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Table of Sections

2013 Minnesota Statutes

Chapter 504B. Landlord and Tenant

Chapter Sections
Section Headnote
504B.0001MS 2006 Renumbered 15.001

DEFINITIONS
504B.001Definitions

LEASING AND RENT
504B.101Distress for Rent
504B.111Written Lease Required; Penalty
504B.115Tenant to Be Given Copy of Lease
504B.118Receipt for Rent Paid in Cash
504B.121Tenant May Not Deny Title; Exception
504B.125Person in Possession Liable for Rent; Evidence
504B.131Rent Liability; Uninhabitable Buildings
504B.135Terminating Tenancy at Will
504B.141Urban Real Estate; Holding Over
504B.145Restriction on Automatic Renewals of Leases
504B.151Restriction on Residential Lease Terms for Buildings in Financial Distress; Required Notice of Pending Foreclosure

OBLIGATIONS AND COVENANTS
504B.155Tenant Must Give Cold Weather Notice before Vacation of Building
504B.161Covenants of Landlord or Licensor
504B.165Unlawful Destruction; Damages
504B.171Covenant of Landlord and Tenant Not to Allow Unlawful Activities
504B.172Recovery of Attorney Fees
504B.173Applicant Screening Fee
504B.175Prelease Deposit
504B.177Late Fees
504B.178Interest on Security Deposits; Withholding Security Deposits; Damages; Limit on Withholding Last Month's Rent
504B.181Landlord or Agent Disclosure

INSPECTION REPORTS AND CODE VIOLATIONS
504B.185Inspection; Notice
504B.195Disclosure Required for Outstanding Inspection and Condemnation Orders
504B.204Action for Rental of Condemned Residential Premises

TENANT'S RIGHTS
504B.205Residential Tenant's Right to Seek Police and Emergency Assistance
504B.206Right of Victims of Domestic Abuse to Terminate Lease
504B.211Residential Tenant's Right to Privacy

UTILITIES; INTENTIONAL OUSTER
504B.215Billing; Loss of Services
504B.221Unlawful Termination of Utilities
504B.225Intentional Ouster and Interruption of Utilities; Misdemeanor
504B.231Damages for Ouster

RESIDENTIAL TENANT REPORTS
504B.235Definitions
504B.241Residential Tenant Reports; Disclosure and Corrections
504B.245Tenant Report; Remedies

MISCELLANEOUS RIGHTS
504B.251Recording of Notice of Cancellation of Leases
504B.255Termination Notice Requirement for Federally Subsidized Housing
504B.261Pets in Subsidized Disability Accessible Rental Housing Units
504B.265Termination of Lease Upon Death of Tenant
504B.271Tenant's Personal Property Remaining in Premises
504B.275Attorney General's Statement; Distribution

EVICTION ACTIONS
504B.281Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer Prohibited
504B.285Eviction Actions; Grounds; Retaliation Defense; Combined Allegations
504B.291Eviction Action for Nonpayment; Redemption; Other Rights
504B.301Eviction Action for Unlawful Detention
504B.305Notice of Seizure Provision
504B.311No Eviction Action If Tenant Holds over for Three Years
504B.315Restrictions on Eviction Due to Familial Status
504B.321Complaint and Summons
504B.325Expedited Relief
504B.331Summons; How Served
504B.335Answer; Trial
504B.341Continuance of Trial
504B.345Judgment; Execution
504B.351Failure of Jury to Reach a Verdict
504B.355Form of Verdict
504B.361Forms of Summons and Writ
504B.365Execution of the Writ of Recovery of Premises and Order to Vacate
504B.371Appeals

RESIDENTIAL TENANT ACTIONS
504B.375Unlawful Exclusion or Removal; Action for Recovery of Possession
504B.381Emergency Tenant Remedies Action
504B.385Rent Escrow Action to Remedy Violations
504B.391Violations of Building Repair Orders

TENANT REMEDIES ACTION
504B.395Procedure
504B.401Summons
504B.411Answer
504B.415Defenses
504B.421Hearing
504B.425Judgment
504B.431Service of Judgment
504B.435Landlord's Right to Collect Rent Suspended
504B.441Residential Tenant May Not Be Penalized for Complaint
504B.445Administrator
504B.451Receivership Revolving Loan Fund
504B.455Removal of Administrator
504B.461Termination of Administration
504B.465Waiver Not Allowed
504B.471Purpose to Provide Additional Remedies
504B.0001 MS 2006 [Renumbered 15.001]

DEFINITIONS

504B.001 DEFINITIONS.

Subdivision 1.Applicability.

For the purposes of this chapter, the terms defined in this section have the meanings given them.

Subd. 2.Controlled substance.

"Controlled substance" means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through V of section 152.02. The term does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, intoxicating liquors, or tobacco.

Subd. 3.Distress for rent.

"Distress for rent" means the act of a landlord seizing personal property of the tenant or other person to enforce payment of rent.

Subd. 4.Evict or eviction.

"Evict" or "eviction" means a summary court proceeding to remove a tenant or occupant from or otherwise recover possession of real property by the process of law set out in this chapter.

Subd. 5.Housing-related neighborhood organization.

"Housing-related neighborhood organization" means a nonprofit corporation incorporated under chapter 317A that:

(1) designates in its articles of incorporation or bylaws a specific geographic community to which its activities are limited; and

(2) is formed for the purposes of promoting community safety, crime prevention, and housing quality in a nondiscriminatory manner.

For purposes of this chapter, an action taken by a neighborhood organization with the written permission of a residential tenant means, with respect to a building with multiple dwelling units, an action taken by the neighborhood organization with the written permission of the residential tenants of a majority of the occupied units.

Subd. 6.Inspector.

"Inspector" means the person charged by the governing body of the political subdivision in which a residential building is situated, with the responsibility of enforcing provisions of local law, the breach of which could constitute a violation as defined in subdivision 14, clause (1). If there is no such person, "inspector" means the county agent of a board of health as authorized under section 145A.04 or the chair of the board of county commissioners, and in the case of a manufactured home park, the state Department of Health or its designee.

Subd. 7.Landlord.

"Landlord" means an owner of real property, a contract for deed vendee, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee, agent, or other person directly or indirectly in control of rental property.

Subd. 8.Lease.

"Lease" means an oral or written agreement creating a tenancy in real property.

Subd. 9.License.

"License" means a personal privilege to do a particular act or series of acts on real property without possessing any estate or interest in real property. It may be created in writing or orally.

Subd. 10.Person.

"Person" means a natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint enterprise, or unincorporated association.

Subd. 11.Residential building.

"Residential building" means:

(1) a building used in whole or in part as a dwelling, including single-family homes, multiple-family units such as apartments, and structures containing both dwelling units and units used for nondwelling purposes, and includes a manufactured home park; or

(2) an unoccupied building which was previously used in whole or in part as a dwelling and which constitutes a nuisance under section 561.01.

Subd. 12.Residential tenant.

"Residential tenant" means a person who is occupying a dwelling in a residential building under a lease or contract, whether oral or written, that requires the payment of money or exchange of services, all other regular occupants of that dwelling unit, or a resident of a manufactured home park.

Subd. 13.Tenancy at will.

"Tenancy at will" means a tenancy in which the tenant holds possession by permission of the landlord but without a fixed ending date.

Subd. 14.Violation.

"Violation" means:

(1) a violation of any state, county or city health, safety, housing, building, fire prevention, or housing maintenance code applicable to the building;

(2) a violation of any of the covenants set forth in section 504B.161, subdivision 1, clause (1) or (2), or in section 504B.171, subdivision 1; or

(3) a violation of an oral or written agreement, lease, or contract for the rental of a dwelling in a building.

Subd. 15.Writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate.

"Writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate" means the writ set out in section 504B.361.


LEASING AND RENT

504B.101 DISTRESS FOR RENT.

The remedy of distress for rent is abolished.

504B.111 WRITTEN LEASE REQUIRED; PENALTY.

A landlord of a residential building with 12 or more residential units must have a written lease for each unit rented to a residential tenant. Notwithstanding any other state law or city ordinance to the contrary, a landlord may ask for the tenant's full name and date of birth on the lease and application. A landlord who fails to provide a lease, as required under this section, is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

504B.115 TENANT TO BE GIVEN COPY OF LEASE.

Subdivision 1.Copy of written lease to tenant.

Where there is a written lease, a landlord must give a copy to a tenant occupying a dwelling unit whose signature appears on the lease agreement. The landlord may obtain a signed and dated receipt, either as a separate document or an acknowledgment included in the lease agreement itself, from the tenant acknowledging that the tenant has received a copy of the lease. This signed receipt or acknowledgment is prima facie evidence that the tenant has received a copy of the lease.

Subd. 2.Legal action to enforce lease.

In any legal action to enforce a written lease, except for nonpayment of rent, disturbing the peace, malicious destruction of property, or a violation of section 504B.171, it is a defense for the tenant to prove that the landlord failed to comply with subdivision 1. This defense may be overcome if the landlord proves that the tenant had actual knowledge of the term or terms of the lease upon which any legal action is based.

504B.118 RECEIPT FOR RENT PAID IN CASH.

A landlord receiving rent or other payments from a tenant in cash must provide a written receipt for payment immediately upon receipt if the payment is made in person, or within three business days if payment in cash is not made in person.

History:

2010 c 315 s 2

504B.121 TENANT MAY NOT DENY TITLE; EXCEPTION.

A tenant in possession of real property under a lawful lease may not deny the landlord's title in an action brought by the landlord to recover possession of the property. This prohibition does not apply to a tenant who, prior to entering into the lease, possessed the property under a claim of title that was adverse or hostile to that of the landlord.

504B.125 PERSON IN POSSESSION LIABLE FOR RENT; EVIDENCE.

Every person in possession of land out of which any rent is due, whether it was originally demised in fee, or for any other estate of freehold or for any term of years, shall be liable for the amount or proportion of rent due from the land in possession, although it be only a part of the land originally demised. Such rent may be recovered in a civil action, and the deed, demise, or other instrument showing the provisions of the lease may be used in evidence by either party to prove the amount due from the defendant. Nothing herein contained shall deprive landlords of any other legal remedy for the recovery of rent, whether secured to them by their leases or provided by law.

504B.131 RENT LIABILITY; UNINHABITABLE BUILDINGS.

A tenant or occupant of a building that is destroyed or becomes uninhabitable or unfit for occupancy through no fault or neglect of the tenant or occupant may vacate and surrender such a building. A tenant or occupant may expressly agree otherwise except as prohibited by section 504B.161.

504B.135 TERMINATING TENANCY AT WILL.

(a) A tenancy at will may be terminated by either party by giving notice in writing. The time of the notice must be at least as long as the interval between the time rent is due or three months, whichever is less.

(b) If a tenant neglects or refuses to pay rent due on a tenancy at will, the landlord may terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant 14 days notice to quit in writing.

504B.141 URBAN REAL ESTATE; HOLDING OVER.

When a tenant of urban real estate, or any interest therein, holds over and retains possession after expiration of the lease without the landlord's express agreement, no tenancy for any period other than the shortest interval between the times of payment of rent under the terms of the expired lease shall be implied.

504B.145 RESTRICTION ON AUTOMATIC RENEWALS OF LEASES.

Notwithstanding the provisions of any residential lease, in order to enforce any automatic renewal clause of a lease of an original term of two months or more which states, in effect, that the term shall be deemed renewed for a specified additional period of time of two months or more unless the tenant gives notice to the landlord of an intention to quit the premises at the expiration of the term due to expire, the landlord must give notice to the tenant as provided in this section. The notice must be in writing and direct the tenant's attention to the automatic renewal provision of the lease. The notice must be served personally or mailed by certified mail at least 15 days, but not more than 30 days prior to the time that the tenant is required to furnish notice of an intention to quit.

504B.151 RESTRICTION ON RESIDENTIAL LEASE TERMS FOR BUILDINGS IN FINANCIAL DISTRESS; REQUIRED NOTICE OF PENDING FORECLOSURE.

Subdivision 1.Limitation on lease and notice to tenant.

(a) Once a landlord has received notice of a contract for deed cancellation under section 559.21 or notice of a mortgage foreclosure sale under chapter 580 or 582, or summons and complaint under chapter 581, the landlord may only enter into (i) a periodic residential lease agreement with a term of not more than two months or the time remaining in the contract cancellation period or the mortgagor's redemption period, whichever is less or (ii) a fixed term residential tenancy not extending beyond the cancellation period or the landlord's period of redemption until:

(1) the contract for deed has been reinstated or paid in full;

(2) the mortgage default has been cured and the mortgage reinstated;

(3) the mortgage has been satisfied;

(4) the property has been redeemed from a foreclosure sale; or

(5) a receiver has been appointed.

(b) Before entering into a lease under this section and accepting any rent or security deposit from a tenant, the landlord must notify the prospective tenant in writing that the landlord has received notice of a contract for deed cancellation or notice of a mortgage foreclosure sale as appropriate, and the date on which the contract cancellation period or the mortgagor's redemption period ends.

(c) This section does not apply to a manufactured home park as defined in section 327C.01, subdivision 5.

(d) A landlord who violates the requirements in this subdivision is liable to the lessee for a civil penalty of $500, unless the landlord falls under the exception in subdivision 2. The remedy provided under this paragraph is in addition to and shall not limit other rights or remedies available to landlords and tenants.

Subd. 2.Exception allowing a longer term lease.

This section does not apply if:

(1) the holder or the mortgagee agrees not to terminate the tenant's lease other than for lease violations for at least one year from the commencement of the tenancy; and

(2) the lease does not require the tenant to prepay rent for any month commencing after the end of the cancellation or redemption period, so that the rent payment would be due prior to the end of the cancellation or redemption period.

