Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

504B.271 TENANT'S PERSONAL PROPERTY REMAINING IN PREMISES.
    Subdivision 1. Abandoned property. 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.
    Subd. 2. Landlord's punitive damages. 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.
    Subd. 3. Storage. If the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's
direction or control has unlawfully taken possession of a tenant's personal property the landlord
shall be responsible for paying the cost and expenses relating to the removal, storage, or care
of the property.
    Subd. 4. Remedies additional. The remedies provided in this section are in addition to and
shall not limit other rights or remedies available to landlords and tenants. Any provision, whether
oral or written, of any lease or other agreement, whereby any provision of this section is waived
by a tenant, is contrary to public policy and void. The provisions of this section also apply to
occupants and owners of residential real property which is the subject of a mortgage foreclosure
or contract for deed cancellation and as to which the period for redemption or reinstatement
of the contract has expired.
History: 1999 c 199 art 1 s 35