language to be deleted (2) new language
relating to real property; landlord and tenant; requiring receipts for cash payments; providing for recovery of attorney fees under certain conditions; modifying procedures for tenant screening fees; providing for imposition of late fees; providing for eviction procedures for tenants of certain foreclosed property; making clarifying, conforming, technical, and other changes to landlord and tenant provisions;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 484.014, subdivision 3; 504B.173; 504B.178, subdivision 7; 504B.215, subdivision 2a; 504B.271, subdivisions 1, 2; 504B.285, by adding subdivisions; 504B.291, subdivision 1; 504B.365, subdivision 4; Minnesota Statutes 2009 Supplement, section 504B.285, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 504B.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
The court shall order expungement of an eviction case commenced solely on the grounds provided in section 504B.285, subdivision 1, clause (1), if the court finds that the defendant occupied real property that was subject to contract for deed cancellation or mortgage foreclosure and:
(1) the time for contract cancellation or foreclosure redemption has expired and the defendant vacated the property prior to commencement of the eviction action; or
(2) the defendant was a tenant during the contract cancellation or foreclosure redemption period and did not receive a notice under section 504B.285, subdivision 1, clause (1), to vacate on a date prior to commencement of the eviction case.
A landlord or the landlord's agent may not
charge an applicant a screening fee when the landlord knows or should have known that no rental unit is available at that time or will be available within a reasonable future time.
If the landlord or the landlord's agent does not perform a personal reference check or does not obtain a consumer credit report or tenant screening report, the landlord or the landlord's agent shall return any amount of the screening fee that is not used for those purposes.
The screening fee may be returned by mail, may be destroyed upon the applicant's request if paid by check, or may be made available for the applicant to retrieve.
a landlord or the landlord's agent, prior to taking an application fee from a prospective tenant, must
disclose on the application form or orally
the name, address, and telephone number of the tenant screening service the owner will use, unless the owner does not use a tenant screening service.
In addition to any other remedies, a landlord who violates this section is liable to the applicant for the application fee plus a civil penalty of up to $100, civil court filing costs, and reasonable attorney fees incurred to enforce this remedy.
The bad faith retention by a landlord of a deposit, the interest thereon, or any portion thereof, in violation of this section shall subject the landlord to punitive damages not to exceed $200 for each deposit in addition to the damages provided in subdivision 4. If the landlord has failed to comply with the provisions of subdivision 3 or 5, retention of a deposit shall be presumed to be in bad faith unless the landlord returns the deposit within two weeks after the commencement of any action for the recovery of the deposit.
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.
If a tenant abandons rented premises, the landlord may take possession of the tenant's personal property remaining on the premises, and shall store and care for the property. The landlord has a claim against the tenant for reasonable costs and expenses incurred in removing the tenant's property and in storing and caring for the property.
The landlord may sell or otherwise dispose of the property 60 days after the landlord receives actual notice of the abandonment, or 60 days after it reasonably appears to the landlord that the tenant has abandoned the premises, whichever occurs last, and
may apply a reasonable amount of the proceeds of the sale to the removal, care, and storage costs and expenses or to any claims authorized pursuant to section 504B.178, subdivision 3, paragraphs (a) and (b). Any remaining proceeds of any sale shall be paid to the tenant upon written demand.
Prior to the sale, the landlord shall make reasonable efforts to notify the tenant of the sale at least 14 days prior to the sale, by personal service in writing or sending written notification of the sale by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the tenant's last known address or usual place of abode, if known by the landlord, and by posting notice of the sale in a conspicuous place on the premises for at least two weeks.
If a landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control, in possession of a tenant's personal property, fails to allow the tenant to retake possession of the property within 24 hours after written demand by the tenant or the tenant's duly authorized representative or within 48 hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays, after written demand by the tenant or a duly authorized representative when the landlord, the landlord's agent or person acting under the landlord's direction or control has removed and stored the personal property in accordance with subdivision 1 in a location other than the premises, the tenant shall recover from the landlord punitive damages not to exceed $300 in addition to actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees.
In determining the amount of punitive damages the court shall consider (1) the nature and value of the property; (2) the effect the deprivation of the property has had on the tenant; (3) if the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control unlawfully took possession of the tenant's property; and (4) if the landlord, an agent, or other person under the landlord's direction or control acted in bad faith in failing to allow the tenant to retake possession of the property.
The provisions of this subdivision do not apply to personal property which has been sold or otherwise disposed of by the landlord in accordance with subdivision 1, or to landlords who are housing authorities, created, or authorized to be created by sections 469.001 to 469.047, and their agents and employees, in possession of a tenant's personal property, except that housing authorities must allow the tenant to retake possession of the property in accordance with this subdivision.
The person entitled to the premises may recover possession by eviction when:
(1) any person holds over real property:
(i) after a sale of the property on an execution or judgment; or
(ii) after the expiration of the time for redemption on foreclosure of a mortgage, or after termination of contract to convey the property, provided that if the person holding the real property after the expiration of the time for redemption or termination was a tenant during the redemption or termination period under a lease of any duration and the lease began after the date the mortgage or contract for deed was executed but prior to the expiration of the time for redemption or termination, and the person has received:
(A) at least two months' written notice to vacate no sooner than one month after the expiration of the time for redemption or termination, provided that the tenant pays the rent and abides by all terms of the lease; or
(B) at least two months' written notice to vacate no later than the date of the expiration of the time for redemption or termination, which notice shall also state that the sender will hold the tenant harmless for breaching the lease by vacating the premises if the mortgage is redeemed or the contract is reinstated;
(2) any person holds over real property after termination of the time for which it is demised or leased to that person or to the persons under whom that person holds possession, contrary to the conditions or covenants of the lease or agreement under which that person holds, or after any rent becomes due according to the terms of such lease or agreement; or
(3) any tenant at will holds over after the termination of the tenancy by notice to quit.
(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. 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 an attorney's fee not to exceed $5, 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.
In the Second and Fourth Judicial Districts, the housing calendar consolidation project shall retain jurisdiction in matters relating to removal of personal property under this section. If the plaintiff refuses to return the property after proper demand is made as provided in section 504B.271, the court shall enter an order requiring the plaintiff to return the property to the defendant and awarding reasonable expenses including attorney fees to the defendant.
Presented to the governor May 7, 2010
Signed by the governor May 11, 2010, 11:17 a.m.