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Court won't review key case for Iowa City tenants

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The Iowa Supreme Court is letting stand a landmark appeals court ruling that approved a class-action lawsuit challenging the leasing policies of major Iowa City landlords.

The court said Friday it would not review the May ruling that ordered a trial in a class-action lawsuit brought by tenants of Iowa City landlord Tracy Barakalow.

The Iowa City Tenants' Project is bringing the case on behalf of University of Iowa students who live in off-campus apartments. Its lawyers contend that provisions that are routinely included in their leases are illegal and unfairly shift costs from landlords to tenants.

In particular, they're challenging provisions that allow landlords to automatically deduct carpet-cleaning fees from security deposits and to charge tenants for vandalism to common areas and the costs of routine repairs.