Plaintiff filed a negligence claim against a property owner after Plaintiff slipped and fell on an icy stairway.
Mark Thomas and Allyson Weaver represented the property owner who leased a single family residence to a tenant. Pursuant to a written lease agreement between the owner and tenant, lawn care and snow removal were the tenant’s responsibilities. Thomas and Weaver argued the landlord did not have a duty to maintain the premises. The court agreed, noting under Iowa law, a landlord and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant is responsible for maintenance tasks. The court held it was the tenant’s duty to exercise ordinary care for the safety of others and the tenant was responsible for snow and ice removal. Therefore, the landlord was not liable for Plaintiff’s slip-and-fall accident that occurred on the icy stairway.