Practice Area: Real Property & Landlord Tenant


December 5, 2018

One of the many changes that went into effect with the tax overhaul earlier this year was the deductibility of interest accruing from home-equity debt. Previously, homeowners could deduct the interest from up to $100,000 of home-equity debt borrowed for any purpose. For example, if you borrowed $20,000 against your home to pay for a […]


A difficult question many Iowans face is whether they should consider, or whether they can even afford, to place themselves or a loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living center. Iowa responded to this question by creating the Home-and-Community-Based-Services (HCBS) program. Iowa designed this program to provide disabled or elderly Iowans with additional options […]


July 25, 2018

A growing trend among prospective homeowners is to purchase a home, especially rental homes, in the name of a limited liability company, or “LLC.” Business owners favor LLCs for the liability protection they provide in the event of a lawsuit. For example, if someone is injured at John Smith’s pumpkin patch, John Smith’s personal assets […]

Kelsey Leppert Joins Grefe & Sidney’s Corporate Division

November 18, 2016

  We are pleased to welcome Kelsey R. Leppert to our Corporate Division.  Kelsey joined the firm in September 2016, following her admission to the Iowa Bar.  Her practice areas include Estate Planning & Probate, Business Law, Real Estate Law, and Taxation.  She lives in Pella and divides her time between the firm’s Des Moines […]

Supreme Court Finds Violation of Local Ordinance Constitutes Negligence Per Se

July 8, 2016

The Supreme Court of Iowa ordered a new trial in a wrongful-death action arising from a fatal fall from an apartment balcony. The case presented several issues on the applicability of the negligence per se doctrine to an alleged municipal housing code violation. In 2011, Shannon Potts was drinking with friends in a Des Moines […]

Landlord Cannot Shift Financial Duty to Maintain Fit Premises

May 9, 2016

In two recent Supreme Court cases, the Court held a landlord cannot shift the financial costs of repairs necessary to comply with its duty of fitness and habitability under the Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. In De Stefano v. Apts. Downtown, Inc., and Caruso v. Apts. Downtown, Inc., the Supreme Court of Iowa […]

Tax Tips When Selling Your Home

July 8, 2015

If you are looking to sell your home, there are several tax rules that you should be aware of.  Generally, the IRS treats a gain or loss from the sale of your home differently than it treats a gain or loss from the sale of other property or assets.   Publication 523 from the IRS […]

Violation of Municipal Code Is Evidence of Negligence, Not Negligence Per Se

June 23, 2015

Negligence per se is the violation of an absolute standard of care, which must be ordained by a state legislative body or an administrative agency regulating on a statewide basis under authority of the legislature that is to be followed unwavering in all instances.  In a case warranting such an instruction, the jury is told […]

Property Line Disputes

May 14, 2015

It is a common occurrence – it is likely that either you or you someone you know has had a boundary line dispute with an adjacent neighbor. When a boundary dispute arises between neighboring property owners, the legal principle of “adverse possession” is often tossed around.  Adverse possession is a legal doctrine whereby ownership of […]