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SF 28

1st Engrossment - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 02/18/2022 11:22am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to real property; landlord and tenant; requiring payment of reasonable
attorney fees to redeem the tenancy in an eviction action for nonpayment;
authorizing agents to represent landlords in housing proceeding; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 504B.291, subdivision 1; proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 504B.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 504B.291, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Action to recover.

(a) A landlord may bring an eviction action for
nonpayment of rent irrespective of whether the lease contains a right of reentry clause. Such
an eviction action is equivalent to a demand for the rent. There is a rebuttable presumption
that the rent has been paid if the tenant produces a copy or copies of one or more money
orders or produces one or more original receipt stubs evidencing the purchase of a money
order, if the documents: (i) total the amount of the rent; (ii) include a date or dates
approximately corresponding with the date rent was due; and (iii) in the case of copies of
money orders, are made payable to the landlord. This presumption is rebutted if the landlord
produces a business record that shows that the tenant has not paid the rent. The landlord is
not precluded from introducing other evidence that rebuts this presumption. In such an
action, unless the landlord has also sought to evict the tenant by alleging a material violation
of the lease under section 504B.285, subdivision 5, the tenant may, at any time before
possession has been delivered, redeem the tenancy and be restored to possession by paying
to the landlord or bringing to court the amount of the rent that is in arrears, with interest,
costs of the action, and deleted text beginan attorney's fee not to exceed $5deleted text endnew text begin reasonable attorney feesnew text end, and by
performing any other covenants of the lease.

(b) If the tenant has paid to the landlord or brought into court the amount of rent in
arrears but is unable to pay the interest, costs of the action, and attorney's fees required by
paragraph (a), the court may permit the tenant to pay these amounts into court and be restored
to possession within the same period of time, if any, for which the court stays the issuance
of the order to vacate under section 504B.345.

(c) Prior to or after commencement of an action to recover possession for nonpayment
of rent, the parties may agree only in writing that partial payment of rent in arrears which
is accepted by the landlord prior to issuance of the order granting restitution of the premises
pursuant to section 504B.345 may be applied to the balance due and does not waive the
landlord's action to recover possession of the premises for nonpayment of rent.

(d) Rental payments under this subdivision must first be applied to rent claimed as due
in the complaint from prior rental periods before applying any payment toward rent claimed
in the complaint for the current rental period, unless the court finds that under the
circumstances the claim for rent from prior rental periods has been waived.

Sec. 2.

new text begin [504B.316] LANDLORDS; ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION NOT
REQUIRED.
new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any law or rule to the contrary, a court shall not require a landlord to
make an appearance or proceed in an action under this chapter solely with representation
by a licensed attorney if the landlord proceeds pro se or is represented by an agent.
new text end