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I am often asked what a landlord should do is a tenant wants to have a companion animal. The short answer is that the landlord needs to be very careful. After all, the landlord does not want to violate and be subject to the civil penalties of the Americans with Disability Act and the Fair Housing Act.

Typically, the lease prohibits the tenant from possessing pets in the rental property, but the tenant makes a request for reasonable accommodation, either through a letter from a doctor or other mental health professional or through a letter or note from the tenant. In the letter, the landlord is asked – as a reasonable accommodation – to allow the tenant to have a pet in the rental property, despite the prohibition on pets in the lease.

To make a request for a reasonable accommodation under the law, the tenant must:

1. Show that they have a disability;

2. Request a specific change in the rule; and

3. Explain how this change is necessary to accommodate the disability in order to make the housing accessible, to fully use the home, or to reduce the negative effects of the disability.

Homeline, The Landlord's Guide to Minnesota Law, p. 35, [publication date unavailable].

The landlord's duty to take action is not triggered unless and until the tenant submits a request for reasonable accommodation that meets the requirements of the law's criteria.  Id. however, I would generally encourage landlords to err on the side of caution and construe a request for a companion animal reasonably.

It is important, for purposes of determining whether a tenant has made a request for reasonable at accommodation, to differentiate between service animals and companion animals.  "Service animals are dogs or on other animals [that have been trained by a certified training agency and] meet certain certifications. A companion animal does not have to be certified and can be almost any type of animal."  Id.

Landlords have to be very cautious and make sure to follow the law when addressing a request for reasonable accommodation. I do not think that any landlord would want to be exposed to the potential liability that can come from violating the law and discriminating against a tenant.

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. The first thing I will ask you is what you want to have happen because, ultimately, the landlord is in control. I have represented many landlords, but 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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Tim is teaching a free seminar/CLE on evictions and landlord-tenant law, including security deposits and abandoned tenant property. The seminar will be held on Thursday 10/6/16 from 9 AM – 10 AM at Tim's office, 2140 – 4th Ave., Anoka, MN 55303.

Here is the official description of the seminar:

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.

ATTORNEYS: One standard CLE credit has been applied for.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-every-landlord-needs-to-know-about-evictions-security-deposits-abandoned-tenant-property-and-tickets-27957113479

Alternatively, you can also call Tim directly at 763-450-9494 to register.

Thanks!







 
 
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I am often asked what a landlord has to do to evict a tenant. The short answer is that, in Minnesota, the landlord must follow several specific steps in order to bring an eviction action in court.

Before a landlord files an eviction action, however, I recommend that the landlord try to talk to the tenants and resolve the dispute informally, without the need to go to court. After all, the tenants might agree to pay the back rent or move out within a reasonably short period of time. However, if the landlord and tenants cannot work things out on their own, then the landlord might need to go to court to get the tenants out.

An eviction action is all about who has the right to be in possession of the premises.  "Right to possession" means who has the right to occupy the premises, whether the premises is an apartment in an apartment building, a lot in a mobile home park, a townhome, a standalone house, or a commercial space, such as a warehouse or office building . By reason of their lease, the tenants have the right to be in possession, but if the tenants are violating the lease by not paying rent or for some other reason, then the landlord has the right to evict the tenants to regain possession.

Once the landlord has decided to bring an eviction against the tenants, the landlord must draft, file, and serve an eviction action complaint in District Court, get the summons back from the courthouse, serve the summons and complaint on the tenant within 7 days of the date of the hearing, and appear at the hearing. If necessary, the landlord also has to get the writ of recovery (the document that orders the sheriff to remove the tenants) from the courthouse, take it to the sheriff, and called the sheriff to schedule a physical move out if the tenants do not vacate within 24 hours of being served with a writ.

Serving an eviction is tricky. The landlord cannot personally serve the eviction summons and complaint, but must have somebody who is not a party to the action and over the age of 18 serve it. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenants within 7 days of the date of the hearing. That means that the summons and complaint must be served one full week before the hearing date. If the landlord tries to serve the tenants on 2 occasions, once after 6 PM, then the law provides that the landlord can post service of the eviction summons on the door of the premises.  If you have to post, I strongly recommend that you research the requirements for posting beforehand. There are several detailed and necessary steps that you must take for posting, or you risk in validating your service.

If the leased premises are owned by a corporation, a limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, or some other business entity, then that entity must be represented by an attorney in District Court. However, if the landlord personally owns the premises as an individual, then the landlord can represent himself or herself in District Court. Still, I think that any landlord would benefit from being represented by an attorney.

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. The first thing I will ask you is what you want to have happen because, ultimately, the landlord is in control. I have represented many landlords, but 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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Tim is teaching a FREE seminar/CLE on real estate titled "Real Estate: Everything that You Always Wanted to Know." The seminar will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 from 9 AM – 10 AM at Tim's office, 2140 4th Ave., Anoka, MN 55303.

Aimed at attorneys and other legal professionals who do not regularly practice in the area of real estate, this seminar is intended to be a synopsis of real estate law and terminology. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the law governing real estate transactions.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/real-estate-everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-real-estate-transfers-tickets-27309079191

Attorneys: 1 standard CLE credit has been applied for.



 
 
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There was only one decision this week on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The decision stands for the proposition that an applicant commits unemployment misconduct by punching another employee in the head and causing that employee to have a concussion. Still, the decision was remanded in part for specific findings on whether the conduct in question constituted aggravated misconduct. Without further ado, here is the summary:

A16-0050: Debra Barrett, Relator, vs. Jourdain/Perpich Extended Care Facility, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

In this unemployment-compensation appeal, relator challenges a determination by an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) on reconsideration that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was discharged from her employment for employment misconduct. The misconduct in question was punching another employee in the head and causing that employee to have a concussion.

The Court of Appeals upheld the determination by the unemployment law judge that the conduct in question was employment misconduct, but rain remanded the case  back to the Department of Employment and Economic Development for a determination by the unemployment law judge whether the  misconduct was aggravated and could be a crime under Minnesota law.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, 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 is different about a manufactured home eviction in comparison to a regular eviction from residential property. Typically, the resident of the manufactured home park owns the manufactured home in which they live, but leases the  land – commonly called a lot – occupied by the manufactured home. The short answer is that the process is largely the same, but there are some specific requirements – and only limited reasons – why a tenant can be evicted from a manufactured home.

Evictions from a manufactured home park are governed by Minn. Stat. Ch. 504B and Minn. Stat. Ch. 327C .320 7C .09 list the only reasons why a resident of a manufactured home park can be evicted:

1. Nonpayment of rent or utilities;

2. Violations of law;

3. Rule violations;

4. Endangering or substantially unknowing other residents;

5. Repeated serious violations of lease or ordinance or state law/rule;

6. Material misstatement in application; and

7. Specific improvement that the park owner plans to make that necessitate the eviction of the resident.

Most of these reasons why a resident of a manufactured home can be evicted require the landlord to provide some sort of notice and opportunity to correct the violation. For example, if a landlord wants to bring an eviction action based on nonpayment of rent or utilities, the landlord has to provide the resident of the manufactured home park with a 10-day notice, and give the resident 10 days to correct the nonpayment before the landlord can bring an eviction. For other violations, the landlord typically has to give a 30 day advance notice before bringing an eviction, but the amount of time in the landlord's rights and responsibilities vary.



For all of these reasons, the landlord should consult with an attorney who focuses on evictions, landlord-tenant law, and manufactured homes before taking any action. To that end, I invite landlords to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss their unique situation. I have represented many landlords, but 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 whether a person needs a trust. The short answer is that most people do not need a trust, but there are certain situations where a trust is a good idea. In other words, you probably do not need a trust unless there is a good reason for you to have a trust.

A few definitions are in order. There are two kinds of trusts: a living trust, which is created during the lifetime of the settlor (the person who creates the trust) through a separate trust document and a testamentary or after-death trust, which is created through the testator's Will.

After the trust is created, the settlor funds the trust by transferring assets and property from the settlor to the trust.  The person who manages the trust is called the trustee. The trustee is responsible for administering the property in the trust in accordance with the settlor's wishes. A living trust can be revocable or irrevocable. In other words, the settlor can revoke or cancel the trust during the settlor's lifetime. If the settlor revokes the trust, the property in the trust goes back to the settlor.

That said, a trust is not an appropriate estate planning vehicle for most people. Unless you have excessive wealth, unique property (I am thinking of Prince's music – both released and unreleased), or a special situation, I trust is probably not appropriate for you and will needlessly complicate your estate plan. However, a trust may be appropriate if you have minor children, have minor or adult children with diminished capacity who cannot handle their own financial affairs, have a lot of property that you want to give to charity, need to reduce your taxable estate, or want to fund your estate with life insurance.

There are other reasons to have a trust, and the best way to determine if a trust is right for you is to meet with an estate planning attorney. However, for most people, an estate plan consisting of a will, a health care directive, and a power of attorney is more appropriate than a trust.