For the purposes of this section, a holder means a contract for deed vendor or a holder of the sheriff's certificate of sale or any assignee of the contract for deed vendor or of the holder of the sheriff's certificate of sale.

Subd. 3.Transfer of tenancy by operation of law.

(a) A tenant who enters into a lease under subdivision 2 is:

(1) deemed by operation of law to become the tenant of the holder immediately upon the holder succeeding to the interest of the landlord under the lease; and

(2) bound to the holder under all the provisions of the lease for either the balance of the lease term or for one year after the start of the tenancy, whichever occurs first.

(b) A tenant who becomes the tenant of the holder under this subdivision is not obligated to pay rent to the holder until the holder mails, by first class mail to the tenant at the property address, written notice that the holder has succeeded to the interest of the landlord. A letter from the holder to the tenant to that effect is prima facie evidence that the holder has succeeded to the interest of the landlord.

Subd. 4.Holder not bound by certain acts.

A holder succeeding to an interest in a lease lawfully entered into under subdivision 2 is not:

(1) liable for any act or omission of any prior landlord;

(2) subject to any offset or defense which the tenant had against any prior landlord; or

(3) bound by any modification of the lease entered into under subdivision 2, unless the modification is made with the holder's consent.


OBLIGATIONS AND COVENANTS

504B.155 TENANT MUST GIVE COLD WEATHER NOTICE BEFORE VACATION OF BUILDING.

Except upon the termination of the tenancy, a tenant who, between November 15 and April 15, removes from, abandons, or vacates a building or any part thereof that contains plumbing, water, steam, or other pipes liable to injury from freezing, without first giving to the landlord three days' notice of intention so to remove is guilty of a misdemeanor.

504B.161 COVENANTS OF LANDLORD OR LICENSOR.

Subdivision 1.Requirements.

(a) In every lease or license of residential premises, the landlord or licensor covenants:

(1) that the premises and all common areas are fit for the use intended by the parties;

(2) to keep the premises in reasonable repair during the term of the lease or license, except when the disrepair has been caused by the willful, malicious, or irresponsible conduct of the tenant or licensee or a person under the direction or control of the tenant or licensee;

(3) to make the premises reasonably energy efficient by installing weatherstripping, caulking, storm windows, and storm doors when any such measure will result in energy procurement cost savings, based on current and projected average residential energy costs in Minnesota, that will exceed the cost of implementing that measure, including interest, amortized over the ten-year period following the incurring of the cost; and

(4) to maintain the premises in compliance with the applicable health and safety laws of the state, and of the local units of government where the premises are located during the term of the lease or license, except when violation of the health and safety laws has been caused by the willful, malicious, or irresponsible conduct of the tenant or licensee or a person under the direction or control of the tenant or licensee.

(b) The parties to a lease or license of residential premises may not waive or modify the covenants imposed by this section.

Subd. 2.Tenant maintenance.

The landlord or licensor may agree with the tenant or licensee that the tenant or licensee is to perform specified repairs or maintenance, but only if the agreement is supported by adequate consideration and set forth in a conspicuous writing. No such agreement, however, may waive the provisions of subdivision 1 or relieve the landlord or licensor of the duty to maintain common areas of the premises.

Subd. 3.Liberal construction.

This section shall be liberally construed, and the opportunity to inspect the premises before concluding a lease or license shall not defeat the covenants established in this section.

Subd. 4.Covenants are in addition.

The covenants contained in this section are in addition to any covenants or conditions imposed by law or ordinance or by the terms of the lease or license.

Subd. 5.Injury to third parties.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the liability of the landlord or licensor of residential premises for injury to third parties.

Subd. 6.Application.

The provisions of this section apply only to leases or licenses of residential premises concluded or renewed on or after June 15, 1971. For the purposes of this section, estates at will shall be deemed to be renewed at the commencement of each rental period.

504B.165 UNLAWFUL DESTRUCTION; DAMAGES.

(a) An action may be brought for willful and malicious destruction of leased residential rental property. The prevailing party may recover actual damages, costs, and reasonable attorney fees, as well as other equitable relief as determined by the court.

(b) 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.

504B.171 COVENANT OF LANDLORD AND TENANT NOT TO ALLOW UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES.

Subdivision 1.Terms of covenant.

In every lease or license of residential premises, whether in writing or parol, the landlord or licensor and the tenant or licensee covenant that:

(1) neither will:

(i) unlawfully allow controlled substances in those premises or in the common area and curtilage of the premises;

(ii) allow prostitution or prostitution-related activity as defined in section 617.80, subdivision 4, to occur on the premises or in the common area and curtilage of the premises;

(iii) allow the unlawful use or possession of a firearm in violation of section 609.66, subdivision 1a, 609.67, or 624.713, on the premises or in the common area and curtilage of the premises; or

(iv) allow stolen property or property obtained by robbery in those premises or in the common area and curtilage of the premises; and

(2) the common area and curtilage of the premises will not be used by either the landlord or licensor or the tenant or licensee or others acting under the control of either to manufacture, sell, give away, barter, deliver, exchange, distribute, purchase, or possess a controlled substance in violation of any criminal provision of chapter 152. The covenant is not violated when a person other than the landlord or licensor or the tenant or licensee possesses or allows controlled substances in the premises, common area, or curtilage, unless the landlord or licensor or the tenant or licensee knew or had reason to know of that activity.

Subd. 2.Breach voids right to possession.

A breach of the covenant created by subdivision 1 voids the tenant's or licensee's right to possession of the residential premises. All other provisions of the lease or license, including but not limited to the obligation to pay rent, remain in effect until the lease is terminated by the terms of the lease or operation of law. If the tenant or licensee breaches the covenant created by subdivision 1, the landlord may bring, or assign to the county or city attorney of the county or city in which the residential premises are located, the right to bring an eviction action against the tenant or licensee. The assignment must be in writing on a form provided by the county or city attorney, and the county or city attorney may determine whether to accept the assignment. If the county or city attorney accepts the assignment of the landlord's right to bring an eviction action:

(1) any court filing fee that would otherwise be required in an eviction action is waived; and

(2) the landlord retains all the rights and duties, including removal of the tenant's or licensee's personal property, following issuance of the writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate and delivery of the writ to the sheriff for execution.

Subd. 3.Waiver not allowed.

The parties to a lease or license of residential premises may not waive or modify the covenant imposed by this section.

504B.172 RECOVERY OF ATTORNEY FEES.

If a residential lease specifies an action, circumstances, or an extent to which a landlord, directly, or through additional rent, may recover attorney fees in an action between the landlord and tenant, the tenant is entitled to attorney fees if the tenant prevails in the same type of action, under the same circumstances, and to the same extent as specified in the lease for the landlord.

History:

2010 c 315 s 3

504B.173 APPLICANT SCREENING FEE.

Subdivision 1.Limitations.

A landlord may not:

(1) 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;

(2) collect or hold an applicant screening fee without giving the applicant a written receipt for the fee, which may be incorporated into the application form, upon request of the applicant; or

(3) use, cash, or deposit an applicant screening fee until all prior applicants have either been screened and rejected, or offered the unit and declined to enter into a rental agreement.

Subd. 2.Return of applicant screening fee.

(a) The landlord must return the applicant screening fee if:

(1) the applicant is rejected for any reason not listed in the disclosure required under subdivision 3; or

(2) a prior applicant is offered the unit and agrees to enter into a rental agreement.

(b) If the landlord does not perform a personal reference check or does not obtain a consumer credit report or tenant screening report, the landlord must return any amount of the applicant screening fee that is not used for those purposes.

(c) The applicant 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.

Subd. 3.Disclosures to applicant.

If a landlord accepts an applicant screening fee from a prospective tenant, the landlord must:

(1) disclose in writing prior to accepting the applicant screening fee:

(i) the name, address, and telephone number of the tenant screening service the landlord will use, unless the landlord does not use a tenant screening service; and

(ii) the criteria on which the decision to rent to the prospective tenant will be based; and

(2) notify the applicant within 14 days of rejecting a rental application, identifying the criteria the applicant failed to meet.

Subd. 4.Remedies.

(a) In addition to any other remedies, a landlord who violates this section is liable to the applicant for the applicant screening fee plus a civil penalty of up to $100, civil court filing costs, and reasonable attorney fees incurred to enforce this remedy.

(b) A prospective tenant who provides materially false information on the application or omits material information requested is liable to the landlord for damages, plus a civil penalty of up to $500, civil court filing costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

504B.175 PRELEASE DEPOSIT.

Subdivision 1.Definition.

For the purpose of this section, "prelease deposit" means payment given to a landlord from a prospective tenant of a residential dwelling unit before the prospective tenant and the landlord have entered into a rental agreement. "Prelease deposit" does not include the payment of a reasonable applicant screening fee used to conduct a background check on the prospective tenant.

Subd. 2.Limitations.

(a) A prelease deposit may be accepted only if the landlord and prospective tenant enter into a conspicuous written agreement that includes:

(1) the circumstances under which it will be returned; and

(2) that the landlord is required to return the prelease deposit within seven days of the occurrence of a circumstance described in clause (1).

(b) "Return" means postmarked within seven days except that upon the prospective tenant's request, a landlord may destroy the payment or hold it for retrieval by the tenant instead of returning it by mail.

Subd. 3.Application on entry into rental agreement.

If a prospective tenant and landlord do enter into a rental agreement, the prelease deposit must be applied to that tenant's security deposit or rent.

Subd. 4.Remedies.

In addition to any other remedies, a landlord who violates this section is liable to the payor of the prelease deposit for the amount of the deposit paid, plus one-half of that amount as a penalty. A landlord who enters into a rental agreement with a tenant is not liable under this section unless the landlord failed to comply with subdivision 3.

504B.177 LATE FEES.

(a) A landlord of a residential building may not charge a late fee if the rent is paid after the due date, unless the tenant and landlord have agreed in writing that a late fee may be imposed. The agreement must specify when the late fee will be imposed. In no case may the late fee exceed eight percent of the overdue rent payment. Any late fee charged or collected is not considered to be either interest or liquidated damages. For purposes of this paragraph, the "due date" does not include a date, earlier than the date contained in the written or oral lease by which, if the rent is paid, the tenant earns a discount.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), if a federal statute, regulation, or handbook permitting late fees for a tenancy subsidized under a federal program conflicts with paragraph (a), then the landlord may publish and implement a late payment fee schedule that complies with the federal statute, regulation, or handbook.

504B.178 INTEREST ON SECURITY DEPOSITS; WITHHOLDING SECURITY DEPOSITS; DAMAGES; LIMIT ON WITHHOLDING LAST MONTH'S RENT.

Subdivision 1.Applicability.

Any deposit of money, the function of which is to secure the performance of a residential rental agreement or any part of such an agreement, other than a deposit which is exclusively an advance payment of rent, shall be governed by the provisions of this section.

Subd. 2.Interest.

Any deposit of money shall not be considered received in a fiduciary capacity within the meaning of section 82.55, subdivision 26, but shall be held by the landlord for the tenant who is party to the agreement and shall bear simple noncompounded interest at the rate of three percent per annum until August 1, 2003, and one percent per annum thereafter, computed from the first day of the next month following the full payment of the deposit to the last day of the month in which the landlord, in good faith, complies with the requirements of subdivision 3 or to the date upon which judgment is entered in any civil action involving the landlord's liability for the deposit, whichever date is earlier. Any interest amount less than $1 shall be excluded from the provisions of this section.

Subd. 3.Return of security deposit.

(a) Every landlord shall:

(1) within three weeks after termination of the tenancy; or

(2) within five days of the date when the tenant leaves the building or dwelling due to the legal condemnation of the building or dwelling in which the tenant lives for reasons not due to willful, malicious, or irresponsible conduct of the tenant,

and after receipt of the tenant's mailing address or delivery instructions, return the deposit to the tenant, with interest thereon as provided in subdivision 2, or furnish to the tenant a written statement showing the specific reason for the withholding of the deposit or any portion thereof.

(b) It shall be sufficient compliance with the time requirement of this subdivision if the deposit or written statement required by this subdivision is placed in the United States mail as first class mail, postage prepaid, in an envelope with a proper return address, correctly addressed according to the mailing address or delivery instructions furnished by the tenant, within the time required by this subdivision. The landlord may withhold from the deposit only amounts reasonably necessary:

(1) to remedy tenant defaults in the payment of rent or of other funds due to the landlord pursuant to an agreement; or

(2) to restore the premises to their condition at the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear excepted.

(c) In any action concerning the deposit, the burden of proving, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, the reason for withholding all or any portion of the deposit shall be on the landlord.

Subd. 4.Damages.

Any landlord who fails to:

(1) provide a written statement within three weeks of termination of the tenancy;

(2) provide a written statement within five days of the date when the tenant leaves the building or dwelling due to the legal condemnation of the building or dwelling in which the tenant lives for reasons not due to willful, malicious, or irresponsible conduct of the tenant; or

(3) transfer or return a deposit as required by subdivision 5,

after receipt of the tenant's mailing address or delivery instructions, as required in subdivision 3, is liable to the tenant for damages in an amount equal to the portion of the deposit withheld by the landlord and interest thereon as provided in subdivision 2, as a penalty, in addition to the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld by the landlord and interest thereon.

Subd. 5.Return of deposit.

Upon termination of the landlord's interest in the premises, whether by sale, assignment, death, appointment of receiver or otherwise, the landlord or the landlord's agent shall, within 60 days of termination of the interest or when the successor in interest is required to return or otherwise account for the deposit to the tenant, whichever occurs first, do one of the following acts, either of which shall relieve the landlord or agent of further liability with respect to such deposit:

(1) transfer the deposit, or any remainder after any lawful deductions made under subdivision 3, with interest thereon as provided in subdivision 2, to the landlord's successor in interest and thereafter notify the tenant of the transfer and of the transferee's name and address; or

(2) return the deposit, or any remainder after any lawful deductions made under subdivision 3, with interest thereon as provided in subdivision 2, to the tenant.

