Tenant Joan Walton sued landlord Martin Gaffey in 2014 saying some of the fees and charged in the lease — including carpet cleaning — were not legal. Walton also sought to have the lawsuit made a class action to include other tenants.
Gaffey contended the contested provisions are not prohibited under Iowa Code, and Walton has no claim because the provisions were never enforced against her.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled the carpet-cleaning provision is unenforceable, but left open the possibility that other fees and damages are recoverable by Gaffey and sent the case goes back to the district court for review.
The Supreme Court also reversed the class action ruling in favor of Walton, but says that does not rule out that Walton can establish the grounds for class action certification when the district court reviews the case.
The Supreme Court issued a similar ruling in a case involving tenants of Southgate Property Management. It also sent that case back to the district court for review.
Here’s the two rulings: