a carpet-cleaning fee even if the carpets did not require cleaning. The landlord group also charged tenants a fee for subletting their apartments. Many of the tenants who were affected were students. These students also were being charged for damage that did not exist or that they did not cause. According to Warnock, the lawsuit involves millions of dollars in damages, but he is unsure of the exact amount.

If you or a loved one has been injured because of a landlord’s negligence or recklessness, please call 617-787-3700 now to speak with one of our expert Massachusetts premises liability attorneys now or email us at

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