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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 268-H.F.No. 979 
                  An act relating to landlords and tenants; providing 
                  that landlords may apportion utility payments among 
                  residential units; amending Minnesota Statutes 1999 
                  Supplement, section 504B.215, subdivision 2, and by 
                  adding a subdivision. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 
        504B.215, subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [SINGLE-METER UTILITY SERVICE PAYMENTS.] In a 
        residential leasehold contract entered into or renewed on or 
        after August 1, 1995, the landlord of a single-metered 
        residential building shall be the bill payer responsible, and 
        shall be the customer of record contracting with the utility for 
        utility services.  The landlord must advise the utility provider 
        that the utility services apply to a single-metered residential 
        building.  A failure by the landlord to comply with this 
        subdivision is a violation of sections 504B.161, subdivision 1, 
        clause (1), and 504B.221.  This subdivision may not be waived by 
        contract or otherwise.  This subdivision does not require a 
        landlord to contract and pay for utility service provided to 
        each residential unit through a separate meter which accurately 
        measures that unit's use only.  This subdivision does not 
        prohibit a landlord from apportioning utility service payments 
        among residential units and either including utility costs in a 
        unit's rent or billing for utility charges separate from rent. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 
        504B.215, is amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [CONDITIONS OF SEPARATE UTILITY BILLING TO 
        TENANT IN SINGLE-METER BUILDINGS.] If the landlord of a 
        single-metered residential building bills for utility charges 
        separate from the rent, the following conditions apply: 
           (1) prospective tenants must be provided notice of the 
        total utility cost for the building for each month of the most 
        recent calendar year; and 
           (2) an equitable method of apportionment and the frequency 
        of billing by the landlord must be predetermined and put in 
        writing for all leases. 
           The lease must contain a provision that, upon a tenant's 
        request, a landlord must provide a copy of the actual utility 
        bill for the building along with each apportioned utility bill.  
        Upon a tenant's request, a landlord must also provide past 
        copies of actual utility bills for any period of the tenancy for 
        which the tenant received an apportioned utility bill.  Past 
        copies of utility bills must be provided for the preceding two 
        years or from the time the current landlord acquired the 
        building, whichever is most recent. 
           The landlord of a single-metered residential building who 
        bills separately for utilities may if the landlord and tenant 
        agree provide tenants with a lease term of one year or more the 
        option to pay those bills under an annualized budget plan 
        providing for level monthly payments based on a good-faith 
        estimate of the annual bill. 
           By September 30 of each year, a landlord of a 
        single-metered residential building who bills for gas and 
        electric utility charges separate from rent shall inform tenants 
        in writing of the possible availability of energy assistance 
        from the low income home energy assistance program.  The 
        information must contain the toll-free telephone number of the 
        administering agency. 
           Sec. 3.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Section 1 is effective August 1, 2000, except that as of 
        the date following final enactment it is retroactive to August 
        1, 1995, only for leases which already included a provision that 
        a tenant will pay for utility charges separately from the rent, 
        provided no judicial or administrative court has rendered a 
        decision pertaining to that lease provision. 
           Section 2 is effective August 1, 2000, and applies to all 
        leases entered into, renewed, or modified after August 1, 2000, 
        which contain a provision that the tenant will be billed for 
        utility costs separate from rent. 
           Presented to the governor March 20, 2000 
           Signed by the governor March 23, 2000, 10:40 a.m.