Subd. 6.Successor in interest.

Upon termination of the landlord's interest in the premises, whether by sale, assignment, death, appointment of receiver or otherwise, the landlord's successor in interest shall have all of the rights and obligations of the landlord with respect to the deposit, except that if tenant does not object to the stated amount within 20 days after written notice to tenant of the amount of deposit being transferred or assumed, the obligation of the landlord's successor to return the deposit shall be limited to the amount contained in the notice. The notice shall contain a stamped envelope addressed to landlord's successor and may be given by mail or by personal service.

Subd. 7.Bad faith retention.

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 $500 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.

Subd. 8.Withholding rent.

No tenant may withhold payment of all or any portion of rent for the last payment period of a residential rental agreement, except an oral or written month to month residential rental agreement concerning which neither the tenant nor landlord has served a notice to quit, or for the last month of a contract for deed cancellation period under section 559.21 or a mortgage foreclosure redemption period under chapter 580, 581, or 582, on the grounds that the deposit should serve as payment for the rent. Withholding all or any portion of rent for the last payment period of the residential rental agreement creates a rebuttable presumption that the tenant withheld the last payment on the grounds that the deposit should serve as payment for the rent. Any tenant who remains in violation of this subdivision after written demand and notice of this subdivision shall be liable to the landlord for the following:

(1) a penalty in an amount equal to the portion of the deposit which the landlord is entitled to withhold under subdivision 3 other than to remedy the tenant's default in the payment of rent; and

(2) interest on the whole deposit as provided in subdivision 2, in addition to the amount of rent withheld by the tenant in violation of this subdivision.

Subd. 9.Action to recover deposit.

An action, including an action in conciliation court, for the recovery of a deposit on rental property may be brought in the county where the rental property is located, or at the option of the tenant, in the county of the landlord's residence.

Subd. 10.Waiver.

Any attempted waiver of this section by a landlord and tenant, by contract or otherwise, shall be void and unenforceable.

Subd. 11.Tenancies after July 1, 1973.

The provisions of this section shall apply only to tenancies commencing or renewed on or after July 1, 1973. For the purposes of this section, estates at will shall be deemed to be renewed at the commencement of each rental period.

504B.181 LANDLORD OR AGENT DISCLOSURE.

Subdivision 1.Disclosure to tenant.

There shall be disclosed to the residential tenant either in the rental agreement or otherwise in writing prior to commencement of the tenancy the name and address of:

(1) the person authorized to manage the premises; and

(2) the landlord of the premises or an agent authorized by the landlord to accept service of process and receive and give receipt for notices and demands.

Subd. 2.Posting of notice.

(a) A printed or typewritten notice containing the information which must be disclosed under subdivision 1 shall be placed in a conspicuous place on the premises. This subdivision is complied with if notices posted in compliance with other statutes or ordinances contain the information required by this section.

(b) Unless the landlord is required to post a notice by section 471.9995, the landlord shall also place a notice in a conspicuous place on the property that states that a copy of the statement required by section 504B.275 is available from the attorney general to any residential tenant upon request.

Subd. 3.Service of process.

If subdivisions 1 and 2 have not been complied with and a person desiring to make service of process upon or give a notice or demand to the landlord does not know the name and address of the landlord or the landlord's agent, as that term is used in subdivision 1, then a caretaker or manager of the premises or an individual to whom rental payments for the premises are made shall be deemed to be an agent authorized to accept service of process and receive and give receipt for notices and demands on behalf of the landlord. In case of service of process upon or receipt of notice or demand by a person who is deemed to be an agent pursuant to this subdivision, this person shall give the process, notice, or demand, or a copy thereof, to the landlord personally or shall send it by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the landlord at the landlord's last known address.

Subd. 4.Information required for maintenance of action.

Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, no action to recover rent or possession of the premises shall be maintained unless the information required by this section has been disclosed to the tenant in the manner provided in this section, or unless the information required by this section is known by or has been disclosed to the tenant at least 30 days prior to the initiation of such action. Failure by the landlord to post a notice required by subdivision 2, paragraph (b), or section 471.9995 shall not prevent any action to recover rent or possession of the premises.

Subd. 5.Notice to landlord.

Any residential tenant who moves from or subleases the premises without giving the landlord at least 30 days written notice shall void any provision of this section as to that tenant.

Subd. 6.Successors.

This section extends to and is enforceable against any successor landlord or individual to whom rental payments for the premises are made.


INSPECTION REPORTS AND CODE VIOLATIONS

504B.185 INSPECTION; NOTICE.

Subdivision 1.Who may request.

If requested by a residential tenant, a housing-related neighborhood organization with the written permission of a residential tenant, or, if a residential building is unoccupied, by a housing-related neighborhood organization, an inspection shall be made by the local authority charged with enforcing a code claimed to be violated.

Subd. 2.Notice.

(a) After the local authority has inspected the residential building under subdivision 1, the inspector shall inform the landlord or the landlord's agent and the residential tenant or housing-related neighborhood organization in writing of any code violations discovered.

(b) A reasonable period of time must be allowed in which to correct the violations.

504B.195 DISCLOSURE REQUIRED FOR OUTSTANDING INSPECTION AND CONDEMNATION ORDERS.

Subdivision 1.Disclosure to tenant.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision 3, a landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control shall provide a copy of all outstanding inspection orders for which a citation has been issued, pertaining to a rental unit or common area, specifying code violations issued under section 504B.185, that the housing inspector identifies as requiring notice because the violations threaten the health or safety of the tenant, and all outstanding condemnation orders and declarations that the premises are unfit for human habitation to:

(1) a tenant, either by delivery or by United States mail, postage prepaid, within 72 hours after issuance of the citation;

(2) a person before signing a lease or paying rent or a security deposit to begin a new tenancy; and

(3) a person prior to obtaining new ownership of the property subject to the order or declaration. The housing inspector shall indicate on the inspection order whether the violation threatens the health or safety of a tenant or prospective tenant.

(b) If an inspection order, for which a citation has been issued, does not involve code violations that threaten the health or safety of the tenants, the landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's control shall post a summary of the inspection order in a conspicuous place in each building affected by the inspection order, along with a notice that the inspection order will be made available by the landlord for review, upon a request of a tenant or prospective tenant. The landlord shall provide a copy of the inspection order for review by a tenant or a prospective tenant as required under this subdivision.

Subd. 2.Penalty.

If the landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control violates this section, the tenant is entitled to remedies provided by section 8.31, subdivision 3a, and other equitable relief as determined by the court.

Subd. 3.Exception.

A landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control is not in violation of this section if:

(1) the landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control has received only an initial order to repair;

(2) the time allowed to complete the repairs, including any extension of the deadline, has not yet expired, or less than 60 days has elapsed since the expiration date of repair orders and any extension or no citation has been issued; or

(3) the landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control completes the repairs within the time given to repair, including any extension of the deadline.

Subd. 4.Landlord's defense.

It is an affirmative defense in an action brought under this section for the landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's control to prove that disclosure was made as required under subdivision 1.

Subd. 5.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.

504B.204 ACTION FOR RENTAL OF CONDEMNED RESIDENTIAL PREMISES.

(a) A landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control may not accept rent or a security deposit for residential rental property from a tenant after the leased premises have been condemned or declared unfit for human habitation by the applicable state or local authority, if the tenancy commenced after the premises were condemned or declared unfit for human habitation. If a landlord, agent, or a person acting under the landlord's direction or control violates this section, the landlord is liable to the tenant for actual damages and an amount equal to three times the amount of all money collected from the tenant after date of condemnation or declaration, plus costs and attorney fees.

(b) 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.


TENANT'S RIGHTS

504B.205 RESIDENTIAL TENANT'S RIGHT TO SEEK POLICE AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE.

Subdivision 1.Definitions.

In this section, "domestic abuse" has the meaning given in section 518B.01, subdivision 2.

Subd. 2.Emergency calls permitted.

(a) A landlord may not:

(1) bar or limit a residential tenant's right to call for police or emergency assistance in response to domestic abuse or any other conduct; or

(2) impose a penalty on a residential tenant for calling for police or emergency assistance in response to domestic abuse or any other conduct.

(b) A residential tenant may not waive and a landlord may not require the residential tenant to waive the residential tenant's right to call for police or emergency assistance.

Subd. 3.Local preemption.

This section preempts any inconsistent local ordinance or rule including, without limitation, any ordinance or rule that:

(1) requires an eviction after a specified number of calls by a residential tenant for police or emergency assistance in response to domestic abuse or any other conduct; or

(2) provides that calls by a residential tenant for police or emergency assistance in response to domestic abuse or any other conduct may be used to penalize or charge a fee to a landlord.

This subdivision shall not otherwise preempt any local ordinance or rule that penalizes a landlord for, or requires a landlord to abate, conduct on the premises that constitutes a nuisance or other disorderly conduct as defined by local ordinance or rule.

Subd. 4.Residential tenant responsibility.

This section shall not be construed to condone or permit any breach of a lease or of law by a residential tenant including, but not limited to, disturbing the peace and quiet of other tenants, damage to property, and disorderly conduct.

Subd. 5.Residential tenant remedies.

A residential tenant may bring a civil action for a violation of this section and recover from the landlord $250 or actual damages, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees.

Subd. 6.Attorney general authority.

The attorney general has authority under section 8.31 to investigate and prosecute violations of this section.

504B.206 RIGHT OF VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE TO TERMINATE LEASE.

Subdivision 1.Right to terminate; procedure.

(a) A tenant to a residential lease who is a victim of domestic abuse and fears imminent domestic abuse against the tenant or the tenant's minor children if the tenant or the tenant's minor children remain in the leased premises may terminate a lease agreement without penalty or liability as provided in this section. The tenant must provide advance written notice to the landlord stating that:

(1) the tenant fears imminent domestic abuse from a person named in an order for protection or no contact order;

(2) the tenant needs to terminate the tenancy; and

(3) the specific date the tenancy will terminate.

(b) The written notice must be delivered before the termination of the tenancy by mail, fax, or in person, and be accompanied by the order for protection or no contact order.

(c) For purposes of this section, an order for protection means an order issued under chapter 518B. A no contact order means a no contact order currently in effect, issued under section 629.75 or chapter 609.

Subd. 2.Treatment of information.

A landlord must not disclose information provided to the landlord by a tenant documenting domestic abuse under subdivision 1. The information must not be entered into any shared database or provided to any person or entity but may be used when required as evidence in an eviction proceeding, action for unpaid rent or damages arising out of the tenancy, claims under section 504B.178, with the consent of the tenant, or as otherwise required by law.

Subd. 3.Liability for rent; termination of tenancy.

(a) A tenant terminating a lease under subdivision 1 is responsible for the rent payment for the full month in which the tenancy terminates and an additional amount equal to one month's rent. The tenant is relieved of any other contractual obligation for payment of rent or any other charges for the remaining term of the lease, except as provided in this section.

(b) This section does not affect a tenant's liability for delinquent, unpaid rent or other amounts owed to the landlord before the lease was terminated by the tenant under this section.

(c) The tenancy terminates, including the right of possession of the premises, on the termination date stated in the notice under subdivision 1. The amount equal to one month's rent must be paid on or before the termination of the tenancy for the tenant to be relieved of the contractual obligations for the remaining term of the lease as provided in this section.

(d) For purposes of this section, the provisions of section 504B.178 are triggered as follows:

(1) if the only tenant is the tenant who is the victim of domestic abuse and the tenant's minor children, if any, upon the first day of the month following the later of:

(i) the date the tenant vacates the premises; or

(ii) the termination of the tenancy indicated in the written notice under subdivision 1; or

(2) if there are additional tenants bound by the lease, upon the expiration of the lease.

Subd. 4.Multiple tenants.

Notwithstanding the release of a tenant from a lease agreement under this section, if there are any remaining tenants the tenancy continues for those remaining tenants.

Subd. 5.Waiver prohibited.

A residential tenant may not waive, and a landlord may not require the residential tenant to waive, the tenant's rights under this section.

Subd. 6.Definition.

For purposes of this section, "domestic abuse" has the meaning given in section 518B.01, subdivision 2.

History:

2007 c 54 art 4 s 3; 2010 c 299 s 14

504B.211 RESIDENTIAL TENANT'S RIGHT TO PRIVACY.

Subdivision 1.Definitions.

For purposes of this section, "landlord" has the meaning defined in section 504B.001, subdivision 7, and also includes the landlord's agent or other person acting under the landlord's direction and control.

Subd. 2.Entry by landlord.

Except as provided in subdivision 5, a landlord may enter the premises rented by a residential tenant only for a reasonable business purpose and after making a good faith effort to give the residential tenant reasonable notice under the circumstances of the intent to enter. A residential tenant may not waive and the landlord may not require the residential tenant to waive the residential tenant's right to prior notice of entry under this section as a condition of entering into or maintaining the lease.

Subd. 3.Reasonable purpose.

For purposes of subdivision 2, a reasonable business purpose includes, but is not limited to:

(1) showing the unit to prospective residential tenants during the notice period before the lease terminates or after the current residential tenant has given notice to move to the landlord or the landlord's agent;

(2) showing the unit to a prospective buyer or to an insurance representative;

(3) performing maintenance work;

(4) allowing inspections by state, county, or city officials charged in the enforcement of health, housing, building, fire prevention, or housing maintenance codes;

(5) the residential tenant is causing a disturbance within the unit;

(6) the landlord has a reasonable belief that the residential tenant is violating the lease within the residential tenant's unit;

(7) prearranged housekeeping work in senior housing where 80 percent or more of the residential tenants are age 55 or older;

(8) the landlord has a reasonable belief that the unit is being occupied by an individual without a legal right to occupy it; or

(9) the residential tenant has vacated the unit.