The best way to determine what is right for you is to meet with an estate planning attorney. To that end, I invite you to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss your specific situation. Everybody who calls gets a free 5 minute mini telephone consultation. An in person meeting is $250, and that amount is credited to your account when you retained me to represent you in drafting your Will, healthcare advance directive, power of attorney, and other estate planning documents.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in the state and federal courts of Minnesota, and the advice that he gives is applicable to that jurisdiction only. 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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Tim is teaching a seminar on bankruptcy basics. The seminar will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 9 AM at Tim's office, 2140 – 4th Ave., North, Anoka, MN 55303. The seminar is scheduled to last for one hour.

Here is the description of the seminar:

This seminar covers the basics of bankruptcy for consumer and small business debtors, including the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, exemptions and ways to keep non-exempt property, and what to expect at the Meeting of Creditors and other bankruptcy-related court hearings.  Intended for consumer and small business debtors, as well as attorneys who do not handle bankruptcy cases, this seminar will introduce you to bankruptcy.

ATTORNEYS: One standard CLE credit has been applied for.

WARNING: Tim is a debt-relief agent, and his office is a debt-relief agency.  Tim helps people like you to file for bankruptcy relief.

For more information or to register, please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bankruptcy-basics-everything-you-need-to-know-about-bankruptcy-tickets-27031482893


 
 
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I am often asked whether a person needs to have a Will or estate plan. The answer is yes, probably. If you are single, have never been married, are not in a relationship, do not have children (either biological or adopted), do not have life insurance or another form of insurance that pays a cash benefit upon your death, rent as opposed to own your home, do not own any significant personal property (such as a motor vehicle), and are okay with the state determining what happens to your property after you die, then you might be okay not having an estate plan. In other words, and estate plan is right for most persons, and most people need an estate plan.

I think that everybody should have an estate plan consisting of a Will, a health care directive, and a power of attorney. The Will controls what happens to your property after your death; the health care directive appoints someone who you know and trust to be your healthcare agent in the event that you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions related to your medical care and treatment by yourself; and the power of attorney appoint someone you know and trust to make decisions and carry on your financial affairs in the event that you are unable to do so on your own.

There are two primary reasons why you should have an estate plan. First, you want the control that comes from having a written plan detailing how you want your property distributed at the time of your death. I believe that you will feel an immense feeling of satisfaction and relief once you have a written plan in place that says what you want to have happen to your personal property when you die. I also think that you will feel a profound sense of relief when you have a health care directive and power of attorney that gives somebody you trust the authority to make medical and financial decisions, respectively, on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

The purpose of having an estate plan is not necessarily to benefit you, but to make life easier for those who survive you. Instead of having your loved ones sit around the hospital or funeral home wondering how you would like this situation – probably, your last illness or death – handled, what you would have done, and what you would like to have done, you can spell out exactly what you want to have happen in your estate plan and provide guidance and instruction for your survivors. Providing that guidance and instruction to your survivors is the real purpose and value of having an estate plan.

I've written about this before, but I think that the death of the pop icon Prince illustrates why you should have an estate plan. Prince died intestate, without a Will. If Prince had had a Will, there would not now be so much legal wrangling, maneuvering, and fighting over his estate. I don't think that Prince would have wanted that, and doubt that you wanted as well. All of that trouble could have easily been avoided if Prince had had a Will. To see the prior article, please visit:

http://www.balandlaw.com/3/post/2016/06/the-probate-mess-stemming-from-princes-death-is-why-you-need-an-estate-plan.html

The best way to determine what is right for you is to meet with an estate planning attorney. To that end, I invite you to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss your specific situation. Everybody who calls gets a free 5 minute mini telephone consultation. An in person meeting is $250, and that amount is credited to your account when you retained me to represent you in drafting your Will, healthcare advance directive, power of attorney, and other estate planning documents.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in the state and federal courts of Minnesota, and the advice that he gives is applicable to that jurisdiction only. 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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Tim is teaching a free seminar: Everything You Need to Know about Estate Planning.  The seminar will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. at Tim's office, 2140-4th Ave., Anoka, MN 55303.

In this seminar, we will discuss the three pillars of estate planning – the will, the health care directive, and the power of attorney, what is the difference between each document, and the questions that you have to ask before signing each document

Space is limited, so advantage registration is required. To register, please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/everything-you-need-to-know-about-estate-planning-tickets-26528821419.

ATTORNEYS: one standard CLE credit has been applied for.