Court OKs Class-action Suit Over Apartment Leases

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An appeals court has certified a class-action lawsuit that seeks to invalidate provisions that are routinely included in apartment leases signed by University of Iowa students.

The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that tenants of landlord Tracy Barkalow can have a trial to challenge lease provisions that critics say are illegal and unfairly shift costs and liability from landlords to tenants.

The provisions being challenged include fees that are deducted from security deposits for cleaning regardless of an apartment's condition and requirements that tenants pay for damage in common areas and routine repairs.

The Iowa City Tenants Project, which is representing the plaintiffs, has said the class could include 240 tenants but the case will have a broader reach since those provisions are the ``industry standard.''



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