Subd. 4.Exception to notice requirement.

Notwithstanding subdivision 2, a landlord may enter the premises rented by a residential tenant to inspect or take appropriate action without prior notice to the residential tenant if the landlord reasonably suspects that:

(1) immediate entry is necessary to prevent injury to persons or property because of conditions relating to maintenance, building security, or law enforcement;

(2) immediate entry is necessary to determine a residential tenant's safety; or

(3) immediate entry is necessary in order to comply with local ordinances regarding unlawful activity occurring within the residential tenant's premises.

Subd. 5.Entry without residential tenant's presence.

If the landlord enters when the residential tenant is not present and prior notice has not been given, the landlord shall disclose the entry by placing a written disclosure of the entry in a conspicuous place in the premises.

Subd. 6.Penalty.

If a landlord substantially violates subdivision 2, the residential tenant is entitled to a penalty which may include a rent reduction up to full rescission of the lease, recovery of any damage deposit less any amount retained under section 504B.178, and up to a $100 civil penalty for each violation. If a landlord violates subdivision 5, the residential tenant is entitled to up to a $100 civil penalty for each violation. A residential tenant shall follow the procedures in sections 504B.381, 504B.385, and 504B.395 to 504B.471 to enforce the provisions of this section.

Subd. 7.Exemption.

This section does not apply to residential tenants and landlords of manufactured home parks as defined in section 327C.01.


UTILITIES; INTENTIONAL OUSTER

504B.215 BILLING; LOSS OF SERVICES.

Subdivision 1.Definitions.

For the purposes of this section, "single-metered residential building" means a multiunit rental building with one or more separate residential living units where the utility service measured through a single meter provides service to an individual unit and to all or parts of common areas or other units.

Subd. 2.Single-meter utility service payments.

Except as provided in subdivision 3, 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.

Subd. 2a.Conditions of separate utility billing to tenant in single-meter buildings.

(a) A landlord of a single-metered residential building who bills for utility charges separate from the rent:

(1) must provide prospective tenants notice of the total utility cost for the building for each month of the most recent calendar year;

(2) must predetermine and put in writing for all leases an equitable method of apportionment and the frequency of billing by the landlord;

(3) must include in the lease a provision that, upon a tenant's request, the 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; and

(4) 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.

(b) 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 must 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.

(c) A failure by the landlord to comply with this subdivision is a violation of sections 504B.161, subdivision 1, clause (1), and 504B.221.

Subd. 2b.De minimis exception.

Any tariff approved by the Public Utilities Commission regarding a violation of subdivision 2 shall include a de minimis exception. The de minimis exception shall provide that electrical service in a common area that does not exceed an aggregate 1,752 kilowatt hours per year, which service is measured through a meter serving an individual residential unit, shall not cause a building to be a "single-metered residential building" as used in this section. The amount of common area usage may be determined by actual measurement or, when such measurement is not possible, it may be determined not likely to exceed 1,752 kilowatt hours per year by a licensed tradesperson or a housing inspector. The landlord shall bear the burden and cost associated with proving an exception.

If a tariff is not adopted, this subdivision shall have no effect.

Subd. 3.Procedure.

(a) A municipality, utility company, or other company supplying home heating oil, propane, natural gas, electricity, or water to a building who issues a final notice proposing to disconnect or discontinue the service to the building because a landlord who has contracted for the service has failed to pay for it or because a landlord is required by law or contract to pay for the service and fails to do so must provide notice to the residents of the impending disconnection by posting the building. The posting must be placed in at least one conspicuous location in or on the building and provide tenants with, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) the date the service will be discontinued;

(2) the telephone number to call at the utility to obtain further information;

(3) a brief description of the rights of tenants under this section to continue or restore service; and

(4) advice to consider seeking assistance from legal aid, a private attorney, or a housing organization in exercising the rights of tenants under Minnesota law to maintain their utility service.

A tenant or group of tenants may pay to have the service continued or reconnected as provided under this section. Before paying for the service, the tenant or group of tenants shall give oral or written notice to the landlord of the tenant's intention to pay after 48 hours, or a shorter period that is reasonable under the circumstances, if the landlord has not already paid for the service. In the case of oral notification, written notice shall be mailed or delivered to the landlord within 24 hours after oral notice is given.

(b) In the case of natural gas or electricity, if the landlord has not paid the bill by the time of the tenant's intended payment or if the service remains discontinued, the tenant or tenants may pay the current charges for the most recent billing period and the utility company or municipality must restore the service for at least one billing period. In a residential building with less than five units, one of the tenants may notify the utility company or municipality that the tenant agrees to become the bill payer responsible and customer of record and the utility company or municipality must place the account disconnected or subject to disconnection in the tenant's name and provide service prospectively, provided the tenant satisfies all requirements for establishing service. A tenant becoming the customer of record of a cooperative electric association does not acquire membership rights. Exercise of the right to pay the current charges for the most recent billing period does not preclude exercising the right to become the bill payer responsible and customer of record, provided that if there are multiple tenants in an affected multifamily building, the utility company or municipality is not required to offer the right to become the bill payer responsible and the customer of record to more than one tenant in a 12-month period.

(c) In the case of water, if the landlord has not paid the bill by the time of the tenant's intended payment or if the service remains discontinued, upon request from a tenant, a municipality must provide a copy of each bill the landlord fails to pay. The tenant:

(1) has a continuing right to pay the current charges for the most recent billing period and retain service;

(2) has the period of time provided by the governing ordinance, policy, or practice within which to pay the charges;

(3) is not subject to any deposit requirements; and

(4) is entitled to reasonable notice of any disconnection.

This paragraph does not require a municipality to alter its accounting system or billing records if the tenant exercises the right to pay current charges and retain water service. If there are multiple tenants in an affected property, the municipality is not required to offer the right to pay current charges and retain service to more than one tenant in a 12-month period.

(d) For purposes of this subdivision, "current charges" does not include arrears or late payment fees incurred by the landlord.

(e) In a single-metered residential building, other residential tenants in the building may contribute payments to the utility company or municipality on the account of the tenant who is the customer of record under paragraph (b) or on the landlord's account under paragraph (c).

(f) A landlord who satisfies all requirements for reestablishing service, including paying, or entering into an agreement acceptable to the utility company or municipality to pay, all arrears and other lawful charges incurred by the landlord on the account that was placed in the tenant's name, may reestablish service in the landlord's name.

(g) This section does not restrict or prohibit a municipal utility provider from exercising its authority pursuant to section 444.075, subdivisions 3 and 3e, to make contracts with and impose utility charges against property owners and to certify unpaid charges to the county auditor with taxes against the property served for collection as a tax.

(h) In the case of home heating oil or propane, if the landlord has not yet paid the bill by the time of the tenant's intended payment, or if the service remains discontinued, the tenant or tenants may order and pay for one month's supply of the proper grade and quality of oil or propane.

(i) After submitting documentation to the landlord of the tenant's payment to the utility company or municipality, a tenant may deduct the amount of the tenant's payment to the utility company or municipality from the rental payment next paid to the landlord. Any amount paid to the municipality, utility company, or other company by a tenant under this subdivision is considered payment of rent to the landlord for purposes of section 504B.291.

Subd. 4.Limitations; waiver prohibited; rights as additional.

The tenant rights under this section:

(1) do not extend to conditions caused by the willful, malicious, or negligent conduct of the tenant or of a person under the tenant's direction or control;

(2) may not be waived or modified; and

(3) are in addition to and do not limit other rights which may be available to the tenant in law or equity, including the right to damages and the right to restoration of possession of the premises under section 504B.291.

504B.221 UNLAWFUL TERMINATION OF UTILITIES.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, if a landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control, interrupts or causes the interruption of electricity, heat, gas, or water services to the tenant, the tenant may recover from the landlord treble damages or $500, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees. It is a defense to any action brought under this section that the interruption was the result of the deliberate or negligent act or omission of a tenant or anyone acting under the direction or control of the tenant. The tenant may recover only actual damages under this section if:

(1) the tenant has not given the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control, notice of the interruption; or

(2) the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control, after receiving notice of the interruption from the tenant and within a reasonable period of time after the interruption, taking into account the nature of the service interrupted and the effect of the interrupted service on the health, welfare, and safety of the tenants, has reinstated or made a good faith effort to reinstate the service or has taken other remedial action; or

(3) the interruption was for the purpose of repairing or correcting faulty or defective equipment or protecting the health and safety of the occupants of the premises involved and the service was reinstated or a good faith effort was made to reinstate the service or other remedial action was taken by the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control within a reasonable period of time, taking into account the nature of the defect, the nature of the service interrupted, and the effect of the interrupted service on the health, welfare, and safety of the tenants.

(b) 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.

504B.225 INTENTIONAL OUSTER AND INTERRUPTION OF UTILITIES; MISDEMEANOR.

A landlord, an agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control who unlawfully and intentionally removes or excludes a tenant from lands or tenements or intentionally interrupts or causes the interruption of electrical, heat, gas, or water services to the tenant with intent to unlawfully remove or exclude the tenant from lands or tenements is guilty of a misdemeanor. In any trial under this section, it shall be presumed that the landlord, agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control interrupted or caused the interruption of the service with intent to unlawfully remove or exclude the tenant from lands or tenements, if it is established by evidence that the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control intentionally interrupted or caused the interruption of the service to the tenant. The burden is upon the landlord to rebut the presumption.

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.

504B.231 DAMAGES FOR OUSTER.

(a) If a landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control unlawfully and in bad faith removes, excludes, or forcibly keeps out a tenant from residential premises, the tenant may recover from the landlord treble damages or $500, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees.

(b) 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.


RESIDENTIAL TENANT REPORTS

504B.235 DEFINITIONS.

Subdivision 1.Applicability.

The definitions in this section apply to sections 504B.235 to 504B.245.

Subd. 2.Proper identification.

"Proper identification" means information generally considered sufficient to identify a person, including a Minnesota driver's license, a Minnesota identification card, other forms of identification provided by a unit of government, a notarized statement of identity with a specimen signature of the person, or other reasonable form of identification.

Subd. 3.Residential tenant report.

"Residential tenant report" means a written, oral, or other communication by a residential tenant screening service that includes information concerning an individual's creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living, and that is collected, used, or expected to be used for the purpose of making decisions relating to residential tenancies or residential tenancy applications.

Subd. 4.Residential tenant screening service.

"Residential tenant screening service" means a person or business regularly engaged in the practice of gathering, storing, or disseminating information about tenants or assembling tenant reports for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis.

504B.241 RESIDENTIAL TENANT REPORTS; DISCLOSURE AND CORRECTIONS.

Subdivision 1.Disclosures required.

(a) Upon request and proper identification, a residential tenant screening service must disclose the following information to an individual:

(1) the nature and substance of all information in its files on the individual at the time of the request; and

(2) the sources of the information.

(b) A residential tenant screening service must make the disclosures to an individual without charge if information in a residential tenant report has been used within the past 30 days to deny the rental or increase the security deposit or rent of a residential housing unit to the individual. If the residential tenant report has not been used to deny the rental or increase the rent or security deposit of a residential housing unit within the past 30 days, the residential tenant screening service may impose a reasonable charge for making the disclosure required under this section. The residential tenant screening service must notify the residential tenant of the amount of the charge before furnishing the information. The charge may not exceed the amount that the residential tenant screening service would impose on each designated recipient of a residential tenant report, except that no charge may be made for notifying persons of the deletion of information which is found to be inaccurate or which can no longer be verified.

(c) Files maintained on a residential tenant must be disclosed promptly as established in paragraphs (1) to (4).

(1) A residential tenant file must be disclosed in person, during normal business hours, at the location where the residential tenant screening service maintains its files, if the residential tenant appears in person and furnishes proper identification at that time.

(2) A residential tenant file must be disclosed by mail, if the residential tenant makes a written request with proper identification for a copy of the information contained in the residential tenant report and requests that the information be sent to a specified address. A disclosure made under this paragraph shall be deposited in the United States mail, postage prepaid, within five business days after the written request for disclosure is received by the residential tenant screening service. A residential tenant screening service complying with a request for disclosure under this paragraph shall not be liable for disclosures to third parties caused by mishandling mail, provided that the residential tenant file information is mailed to the address specified by the residential tenant in the request.

(3) A summary of the information in a residential tenant file must be disclosed by telephone, if the residential tenant has made a written request with proper identification for telephone disclosure.

(4) Information in a residential tenant's file required to be disclosed in writing under this subdivision may be disclosed in any other form including electronic means if authorized by the residential tenant and available from the residential tenant screening service.

Subd. 2.Corrections.

If the completeness or accuracy of an item of information contained in an individual's file is disputed by the individual, the residential tenant screening service must reinvestigate and record the current status of the information. If the information is found to be inaccurate or can no longer be verified, the residential tenant screening service must delete the information from the individual's file and residential tenant report. At the request of the individual, the residential tenant screening service must give notification of the deletions to persons who have received the residential tenant report within the past six months.

Subd. 3.Explanations.

The residential tenant screening service must permit an individual to explain any eviction report or any disputed item not resolved by reinvestigation in a residential tenant report. The explanation must be included in the residential tenant report. The residential tenant screening service may limit the explanation to no more than 100 words.

Subd. 4.Court file information.

