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Tim is teaching a free seminar called "What Every Landlord Needs to Know about Evictions, Security Deposits, Abandon Tenant Property, and Landlord – Tenant Law." The seminar will be held on Friday, March 11, 2016 from noon – 1 PM at Tim's office, 2140th Avenue, Anoka Minnesota 55303.

In this FREE seminar, we will cover the legal aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship, including how to handle evictions, security deposits, and tenant property remaining in the premises after the tenant moves out.  This seminar is geared for landlords, property managers, and attorneys who represent them.  Please call Tim directly at 763-450-9494 if you have any questions about this seminar.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, please visit
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-every-landlord-needs-to-know-about-evictions-security-deposits-abandoned-tenant-property-and-tickets-22240662420.

ATTORNEYS:One standard CLE credit has been applied for.







 
 
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I am often asked when a landlord should bring an eviction action to evict a tenant? The short answer is that it is ultimately up to the landlord, but I would recommend bringing an eviction action or sooner rather than later – probably as soon as the tenant is late with the rent. The landlord can also evict a tenant who is violating the provisions of a lease, even if the tenant is current on rent, but that is usually a more difficult eviction. This blog post will focus only on evicting a tenant for not paying rent. Watch for a different blog post on evicting a tenant for lease violations in the near future.

Most leases give the tenant a grace period – usually less than five days – to pay the rent. In other words, if rent is technically due on the first day of the month, the tenant has a grace period of a few days to actually pay the rent. However, the landlord is fully within the landlord's rights to bring an eviction action if rent has not been paid and the grace period has expired.

Mobile home parks are different under the law, because in mobile home parks, the landlord has to give a 10 day notice before bringing an eviction.  For most leases that do not involve property in a mobile home park, no notice that the landlord is going to bring a formal eviction action is required, unless that is a requirement of the lease. As a general rule, I recommend bringing an eviction as soon as possible.

In summary, a landlord should bring an eviction action as soon as the tenant is late in paying their rent, usually after the expiration of the grace period provided by the lease.  Some landlords will wait until the tenant is several months behind in paying the rent, but the danger in waiting is that the arrears will accumulate to such an extent that the tenant is unable to pay them all in a timely manner. As such, I recommend that a landlord bring in eviction action as soon as possible and as soon as is permitted by the lease.

Every landlord – tenant situation is unique, and I recommend that landlords talk to an attorney experienced in evictions and landlord tenant law before taking action based on this blog post.  To that end, I invite landlords to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss their unique situation. I typically do not represent tenants.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not apply to jurisdictions outside of Minnesota.  Further, reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.






 
 
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I am often asked how a landlord should handle a tenant's security deposit after the tenant moves out. The law is relatively clear in this case. Minn. Stat. 504B .178  governs security deposits in Minnesota, and provides that within 21 days of the date that the tenant moves out,

"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."

The landlord can withhold from the security deposit only amounts reasonably necessary to compensate the landlord for damages beyond ordinary wear and tear caused by the tenant. "Ordinary wear and tear" is just that – what you would reasonably expect to happen to a rental unit if someone lived in it for a period of time.

For example, if the carpet is worn or dirty in spots and the landlord needs to shampoo the carpet before the next tenant moves in, that is probably not a damage beyond ordinary wear and tear. If the tenant has ripped holes in the carpet or the carpet is significantly damaged – by pets, for example – and the landlord needs to replace the carpet, that might be an example of damage beyond ordinary wear and tear. You would not reasonably expect holes or gashes to be in the carpet after the carpet had been used normally for a period of time. Likewise, small nail holes in the walls (use for hanging pictures and knickknacks and the like) are probably ordinary wear and tear; however, big holes in the walls caused by the tenant are most likely beyond ordinary wear and tear.

So, the landlord needs to either return the security deposit pursuant to the tenants instructions or furnish a written statement to the tenant showing why the tenant is not getting all or a portion of the security deposit back. The statement should be sent by first-class mail to the tenant's last known address, which may be the rental unit if the tenant has not provided a forwarding address to the landlord.  The consequences for failing to comply are fairly severe. The landlord may also wish to send the statement by certified mail as well, just to be safe, although certified mail is not specifically required by the statute.

A landlord who does not follow the law concerning security deposits is liable to the tenant for the amount of the security deposit wrongfully withheld, double that amount as a penalty, and an additional $500 penalty if a judge finds that the security deposit was withheld in bad faith. Because the potential consequences of not following the law are very severe, I recommend that all landlords follow Minn. Stat. 504B .178 when it comes to dealing with security deposits after the tenant moves out.

Every landlord – tenant situation is unique, and I recommend that landlords talk to an attorney experienced in evictions and landlord tenant law before taking action based on this blog post.  To that end, I invite landlords to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss their unique situation. I typically do not represent tenants.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not apply to jurisdictions outside of Minnesota.  Further, reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.



 
 
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I am often asked what a landlord should do with personal property that a tenant leaves behind when the tenant either moves out and abandons the lease or is evicted. The short answer depends on whether the sheriff removes the tenant and whether the property is stored on-site or off-site.

The landlord's duties under the law are clear. If a tenant either moves out or abandons the lease and is evicted, the landlord has to inventory the property and store it for 28 days, if the property is stored on-site. The easiest way to do an inventory is to run a camcorder or video recorder over any property that is left behind, but I recommend that a landlord make an itemized list of the items that are left behind and then take a digital photograph of each item.

For the inventory, the landlord does not need to make an exhaustive list, but I recommend that big – ticket items, or items with intrinsic value, be listed separately. For example, if a tenant leaves 5 shirts or houses behind, a couple of pairs of pants, etc., the landlord can lump all those under the general category of "clothing." In other words, the landlord does not need to take a separate picture of each item of clothing, but can take one picture of all the clothing to gather.  However, for televisions, computers, electronics in general, and other big-ticket items, I recommend that the landlord list each item separately, and take a separate photograph of it, if only to be safe.


If the property is stored on site, the landlord has to complete such an inventory and, under Minn. Stat. 504B .271,

"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."

In other words, at least 14 days before a sale, the landlord has to post notice of the sale "in a conspicuous place" and mail the same notice by regular and certified US mail to the tenants last known address, which is probably going to be the property. If the landlord knows the tenant's telephone number or email address, I would recommend sending notice of the sale to the tenant by email, by text message, or by a telephone call.

If the sheriff removes the tenant and the property is going to be stored off-site, in a different location other than the rental premises, then the landlord is required to store the property for 60 days. For this reason, I generally recommend that a landlord store property left behind by a former tenant on-site, in a garage or storage locker. I generally do not recommend that a landlord store property off-site, although there are certainly reasons to do so.

There are multiple other requirements as well, which are enumerated in Minn. Stat. 504B.365, subd. 3. I strongly recommend that landlords review this statute in the event that a tenant is removed from the property by the sheriff.


Every landlord – tenant situation is unique, and I recommend that landlords talk to an attorney experienced in evictions and landlord tenant law before taking action  To that end, I invite landlords to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss their unique situation. I typically do not represent tenants.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not apply to jurisdictions outside of Minnesota.  Further, reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.