Is it stealing if the landlord takes tenant property off the patio and throws it in the dumpster?
Andrew Mollenbeck, a reporter with KCCI-TV8 reported about renters at an apartment complex in Johnston, Iowa having personal property owned by renters being disposed of in dumpster. The on-site regional management of the apartments reportedly declined to comment.
I can see why.
A renter signs a lease and the footprint he or she rented is theirs to control, subject to reasonable rules. The footprint is the floor space rented. The patios would be included. And property stored on that foot print is the renters, not the apartment management companies. When property is removed and disposed of it is essentially stolen.
A patio is not common area subject to the landlord’s control.
I would like to read a lease. Because I am going to guess that Iowa Code Chapter 562A restricts the landlord’s rights to remove and dispose of that property.
And why the Johnston Police Department would call this a civil matter, when it is easily proven the tenants have leases, is beyond me. As Bilichick would tell the police, “Do your job.”
And I would agree.
Resource: Johnston renters say grills and bikes on porch trashed
Residents say maintenance at the apartment complex cleared items from their patios. Some said they didn’t see notices put out ahead of time.
Iowa Code Chapter 562A