If a residential tenant screening service includes information from a court file on an individual in a residential tenant report, the report must provide the full name and date of birth of the individual in any case where the court file includes the individual's full name and date of birth, and the outcome of the court proceeding must be accurately recorded in the residential tenant report including the specific basis of the court's decision, when available. If a tenant screening service knows that a court file has been expunged, the tenant screening service shall delete any reference to that file in any data maintained or disseminated by the screening service. Whenever the court supplies information from a court file on an individual, in whatever form, the court shall include the full name and date of birth of the individual, if that is indicated on the court file or summary, and information on the outcome of the court proceeding, including the specific basis of the court's decision, coded as provided in subdivision 5 for the type of action, when it becomes available. The residential tenant screening service is not liable under section 504B.245 if the residential tenant screening service reports complete and accurate information as provided by the court.

Subd. 5.Eviction action coding.

The court shall indicate on the court file or any summary of a court file the specific basis of the court's decision in an eviction action according to codes developed by the court that, at a minimum, indicates if the basis of the court's decision is nonpayment of rent, a violation of the covenants under section 504B.161 or 504B.171, other breach of a lease agreement, or a counterclaim for possession of the premises under section 504B.385.

504B.245 TENANT REPORT; REMEDIES.

The remedies provided in section 8.31 apply to a violation of section 504B.241. A residential tenant screening service or landlord in compliance with the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, United States Code, title 15, section 1681, et seq., is considered to be in compliance with section 504B.241.


MISCELLANEOUS RIGHTS

504B.251 RECORDING OF NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OF LEASES.

Where a lease has been duly recorded, the county recorder must record a copy of the notice of cancellation or termination of the lease that has been presented for recording by the landlord, landlord's agent, or attorney. The notice must be accompanied by proof of service and an affidavit of the landlord or the landlord's agent or attorney stating that the tenant has not complied with the terms of the notice. This notice is prima facie evidence of the facts stated in it.

504B.255 TERMINATION NOTICE REQUIREMENT FOR FEDERALLY SUBSIDIZED HOUSING.

The landlord of federally subsidized rental housing must give residential tenants of federally subsidized rental housing a one-year written notice under the following conditions:

(1) a federal Section 8 contract will expire;

(2) the landlord will exercise the option to terminate or not renew a federal Section 8 contract and mortgage;

(3) the landlord will prepay a mortgage and the prepayment will result in the termination of any federal use restrictions that apply to the housing; or

(4) the landlord will terminate a housing subsidy program.

The notice shall be provided at the commencement of the lease if the lease commences less than one year before any of the conditions in clauses (1) to (4) apply.

NOTE: Clause (3) of this section was found preempted to the extent that it creates a longer termination timeline than under applicable federal law in Forest Park II v. Hadley, 336 F.3d 724 (8th Cir. 2003).

504B.261 PETS IN SUBSIDIZED DISABILITY ACCESSIBLE RENTAL HOUSING UNITS.

In a multiunit residential building, a tenant of a disability accessible unit, in which the tenant or the unit receives a subsidy that directly reduces or eliminates the tenant's rent responsibility, must be allowed to have two birds or one spayed or neutered dog or one spayed or neutered cat. A renter under this section may not keep or have visits from an animal that constitutes a threat to the health or safety of other individuals, or causes a noise nuisance or noise disturbance to other renters. The landlord may require the renter to pay an additional damage deposit in an amount reasonable to cover damage likely to be caused by the animal. The deposit is refundable at any time the renter leaves the unit of housing to the extent it exceeds the amount of damage actually caused by the animal.

504B.265 TERMINATION OF LEASE UPON DEATH OF TENANT.

Subdivision 1.Termination of lease.

Any party to a lease of residential premises other than a lease at will may terminate the lease prior to its expiration date in the manner provided in subdivision 2 upon the death of the tenant or, if there is more than one tenant, upon the death of all tenants.

Subd. 2.Notice.

Either the landlord or the personal representative of the tenant's estate may terminate the lease upon at least two months' written notice, to be effective on the last day of a calendar month, and hand delivered or mailed by postage prepaid, first class United States mail, to the address of the other party. The landlord may comply with the notice requirement of this subdivision by delivering or mailing the notice to the premises formerly occupied by the tenant. The termination of a lease under this section shall not relieve the tenant's estate from liability either for the payment of rent or other sums owed prior to or during the notice period, or for the payment of amounts necessary to restore the premises to their condition at the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear excepted.

Subd. 3.Waiver prohibited.

Any attempted waiver by a landlord and tenant or tenant's personal representative, by contract or otherwise, of the right of termination provided by this section, and any lease provision or agreement requiring a longer notice period than that provided by this section, shall be void and unenforceable; provided, however, that the landlord and tenant or tenant's personal representative may agree to otherwise modify the specific provisions of this section.

Subd. 4.Applicability.

The provisions of this section apply to leases entered into or renewed after May 12, 1981.

504B.271 TENANT'S PERSONAL PROPERTY REMAINING IN PREMISES.

Subdivision 1.Abandoned property.

(a) 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.

(b) The landlord may sell or otherwise dispose of the property 28 days after the landlord receives actual notice of the abandonment, or 28 days after it reasonably appears to the landlord that the tenant has abandoned the premises, whichever occurs last.

(c) The landlord may apply a reasonable amount of the proceeds of a 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.

(d) Prior to a 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 first class and certified mail 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 at least two weeks prior to the sale. If notification by mail is used, the 14-day period shall be deemed to start on the day the notices are deposited in the United States mail.

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 in an amount not to exceed twice the actual damages or $1,000, whichever is greater, 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.

504B.275 ATTORNEY GENERAL'S STATEMENT; DISTRIBUTION.

In this section, "residential tenant" does not include residents of manufactured home parks as defined in section 327C.01, subdivision 9.

The attorney general shall prepare and make available to the public a statement which summarizes the significant legal rights and obligations of landlords and residential tenants of rental dwelling units. The statement shall include descriptions of the significant provisions of this chapter. The statement shall notify residential tenants in public housing to consult their leases for additional rights and obligations they may have under federal law. The statement shall include the telephone number and address of the attorney general for further information.

The attorney general shall annually revise the statement provided in this section as necessary to ensure that it continues accurately to describe the statutory and case law governing the rights and duties of landlords and residential tenants of rental dwelling units. After preparing the statement for the first time and after each annual revision of the statement, the attorney general shall hold a public meeting to discuss the statement and receive comments on its contents before it is issued. When preparing the statement and evaluating public comment, the attorney general shall be guided by the legislature's intent that the statement be brief, accurate, and complete in identifying significant legal rights and obligations, and written using words with common, everyday meanings.


EVICTION ACTIONS

504B.281 FORCIBLE ENTRY AND UNLAWFUL DETAINER PROHIBITED.

No person may occupy or take possession of real property except where occupancy or possession is allowed by law, and in such cases, the person may not enter by force, but only in a peaceable manner.

504B.285 EVICTION ACTIONS; GROUNDS; RETALIATION DEFENSE; COMBINED ALLEGATIONS.

Subdivision 1.Grounds.

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;

(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.

Subd. 1a.Grounds when the person holding over is a tenant in a foreclosed residential property.

(a) With respect to residential real property or a dwelling where the person holding the residential real property or dwelling after the expiration of the time for redemption on foreclosure of a mortgage was a tenant during the redemption period under a lease of any duration, and the lease began after the date the mortgage was executed, but prior to the expiration of the time for redemption, the immediate successor in interest must provide at least 90 days' written notice to vacate, given no sooner than the date of the expiration of the time for redemption, and effective no sooner than 90 days after the date of the expiration of the time for redemption, provided that the tenant pays the rent and abides by all terms of the lease.

(b) With respect to residential real property or a dwelling where the term of a bona fide lease extends more than 90 days beyond the date of the expiration of the time for redemption, the immediate successor in interest must allow the tenant to occupy the premises until the end of the remaining term of the lease, and provide at least 90 days' written notice to vacate, effective no sooner than the date the lease expires, provided that the tenant pays the rent and abides by all terms of the lease, except if the immediate successor in interest or an immediate subsequent bona fide purchaser will occupy the unit as the primary residence, the immediate successor in interest must provide at least 90 days' written notice to vacate, given no sooner than the date of the expiration of the time for redemption, effective no sooner than 90 days after the date of the expiration of the time for redemption, provided that the tenant pays the rent and abides by all terms of the lease.

For purposes of this section, a "bona fide lease" means:

(1) the mortgagor or the child, spouse, or parent of the mortgagor is not the tenant;

(2) the lease or tenancy was the result of an arm's-length transaction; and

(3) the lease or tenancy requires the receipt of rent that is not substantially less than fair market rent for the property or the unit's rent is reduced or subsidized by a federal, state, or local subsidy.

(c) With respect to residential real property or a dwelling involving a tenancy subject to section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, where the term of the lease extends more than 90 days beyond the date of the expiration of the time for redemption, the immediate successor in interest must allow the tenant to occupy the premises until the end of the remaining term of the lease and provide at least 90 days' written notice to vacate, effective no sooner than the date the lease expires, provided that the tenant pays the rent and abides by all terms of the lease, except if the immediate successor in interest will occupy the unit as the primary residence, the immediate successor in interest must provide at least 90 days' written notice to vacate, given no sooner than the date of the expiration of the time for redemption, effective no sooner than 90 days after the date of the expiration of the time for redemption, provided that the tenant pays the rent and abides by all terms of the lease.

Subd. 1b.Grounds when the person holding over is a tenant in a property subject to a contract for deed.

The person entitled to the premises may recover possession by eviction when any person holds over real property after termination of contract to convey the property, provided that if the person holding the real property after the expiration of the time for termination was a tenant during the termination period under a lease of any duration and the lease began after the date the contract for deed was executed but prior to the expiration of the time for termination, and the person has received:

(1) at least two months' written notice to vacate no sooner than one month after the expiration of the time for termination, provided that the tenant pays the rent and abides by all terms of the lease; or

(2) at least two months' written notice to vacate no later than the date of the expiration of the time for termination, which notice shall also state that the sender will hold the tenant harmless for breaching the lease by vacating the premises if the contract is reinstated.

Subd. 1c.

[Repealed, 2013 c 100 s 6]

Subd. 2.Retaliation defense.

It is a defense to an action for recovery of premises following the alleged termination of a tenancy by notice to quit for the defendant to prove by a fair preponderance of the evidence that:

(1) the alleged termination was intended in whole or part as a penalty for the defendant's good faith attempt to secure or enforce rights under a lease or contract, oral or written, under the laws of the state or any of its governmental subdivisions, or of the United States; or

(2) the alleged termination was intended in whole or part as a penalty for the defendant's good faith report to a governmental authority of the plaintiff's violation of a health, safety, housing, or building code or ordinance.

If the notice to quit was served within 90 days of the date of an act of the tenant coming within the terms of clause (1) or (2) the burden of proving that the notice to quit was not served in whole or part for a retaliatory purpose shall rest with the plaintiff.

Subd. 3.Rent increase as penalty.

In any proceeding for the recovery of premises upon the ground of nonpayment of rent, it is a defense if the tenant establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the plaintiff increased the tenant's rent or decreased the services as a penalty in whole or part for any lawful act of the tenant as described in subdivision 2, providing that the tenant tender to the court or to the plaintiff the amount of rent due and payable under the tenant's original obligation.

Subd. 4.Nonlimitation of landlord's rights.

Nothing contained in subdivisions 2 and 3 limits the right of the landlord pursuant to the provisions of subdivision 1 to terminate a tenancy for a violation by the tenant of a lawful, material provision of a lease or contract, whether written or oral, or to hold the tenant liable for damage to the premises caused by the tenant or a person acting under the tenant's direction or control.

Subd. 5.Combining allegations.

(a) An action for recovery of the premises may combine the allegation of nonpayment of rent and the allegation of material violation of the lease, which shall be heard as alternative grounds.

(b) In cases where rent is outstanding, a tenant is not required to pay into court the amount of rent in arrears, interest, and costs as required under section 504B.291 to defend against an allegation by the landlord that the tenant has committed a material violation of the lease.

(c) If the landlord does not prevail in proving material violation of the lease, and the landlord has also alleged that rent is due, the tenant shall be permitted to present defenses to the court that the rent is not owing. The tenant shall be given up to seven days of additional time to pay any rent determined by the court to be due. The court may order the tenant to pay rent and any costs determined to be due directly to the landlord or to be deposited with the court.

504B.291 EVICTION ACTION FOR NONPAYMENT; REDEMPTION; OTHER RIGHTS.

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 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.

Subd. 2.Lease greater than 20 years.

(a) If the lease under which an action is brought under subdivision 1 is for a term of more than 20 years, the action may not begin until the landlord serves a written notice on the tenant and on all creditors with legal or equitable recorded liens on the property. The notice must state: (1) the lease will be canceled unless the amounts, agreements, and legal obligations in default are paid or performed within 30 days, or a longer specified period; and (2) if the amounts, agreements, and legal obligations are not paid or performed within that period, then the landlord may evict the tenant at the expiration of the period.

(b) If the lease provides that the landlord must give more than the 30 days' notice provided in paragraph (a), then notice must be the same as that provided in the lease.

(c) The tenant may be restored to possession of the property under the terms of the original lease if, before the expiration of six months after the landlord obtains possession due to the tenant's abandonment or surrender of the property or the landlord prevails in the action, the tenant or a creditor holding a legal or equitable lien on the property: (1) pays to the landlord or brings into court the amount of rent then in arrears, with interest and the costs of the action; and (2) performs the other agreements or legal obligations that are in default.

Subd. 3.Recording of eviction or ejectment actions.

Upon recovery of possession by the landlord in the action, a certified copy of the judgment shall, upon presentation, be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county where the land is situated if unregistered land or in the office of the registrar of titles of the county if registered land and upon recovery of possession by the landlord by abandonment or surrender by the tenant an affidavit by the landlord or the landlord's attorney setting forth the fact shall be recorded in a like manner and the recorded certified copy of the judgment or the recorded affidavit shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein in reference to the recovery of possession by the landlord.

504B.301 EVICTION ACTION FOR UNLAWFUL DETENTION.

A person may be evicted if the person has unlawfully or forcibly occupied or taken possession of real property or unlawfully detains or retains possession of real property.

A seizure under section 609.5317, subdivision 1, for which there is not a defense under section 609.5317, subdivision 3, constitutes unlawful detention by the tenant.

504B.305 NOTICE OF SEIZURE PROVISION.

Landlords shall give written notice to tenants of the provision relating to seizures in section 504B.301. Failure to give such notice does not subject the landlord to criminal or civil liability and is not a defense under section 609.5317, subdivision 3.

504B.311 NO EVICTION ACTION IF TENANT HOLDS OVER FOR THREE YEARS.

No person may bring an eviction action against an occupant of any premises where that occupant's lease, or the lease of that occupant's ancestors or predecessor in interest, was terminated more than three years before the beginning of the action and where the occupant of the premises or that person's ancestors or predecessor in interest were in quiet possession for three consecutive years immediately before the filing of the eviction.

504B.315 RESTRICTIONS ON EVICTION DUE TO FAMILIAL STATUS.

(a) As used in this section, "familial status" has the meaning given it in section 363A.03, subdivision 18.

(b) No residential tenant of residential premises may be evicted, denied a continuing tenancy, or denied a renewal of a lease on the basis of familial status commenced during the tenancy unless one year has elapsed from the commencement of the familial status and the landlord has given the tenant six months prior notice in writing, except in case of nonpayment of rent, damage to the premises, disturbance of other tenants, or other breach of the lease. 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.

504B.321 COMPLAINT AND SUMMONS.

Subdivision 1.Procedure.

(a) To bring an eviction action, the person complaining shall file a complaint with the court, stating the full name and date of birth of the person against whom the complaint is made, unless it is not known, describing the premises of which possession is claimed, stating the facts which authorize the recovery of possession, and asking for recovery thereof.

(b) The lack of the full name and date of birth of the person against whom the complaint is made does not deprive the court of jurisdiction or make the complaint invalid.

(c) The court shall issue a summons, commanding the person against whom the complaint is made to appear before the court on a day and at a place stated in the summons.

(d) The appearance shall be not less than seven nor more than 14 days from the day of issuing the summons, except as provided by subdivision 2.

(e) A copy of the complaint shall be attached to the summons, which shall state that the copy is attached and that the original has been filed.

Subd. 2.Expedited procedure.

(a) In an eviction action brought under section 504B.171 or on the basis that the tenant is causing a nuisance or other illegal behavior that seriously endangers the safety of other residents, their property, or the landlord's property, the person filing the complaint shall file an affidavit stating specific facts and instances in support of why an expedited hearing is required.

(b) The complaint and affidavit shall be reviewed by a referee or judge and scheduled for an expedited hearing only if sufficient supporting facts are stated and they meet the requirements of this paragraph.

(c) The appearance in an expedited hearing shall be not less than five days nor more than seven days from the date the summons is issued. The summons, in an expedited hearing, shall be served upon the tenant within 24 hours of issuance unless the court orders otherwise for good cause shown.

(d) If the court determines that the person seeking an expedited hearing did so without sufficient basis under the requirements of this subdivision, the court shall impose a civil penalty of up to $500 for abuse of the expedited hearing process.

504B.325 EXPEDITED RELIEF.

A landlord or the landlord's agent may request expedited temporary relief by bringing an action under section 609.748 or filing a petition for a temporary restraining order, in conjunction with a complaint filed under section 504B.321.

504B.331 SUMMONS; HOW SERVED.

(a) The summons must be served at least seven days before the date of the court appearance specified in section 504B.321, in the manner provided for service of a summons in a civil action in district court. It may be served by any person not named a party to the action.

(b) If the defendant cannot be found in the county, the summons may be served at least seven days before the date of the court appearance by:

(1) leaving a copy at the defendant's last usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion residing there; or

(2) if the defendant had no place of abode, by leaving a copy at the property described in the complaint with a person of suitable age and discretion occupying the premises.

(c) Failure of the sheriff to serve the defendant is prima facie proof that the defendant cannot be found in the county.

(d) Where the defendant cannot be found in the county, service of the summons may be made upon the defendant by posting the summons in a conspicuous place on the property for not less than one week if:

(1) the property described in the complaint is:

(i) nonresidential and no person actually occupies the property; or

(ii) residential and service has been attempted at least twice on different days, with at least one of the attempts having been made between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.; and

(2) the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney has signed and filed with the court an affidavit stating that:

(i) the defendant cannot be found, or that the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney believes that the defendant is not in the state; and

(ii) a copy of the summons has been mailed to the defendant at the defendant's last known address if any is known to the plaintiff.

(e) If the defendant or the defendant's attorney does not appear in court on the date of the appearance, the trial shall proceed.

504B.335 ANSWER; TRIAL.

(a) At the court appearance specified in the summons, the defendant may answer the complaint, and the court shall hear and decide the action, unless it grants a continuance of the trial as provided in section 504B.341.

(b) Either party may demand a trial by jury.

(c) The proceedings in the action are the same as in other civil actions, except as provided in sections 504B.281 to 504B.371.

(d) The court, in scheduling appearances and hearings under this section, shall give priority to any eviction brought under section 504B.171, or on the basis that the defendant is a tenant and is causing a nuisance or seriously endangers the safety of other residents, their property, or the landlord's property.

504B.341 CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL.

(a) In an eviction action, the court, in its discretion, may grant a continuance of the trial for no more than six days unless all parties consent to longer continuance.

(b) However, in all actions brought under section 504B.285, other than actions on a written lease signed by both parties, the court shall continue the trial as necessary but for no more than three months if the defendant or the defendant's agent or attorney:

(1) states under oath that the defendant cannot proceed to trial because a material witness is not present;

(2) names the witness;

(3) states under oath that the defendant has made due exertion to obtain the witness;

(4) states the belief that if the continuance is allowed the defendant will be able to procure the attendance of the witness at the trial or to obtain the witness's deposition; and

(5) gives a bond that the plaintiff will be paid all rent that accrues during the pendency of the action and all costs and damages that accrue due to the adjournment.

504B.345 JUDGMENT; EXECUTION.

Subdivision 1.General.

(a) If the court or jury finds for the plaintiff, the court shall immediately enter judgment that the plaintiff shall have recovery of the premises, and shall tax the costs against the defendant. The court shall issue execution in favor of the plaintiff for the costs and also immediately issue a writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate.

(b) The court shall give priority in issuing a writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate for an eviction action brought under section 504B.171 or on the basis that the tenant is causing a nuisance or seriously endangers the safety of other residents, their property, or the landlord's property.

(c) If the court or jury finds for the defendant, the court shall enter judgment for the defendant, tax the costs against the plaintiff, and issue execution in favor of the defendant.

(d) Except in actions brought: (1) under section 504B.291 as required by section 609.5317, subdivision 1; (2) under section 504B.171; or (3) on the basis that the tenant is causing a nuisance or seriously endangers the safety of other residents, their property, or the landlord's property, upon a showing by the defendant that immediate restitution of the premises would work a substantial hardship upon the defendant or the defendant's family, the court shall stay the writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate for a reasonable period, not to exceed seven days.

Subd. 2.Expedited writ.

If the court enters judgment for the plaintiff in an action brought under section 504B.291 as required by section 609.5317, subdivision 1, the court may not stay issuance of the writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate unless the court makes written findings specifying the extraordinary and exigent circumstances that warrant staying the writ for a reasonable period, not to exceed seven days.

504B.351 FAILURE OF JURY TO REACH A VERDICT.

If the jury cannot agree upon a verdict, the court may discharge the members and issue an order impaneling a new jury, immediately or as agreed to by the parties or fixed by the court.

504B.355 FORM OF VERDICT.

The verdict of the jury or the finding of the court in favor of the plaintiff in an eviction action shall be substantially in the following form:

At a court held at ....., on the ..... day of ....., year ....., before ....., a judge in and for the county of ..... in an action between ....., plaintiff, and ....., defendant, the jury (or, if the action be tried without a jury, the court) find that the facts alleged in the complaint are true, and the plaintiff shall recover possession of the premises and the defendant(s) shall vacate the premises immediately.

.....................

If the verdict or finding is for the defendant, it shall be sufficient to find that the facts alleged in the complaint are not true.

504B.361 FORMS OF SUMMONS AND WRIT.

Subdivision 1.Summons and writ.

The state court administrator shall develop a uniform form for the summons and writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate.

Subd. 2.Priority writ.

The court shall identify a writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate property that is issued pursuant to an eviction action under section 504B.171, or on the basis that the tenant is causing a nuisance or seriously endangers the safety of other residents, their property, or the landlord's property and clearly note on the order to vacate that it is a priority order. Notice that it is a priority order must be made in a manner that is obvious to an officer who must execute the order under section 504B.365.

504B.365 EXECUTION OF THE WRIT OF RECOVERY OF PREMISES AND ORDER TO VACATE.

Subdivision 1.General.

(a) The officer who holds the order to vacate shall execute it by demanding that the defendant, if found in the county, any adult member of the defendant's family who is occupying the premises, or any other person in charge, relinquish possession and leave, taking family and all personal property from the premises within 24 hours.

(b) If the defendant fails to comply with the demand, then the officer shall bring, if necessary, the force of the county and any necessary assistance, at the cost of the plaintiff. The officer shall remove the defendant, family, and all personal property from the premises and place the plaintiff in possession.

(c) If the defendant cannot be found in the county, and there is no person in charge of the premises, then the officer shall enter the premises, breaking in if necessary, and remove and store the personal property of the defendant at a place designated by the plaintiff as provided in subdivision 3.

(d) The order may also be executed by a licensed police officer or community crime prevention licensed police officer.

Subd. 2.Priority; execution of priority order.

An officer shall give priority to the execution, under this section, of any order to vacate that is based on an eviction action under section 504B.171, or on the basis that the defendant is causing a nuisance or seriously endangers the safety of other residents, their property, or the plaintiff's property.

Subd. 3.Removal and storage of property.

(a) If the defendant's personal property is to be stored in a place other than the premises, the officer shall remove all personal property of the defendant at the expense of the plaintiff.

(b) The defendant must make immediate payment for all expenses of removing personal property from the premises. If the defendant fails or refuses to do so, the plaintiff has a lien on all the personal property for the reasonable costs and expenses incurred in removing, caring for, storing, and transporting it to a suitable storage place.

(c) The plaintiff may enforce the lien by detaining the personal property until paid. If no payment has been made for 60 days after the execution of the order to vacate, the plaintiff may hold a public sale as provided in sections 514.18 to 514.22.

(d) If the defendant's personal property is to be stored on the premises, the officer shall enter the premises, breaking in if necessary, and the plaintiff may remove the defendant's personal property. Section 504B.271 applies to personal property removed under this paragraph. The plaintiff must prepare an inventory and mail a copy of the inventory to the defendant's last known address or, if the defendant has provided a different address, to the address provided. The inventory must be prepared, signed, and dated in the presence of the officer and must include the following:

(1) a list of the items of personal property and a description of their condition;

(2) the date, the signature of the plaintiff or the plaintiff's agent, and the name and telephone number of a person authorized to release the personal property; and

(3) the name and badge number of the officer.

(e) The officer must retain a copy of the inventory.

(f) The plaintiff is responsible for the proper removal, storage, and care of the defendant's personal property and is liable for damages for loss of or injury to it caused by the plaintiff's failure to exercise the same care that a reasonably careful person would exercise under similar circumstances.

(g) The plaintiff shall notify the defendant of the date and approximate time the officer is scheduled to remove the defendant, family, and personal property from the premises. The notice must be sent by first class mail. In addition, the plaintiff must make a good faith effort to notify the defendant by telephone. The notice must be mailed as soon as the information regarding the date and approximate time the officer is scheduled to enforce the order is known to the plaintiff, except that the scheduling of the officer to enforce the order need not be delayed because of the notice requirement. The notice must inform the defendant that the defendant and the defendant's personal property will be removed from the premises if the defendant has not vacated the premises by the time specified in the notice.

Subd. 4.Motions concerning removal or storage of personal property.

The court hearing the eviction action 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.

Subd. 5.Penalty; waiver not allowed.

Unless the premises has been abandoned, a plaintiff, an agent, or other person acting under the plaintiff's direction or control who enters the premises and removes the defendant's personal property in violation of this section is guilty of an unlawful ouster under section 504B.231 and is subject to penalty under section 504B.225. This section may not be waived or modified by lease or other agreement.

504B.371 APPEALS.

Subdivision 1.Statement of intention to appeal.

If the court renders judgment against the defendant and the defendant or defendant's attorney informs the court the defendant intends to appeal, the court shall issue an order staying the writ for recovery of premises and order to vacate for at least 24 hours after judgment, except as provided in subdivision 7.

Subd. 2.Time for appeal.

A party who feels aggrieved by the judgment may appeal within 15 days as provided for civil actions in district court.

Subd. 3.Appeal bond.

If the party appealing remains in possession of the property, that party must give a bond that provides that:

(1) all costs of the appeal will be paid;

(2) the party will comply with the court's order; and

(3) all rent and other damages due to the party excluded from possession during the pendency of the appeal will be paid.

Subd. 4.Stay pending appeal.

After the appeal is taken, all further proceedings in the case are stayed, except as provided in subdivision 7.

