She provides utilities and heat. She has been putting the lockboxes in our apartments without amending our lease and without prior notice.
As a general proposition, your landlord is providing the heating and cooling and should have a reasonable ability to manage the temp. The only way to do so is to control the thermostats. If they are set at 50 degrees in winter and 85 degrees in summer, then locked down, it is probably unreasonable. Iowa code section 562A15.1.f. requires landlord to "supply...reasonable heat" and says nothing about air conditioning. If the thermostat is set at a reasonable temperature and then locked, and the HVAC system works properly, I am not sure the courts will apply the law to prohibit the landlord from locking you out of the thermostat.
If your question relates to notice of access to the unit or amending your lease, I see no reason why a lease amendment would be required or why a notice would be required to install the thermostat lock. If a proper 24 hour notice of access for repairs was given, the installation of the locking mechanism would not necessarily be unreasonable.
I'd suggest that yes, the landlord can do this, Section 8 or not. Prior notice or lease amendment isn't required.
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