Subd. 5.Stay of writ issued before appeal.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision 7, if the court issues a writ for recovery of premises and order to vacate before an appeal is taken, the appealing party may request that the court stay further proceedings and execution of the writ for possession of premises and order to vacate, and the court shall grant a stay.

(b) If the party appealing remains in possession of the premises, that party must give a bond under subdivision 3.

(c) When the officer who has the writ for possession of premises and order to vacate is served with the order granting the stay, the officer shall cease all further proceedings. If the writ for possession of premises and order to vacate has not been completely executed, the defendant shall remain in possession of the premises until the appeal is decided.

Subd. 6.Dismissal of appeals; amendments; return.

In all cases of appeal, the appellate court shall not dismiss or quash the proceedings for want of form only, provided they have been conducted substantially in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Amendments may be allowed at any time, upon such terms as to the court may appear just, in the same cases and manner and to the same extent as in civil actions. The court may compel the trial court, by attachment, to make or amend any return which is withheld or improperly or insufficiently made.

Subd. 7.Exception.

Subdivisions 1, 4, and 6 do not apply in an action on a lease, against a tenant holding over after the expiration of the term of the lease, or a termination of the lease by a notice to quit, if the plaintiff gives a bond conditioned to pay all costs and damages if on the appeal the judgment of restitution is reversed and a new trial ordered. In such a case, the court shall issue a writ for recovery of premises and order to vacate notwithstanding the notice of appeal, as if no appeal had been taken, and the appellate court shall issue all needful writs and processes to carry out any judgment which may be rendered in the court.


RESIDENTIAL TENANT ACTIONS

504B.375 UNLAWFUL EXCLUSION OR REMOVAL; ACTION FOR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION.

Subdivision 1.Unlawful exclusion or removal.

(a) This section applies to actual or constructive removal or exclusion of a residential tenant which may include the termination of utilities or the removal of doors, windows, or locks. A residential tenant to whom this section applies may recover possession of the premises as described in paragraphs (b) to (e).

(b) The residential tenant shall present a verified petition to the district court of the judicial district of the county in which the premises are located that:

(1) describes the premises and the landlord;

(2) specifically states the facts and grounds that demonstrate that the exclusion or removal was unlawful, including a statement that no writ of recovery of the premises and order to vacate has been issued under section 504B.345 in favor of the landlord and against the residential tenant and executed in accordance with section 504B.365; and

(3) asks for possession.

(c) If it clearly appears from the specific grounds and facts stated in the verified petition or by separate affidavit of the residential tenant or the residential tenant's attorney or agent that the exclusion or removal was unlawful, the court shall immediately order that the residential tenant have possession of the premises.

(d) The residential tenant shall furnish security, if any, that the court finds is appropriate under the circumstances for payment of all costs and damages the landlord may sustain if the order is subsequently found to have been obtained wrongfully. In determining the appropriateness of security, the court shall consider the residential tenant's ability to afford monetary security.

(e) The court shall direct the order to the sheriff of the county in which the premises are located and the sheriff shall execute the order immediately by making a demand for possession on the landlord, if found, or the landlord's agent or other person in charge of the premises. If the landlord fails to comply with the demand, the officer shall take whatever assistance may be necessary and immediately place the residential tenant in possession of the premises. If the landlord, the landlord's agent, or other person in control of the premises cannot be found and if there is no person in charge, the officer shall immediately enter into and place the residential tenant in possession of the premises. The officer shall also serve the order and verified petition or affidavit immediately upon the landlord or agent, in the same manner as a summons is required to be served in a civil action in district court.

Subd. 2.Motion for dissolution or modification of order.

The landlord may, by written motion and notice served by mail or personally on the residential tenant or the residential tenant's attorney at least two days before the hearing date on the motion, obtain dissolution or modification of the order for possession issued under subdivision 1, paragraph (c), unless the residential tenant proves the facts and grounds on which the order is issued. A landlord bringing a motion under this subdivision may recover possession of the premises only by an eviction action or otherwise provided by law. Upon the dissolution of the order, the court shall assess costs against the residential tenant, subject to the provisions of section 563.01, and may allow damages and reasonable attorney fees for the wrongful granting of the order for possession. If the order is affirmed, the court shall tax costs against the landlord and may allow the residential tenant reasonable attorney's fees.

Subd. 3.Finality of order.

An order issued under subdivision 1, paragraph (c), or affirmed, modified, or dissolved under subdivision 2, is a final order for purposes of appeal. Either party may appeal the order within ten days after entry. If the party appealing remains in possession of the premises, bond must be given to:

(1) pay all costs of the appeal;

(2) obey the court's order; and

(3) pay all rent and other damages that justly accrue to the party excluded from possession during the pendency of the appeal.

Subd. 4.Waiver not allowed.

A provision of an oral or written lease or other agreement in which a residential tenant waives this section is contrary to public policy and void.

Subd. 5.Purpose.

The purpose of this section is to provide an additional and summary remedy for residential tenants unlawfully excluded or removed from rental property and, except where expressly provided in this section, sections 504B.285 to 504B.371 do not apply to proceedings under this section.

Subd. 6.Application.

In addition to residential tenants and landlords, this section applies to:

(1) occupants and owners of residential real property that is the subject of a mortgage foreclosure or contract for deed cancellation for which the period for redemption or reinstatement of the contract has expired; and

(2) mortgagees and contract for deed vendors.

504B.381 EMERGENCY TENANT REMEDIES ACTION.

Subdivision 1.Petition.

A person authorized to bring an action under section 504B.395, subdivision 1, may petition the court for relief in cases of emergency involving the loss of running water, hot water, heat, electricity, sanitary facilities, or other essential services or facilities that the landlord is responsible for providing.

Subd. 2.Venue.

The venue of the action authorized by this section is the county where the residential building alleged to contain the emergency condition is located.

Subd. 3.Petition information.

The petitioner must present a verified petition to the district court that contains:

(1) a description of the premises and the identity of the landlord;

(2) a statement of the facts and grounds that demonstrate the existence of an emergency caused by the loss of essential services or facilities; and

(3) a request for relief.

Subd. 4.Notice.

The petitioner must attempt to notify the landlord, at least 24 hours before application to the court, of the petitioner's intent to seek emergency relief. An order may be granted without notice to the landlord if the court finds that reasonable efforts, as set forth in the petition or by separate affidavit, were made to notify the landlord but that the efforts were unsuccessful.

Subd. 5.Relief; service of order.

The court may order relief as provided in section 504B.425. The petitioner shall serve the order on the landlord personally or by mail as soon as practicable.

Subd. 6.Limitation.

This section does not extend to emergencies that are the result of the deliberate or negligent act or omission of a residential tenant or anyone acting under the direction or control of the residential tenant.

Subd. 7.Effect of other laws.

Section 504B.395, subdivisions 3 and 4, do not apply to a petition for emergency relief under this section.

504B.385 RENT ESCROW ACTION TO REMEDY VIOLATIONS.

Subdivision 1.Escrow of rent.

(a) If a violation exists in a residential building, a residential tenant may deposit the amount of rent due to the landlord with the court administrator using the procedures described in paragraphs (b) to (d).

(b) For a violation as defined in section 504B.001, subdivision 14, clause (1), the residential tenant may deposit with the court administrator the rent due to the landlord along with a copy of the written notice of the code violation as provided in section 504B.185, subdivision 2. The residential tenant may not deposit the rent or file the written notice of the code violation until the time granted to make repairs has expired without satisfactory repairs being made, unless the residential tenant alleges that the time granted is excessive.

(c) For a violation as defined in section 504B.001, subdivision 14, clause (2) or (3), the residential tenant must give written notice to the landlord specifying the violation. The notice must be delivered personally or sent to the person or place where rent is normally paid. If the violation is not corrected within 14 days, the residential tenant may deposit the amount of rent due to the landlord with the court administrator along with an affidavit specifying the violation. The court must provide a simplified form affidavit for use under this paragraph.

(d) The residential tenant need not deposit rent if none is due to the landlord at the time the residential tenant files the notice required by paragraph (b) or (c). All rent which becomes due to the landlord after that time but before the hearing under subdivision 6 must be deposited with the court administrator. As long as proceedings are pending under this section, the residential tenant must pay rent to the landlord or as directed by the court and may not withhold rent to remedy a violation.

Subd. 2.Counterclaim for possession.

(a) The landlord may file a counterclaim for possession of the property in cases where the landlord alleges that the residential tenant did not deposit the full amount of rent with the court administrator.

(b) The court must set the date for a hearing on the counterclaim not less than seven nor more than 14 days from the day of filing the counterclaim. If the rent escrow hearing and the hearing on the counterclaim for possession cannot be heard on the same day, the matters must be consolidated and heard on the date scheduled for the hearing on the counterclaim.

(c) The contents of the counterclaim for possession must meet the requirements for a complaint under section 504B.321.

(d) The landlord must serve the counterclaim as provided in section 504B.331, except that the affidavit of service or mailing may be brought to the hearing rather than filed with the court before the hearing.

(e) The court must provide a simplified form for use under this section.

Subd. 3.Defenses.

The defenses provided in section 504B.415 are defenses to an action brought under this section.

Subd. 4.Filing fee.

The court administrator may charge a filing fee in the amount set for complaints and counterclaims in conciliation court, subject to the filing of an inability to pay affidavit.

Subd. 5.Notice of hearing.

(a) A hearing must be held within ten to 14 days from the day a residential tenant:

(1) deposits rent with the court administrator; or

(2) files the notice required under subdivision 1, paragraph (b) or (c), if the tenant is not required to deposit rent with the court administrator under subdivision 1, paragraph (d).

Nothing in this subdivision relieves the tenant of the obligation to deposit rent that becomes due to the landlord after the filing but before the hearing with the court administrator.

(b) If the cost of remedying the violation, as estimated by the residential tenant, is within the jurisdictional limit for conciliation court, the court administrator shall notify the landlord and the residential tenant of the time and place of the hearing by first class mail.

(c) The residential tenant must provide the court administrator with the landlord's name and address. If the landlord has disclosed a post office box as the landlord's address under section 504B.181, notice of the hearing may be mailed to the post office box.

(d) If the cost of remedying the violation, as estimated by the tenant, is above the jurisdictional limit for conciliation court, the tenant must serve the notice of hearing according to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure.

(e) The notice of hearing must specify the amount the residential tenant has deposited with the court administrator and must inform the landlord that possession of the premises will not be in issue at the hearing unless the landlord files a counterclaim for possession or an eviction action.

Subd. 6.Hearing.

The hearing shall be conducted by a court without a jury. A certified copy of an inspection report meets the requirements of rule 803(8) of the Minnesota Rules of Evidence as an exception to the rule against hearsay, and meets the requirements of rules 901 and 902 of the Minnesota Rules of Evidence as to authentication.

Subd. 7.Release of rent prior to hearing.

If the residential tenant gives written notice to the court administrator that the violation has been remedied, the court administrator must release the rent to the landlord and, unless the hearing has been consolidated with another action, must cancel the hearing. If the residential tenant and the landlord enter into a written agreement signed by both parties apportioning the rent between them, the court administrator must release the rent in accordance with the written agreement and cancel the hearing.

Subd. 8.Consolidation with an eviction action.

Actions under this section and eviction actions which involve the same parties must be consolidated and heard on the date scheduled for the eviction action.

Subd. 9.Judgment.

(a) Upon finding that a violation exists, the court may, in its discretion, do any or all of the following:

(1) order relief as provided in section 504B.425, including retroactive rent abatement;

(2) order that all or a portion of the rent in escrow be released for the purpose of remedying the violation;

(3) order that rent be deposited with the court as it becomes due to the landlord or abate future rent until the landlord remedies the violation; or

(4) impose fines as required in section 504B.391.

(b) When a proceeding under this section has been consolidated with a counterclaim for possession or an eviction action, and the landlord prevails, the residential tenant may redeem the tenancy as provided in section 504B.291.

(c) When a proceeding under this section has been consolidated with a counterclaim for possession or an eviction action on the grounds of nonpayment, the court may not require the residential tenant to pay the landlord's filing fee as a condition of retaining possession of the property when the residential tenant has deposited with the court the full amount of money found by the court to be owed to the landlord.

Subd. 10.Release of rent after hearing.

If the court finds, after a hearing on the matter has been held, that no violation exists in the building or that the residential tenant did not deposit the full amount of rent due with the court administrator, it shall order the immediate release of the rent to the landlord. If the court finds that a violation existed, but was remedied between the commencement of the action and the hearing, it may order rent abatement and must release the rent to the parties accordingly. Any rent found to be owed to the residential tenant must be released to the tenant.

Subd. 11.Retaliation; waiver not allowed.

Section 504B.441 applies to proceedings under this section. The residential tenant rights under this section may not be waived or modified and are in addition to and do not limit other rights or remedies which may be available to the residential tenant and landlord, except as provided in subdivision 1.

504B.391 VIOLATIONS OF BUILDING REPAIR ORDERS.

Subdivision 1.Noncompliance; fines.

If the court finds that a landlord has willfully failed to comply with a court order to remedy a violation, the court shall fine the landlord according to the following schedule:

(1) $250 for the first failure to comply;

(2) $500 for the second failure to comply with an order regarding the same violation; and

(3) $750 for the third and each subsequent failure to comply with an order regarding the same violation.

Subd. 2.Criminal penalty.

A landlord who willfully fails to comply with a court order to remedy a violation is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if it is the third or subsequent time that the landlord has willfully failed to comply with an order to remedy a violation within a three-year period.


TENANT REMEDIES ACTION

504B.395 PROCEDURE.

Subdivision 1.Who may bring action.

An action may be brought in district court by:

(1) a residential tenant of a residential building in which a violation, as defined in section 504B.001, subdivision 14, is alleged to exist;

(2) any housing-related neighborhood organization with the written permission of a residential tenant of a residential building in which a violation, as defined in section 504B.001, subdivision 14, clause (1) or (2), is alleged to exist;

(3) a housing-related neighborhood organization that has within its geographical area an unoccupied residential building in which a violation, as defined in section 504B.001, subdivision 14, clause (1) or (2), is alleged to exist; or

(4) a state, county, or local department or authority, charged with the enforcement of codes relating to health, housing, or building maintenance.

Subd. 2.Venue.

The venue of the action authorized by this section is the county where the residential building alleged to contain violations is located.

Subd. 3.When action may be brought.

(a) After a residential building inspection has been made under section 504B.185, an action may not be brought under sections 504B.381, 504B.385, or 504B.395 to 504B.451 until the time granted under section 504B.185, subdivision 2, has expired and satisfactory repairs to remove the code violations have not been made.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), an action may be brought if the residential tenant, or neighborhood organization with the written permission of a tenant, alleges the time granted under section 504B.185, subdivision 2, is excessive.

Subd. 4.Landlord must be informed.

A landlord must be informed in writing of an alleged violation at least 14 days before an action is brought by:

(1) a residential tenant of a residential building in which a violation as defined in section 504B.001, subdivision 14, clause (2) or (3), is alleged to exist; or

(2) a housing-related neighborhood organization, with the written permission of a residential tenant of a residential building in which a violation, as defined in section 504B.001, subdivision 14, clause (2), is alleged to exist. The notice requirement may be waived if the court finds that the landlord cannot be located despite diligent efforts.

Subd. 5.Summons and complaint required.

The action must be started by service of a complaint and summons. The summons may be issued only by a judge or court administrator.

Subd. 6.Contents of complaint.

(a) The complaint must be verified and must:

(1) allege material facts showing that a violation or violations exist in the residential building;

(2) state the relief sought; and

(3) list the rent due each month from each dwelling unit within the residential building, if known.

(b) If the violation is a violation as defined in section 504B.001, subdivision 14, clause (1), the complaint must be accompanied by:

(1) a copy of the official report of inspection by a department of health, housing, or buildings, certified by the custodian of records of that department stating:

(i) when and by whom the residential building concerned was inspected;

(ii) what code violations were recorded; and

(iii) that notice of the code violations has been given to the landlord; or

(2) a statement that a request for inspection was made to the appropriate state, county, or municipal department, that demand was made on the landlord to correct the alleged code violation, and that a reasonable period of time has elapsed since the demand or request was made.

504B.401 SUMMONS.

Subdivision 1.Contents.

(a) On receipt of the complaint in section 504B.395, the court administrator shall prepare a summons. The summons shall:

(1) specify the time and place of the hearing to be held on the complaint; and

(2) state that if at the time of the hearing a defense is not interposed and established by the landlord, judgment may be entered for the relief requested and authorized by sections 504B.381 and 504B.395 to 504B.471.

(b) The hearing must be scheduled not less than seven nor more than 14 days after receipt of the complaint by the court administrator.

Subd. 2.Service.

The summons and complaint must be served upon the landlord or the landlord's agent not less than seven nor more than 14 days before the hearing. Service shall be by personal service upon the defendant pursuant to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure. If personal service cannot be made with due diligence, service may be made by affixing a copy of the summons and complaint prominently to the residential building involved, and mailing at the same time a copy of the summons and complaint by certified mail to the last known address of the landlord.

504B.411 ANSWER.

At or before the time of the hearing, the landlord may answer in writing. Defenses that are not contained in a written answer must be orally pleaded at the hearing before any testimony is taken. No delays in the date of hearing may be granted to allow time to prepare a written answer or reply except with the consent of all parties.

504B.415 DEFENSES.

It is a sufficient defense to a complaint under section 504B.385 or 504B.395 that:

(1) the violation or violations alleged in the complaint do not exist or that the violation or violations have been removed or remedied;

(2) the violations have been caused by the willful, malicious, negligent, or irresponsible conduct of a complaining residential tenant or anyone under the tenant's direction or control; or

(3) a residential tenant of the residential building has unreasonably refused entry to the landlord or the landlord's agent to a portion of the property for the purpose of correcting the violation, and that the effort to correct was made in good faith.

504B.421 HEARING.

If issues of fact are raised, they must be tried by the court without a jury. The court may grant a postponement of the trial on its own motion or at the request of a party if it determines that postponements are necessary to enable a party to procure necessary witnesses or evidence. A postponement must be for no more than ten days except by consent of all appearing parties.

504B.425 JUDGMENT.

(a) If the court finds that the complaint in section 504B.395 has been proved, it may, in its discretion, take any of the actions described in paragraphs (b) to (g), either alone or in combination.

(b) The court may order the landlord to remedy the violation or violations found by the court to exist if the court is satisfied that corrective action will be undertaken promptly.

(c) The court may order the residential tenant to remedy the violation or violations found by the court to exist and deduct the cost from the rent subject to the terms as the court determines to be just.

(d) The court may appoint an administrator with powers described in section 504B.445, and:

(1) direct that rents due:

(i) on and from the day of entry of judgment, in the case of petitioning residential tenants or housing-related neighborhood organizations; and

(ii) on and from the day of service of the judgment on all other residential and commercial tenants of the residential building, if any,

shall be deposited with the administrator appointed by the court; and

(2) direct that the administrator use the rents collected to remedy the violations found to exist by the court by paying the debt service, taxes, and insurance, and providing the services necessary to the ordinary operation and maintenance of the residential building which the landlord is obligated to provide but fails or refuses to provide.

(e) The court may find the extent to which any uncorrected violations impair the residential tenants' use and enjoyment of the property contracted for and order the rent abated accordingly. If the court enters judgment under this paragraph, the parties shall be informed and the court shall determine the amount by which the rent is to be abated.

(f) After termination of administration, the court may continue the jurisdiction of the court over the residential building for a period of one year and order the landlord to maintain the residential building in compliance with all applicable state, county, and city health, safety, housing, building, fire prevention, and housing maintenance codes.

(g) The court may grant any other relief it deems just and proper, including a judgment against the landlord for reasonable attorney fees, not to exceed $500, in the case of a prevailing residential tenant or neighborhood organization. The $500 limitation does not apply to awards made under section 549.211 or other specific statutory authority.

504B.431 SERVICE OF JUDGMENT.

A copy of the judgment must be personally served on every residential and commercial tenant of the residential building whose obligations will be affected by the judgment. If, with due diligence, personal service cannot be made, service may be made by posting a notice of the judgment on the entrance door of the residential tenant's dwelling or commercial tenant's unit and by mailing a copy of the judgment to the residential tenant or commercial tenant by certified mail.

504B.435 LANDLORD'S RIGHT TO COLLECT RENT SUSPENDED.

If an administrator has been appointed pursuant to section 504B.425, paragraph (d), any right of the landlord to collect rent from the petitioner is void and unenforceable from the time the court signs the order for judgment until the administration is terminated. Any right of the landlord to collect rent from other tenants is void and unenforceable from the time of service of judgment as set forth in section 504B.431 until the administration is terminated.

504B.441 RESIDENTIAL TENANT MAY NOT BE PENALIZED FOR COMPLAINT.

A residential tenant may not be evicted, nor may the residential tenant's obligations under a lease be increased or the services decreased, if the eviction or increase of obligations or decrease of services is intended as a penalty for the residential tenant's or housing-related neighborhood organization's complaint of a violation. The burden of proving otherwise is on the landlord if the eviction or increase of obligations or decrease of services occurs within 90 days after filing the complaint, unless the court finds that the complaint was not made in good faith. After 90 days the burden of proof is on the residential tenant.

504B.445 ADMINISTRATOR.

Subdivision 1.Appointment.

The administrator may be a person, local government unit or agency, other than a landlord of the building, the inspector, the complaining residential tenant, or a person living in the complaining residential tenant's dwelling unit. If a state or court agency is authorized by statute, ordinance, or regulation to provide persons or neighborhood organizations to act as administrators under this section, the court may appoint them to the extent they are available.

Subd. 2.Posting bond.

A person or neighborhood organization appointed as administrator shall post bond to the extent of the rents expected by the court to be necessary to be collected to correct the violation or violations. Administrators appointed from governmental agencies shall not be required to post bond.

Subd. 3.Expenses.

The court may allow a reasonable amount for the services of administrators and the expense of the administration from rent money. When the administration terminates, the court may enter judgment against the landlord in a reasonable amount for the services and expenses incurred by the administrator.

Subd. 4.Powers.

The administrator may:

(1) collect rents from residential and commercial tenants, evict residential and commercial tenants for nonpayment of rent or other cause, enter into leases for vacant dwelling units, rent vacant commercial units with the consent of the landlord, and exercise other powers necessary and appropriate to carry out the purposes of sections 504B.381 and 504B.395 to 504B.471;

(2) contract for the reasonable cost of materials, labor, and services including utility services provided by a third party necessary to remedy the violation or violations found by the court to exist and for the rehabilitation of the property to maintain safe and habitable conditions over the useful life of the property, and disburse money for these purposes from funds available for the purpose;

(3) provide services to the residential tenants that the landlord is obligated to provide but refuses or fails to provide, and pay for them from funds available for the purpose;

(4) petition the court, after notice to the parties, for an order allowing the administrator to encumber the property to secure funds to the extent necessary to cover the costs described in clause (2), including reasonable fees for the administrator's services, and to pay for the costs from funds derived from the encumbrance; and

(5) petition the court, after notice to the parties, for an order allowing the administrator to receive funds made available for this purpose by the federal or state governing body or the municipality to the extent necessary to cover the costs described in clause (2) and pay for them from funds derived from this source.

The municipality shall recover disbursements under clause (5) by special assessment on the real estate affected, bearing interest at the rate determined by the municipality, but not to exceed the rate established for finance charges for open-end credit sales under section 334.16, subdivision 1, clause (b). The assessment, interest, and any penalties shall be collected as are special assessments made for other purposes under state statute or municipal charter.

Subd. 5.Termination of administration.

At any time during the administration, the administrator or any party may petition the court after notice to all parties for an order terminating the administration on the ground that the funds available to the administrator are insufficient to effect the prompt remedy of the violations. If the court finds that the petition is proved, the court shall terminate the administration and proceed to judgment under section 504B.425, paragraph (e).

Subd. 6.Residential building repairs and services.

The administrator must first contract and pay for residential building repairs and services necessary to keep the residential building habitable before other expenses may be paid. If sufficient funds are not available for paying other expenses, such as tax and mortgage payments, after paying for necessary repairs and services, the landlord is responsible for the other expenses.

Subd. 7.Administrator's liability.

The administrator may not be held personally liable in the performance of duties under this section except for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance of office.

Subd. 8.Dwelling's economic viability.

In considering whether to grant the administrator funds under subdivision 4, the court must consider factors relating to the long-term economic viability of the dwelling, including:

(1) the causes leading to the appointment of an administrator;

(2) the repairs necessary to bring the property into code compliance;

(3) the market value of the property; and

(4) whether present and future rents will be sufficient to cover the cost of repairs or rehabilitation.

504B.451 RECEIVERSHIP REVOLVING LOAN FUND.

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency may establish a revolving loan fund to pay the administrative expenses of receivership administrators under section 504B.445 for properties for occupancy by low- and moderate-income persons or families. Landlords must repay administrative expense payments made from the fund.

504B.455 REMOVAL OF ADMINISTRATOR.

Subdivision 1.Petition by administrator.

The administrator may, after notice to all parties, petition the court to be relieved of duties, including in the petition the reasons for it. The court may, in its discretion, grant the petition and discharge the administrator upon approval of the accounts.

Subd. 2.Petition by a party.

A party may, after notice to the administrator and all other parties, petition the court to remove the administrator. If the party shows good cause, the court shall order the administrator removed and direct the administrator to immediately deliver to the court an accounting of administration. The court may make any other order necessary and appropriate under the circumstances.

Subd. 3.Appointment of new administrator.

If the administrator is removed, the court shall appoint a new administrator in accordance with section 504B.445, giving all parties an opportunity to be heard.

504B.461 TERMINATION OF ADMINISTRATION.

Subdivision 1.Events of termination.

The administration shall be terminated upon one of the following:

(1) certification is secured from the appropriate governmental agency that the violations found by the court to exist at the time of judgment have been remedied; or

(2) an order according to section 504B.445, subdivision 5.

Subd. 2.Accounting by administrator.

After the occurrence of any of the conditions in subdivision 1, the administrator shall:

(1) submit to the court an accounting of receipts and disbursements of the administration together with copies of all bills, receipts, and other memoranda pertaining to the administration, and, where appropriate, a certification by an appropriate governmental agency that the violations found by the court to exist at the time of judgment have been remedied; and

(2) comply with any other order the court makes as a condition of discharge.

Subd. 3.Discharge of administrator.

Upon approval by the court of the administrator's accounts and compliance by the administrator with any other order the court may make as a condition of discharge, the court shall discharge the administrator from any further responsibilities pursuant to section 504B.381 and sections 504B.395 to 504B.471.

504B.465 WAIVER NOT ALLOWED.

Any provision of a lease or other agreement in which a provision of section 504B.381 or sections 504B.395 to 504B.471 is waived by a residential tenant is contrary to public policy and void.

504B.471 PURPOSE TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL REMEDIES.

The purpose of section 504B.381 and sections 504B.395 to 504B.471 is to provide additional remedies and nothing contained in those sections alters the ultimate financial liability of the landlord or residential tenant for repairs or maintenance of the building.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569