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Eviction Basics: What You Need To Know


This post is written by our clerk, they thoroughly researched and wrote
this very complete article on Eviction in Minnesota and I'm pleased to publish it here for you.


~Dan

The Basics

An eviction proceeding in Minnesota can be completed from start to finish in a month or less. A landlord may commence an eviction by filing a complaint with the court and serving the tenant with a summons issued by the court (Minn. Stat. § 504B.321). The court will then schedule a hearing in either district court or in a separate housing court (in the case of Hennepin and Ramsey counties) within 7 to 14 days after the issuance of the summons, unless there is a basis for expediting the hearing (Minn. Stat. § 504B.321). If the landlord obtains an order of recovery at the court hearing, unless there is a reason why the tenant must vacate the premises immediately, the court may allow the tenant a reasonable time to vacate the premises, not to exceed 7 days (Minn. Stat. § 504B.345). If the tenant does not comply with an order to vacate the premises, a county official must enforce the order (in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, the county sheriff would do so) (Minn. Stat. § 504B.365).


If the landlords eviction action is brought solely on the basis of nonpayment of rent, the tenant may prevent the eviction at any time prior to the landlord's recovery of possession of the premises by paying the amount of rent that is past due, plus interest, with costs of the action and other amounts (Minn. Stat. § 504B.291). If the tenant makes any partial payments of rent that are accepted by the landlord while the eviction action is underway, absent a written agreement to the contrary, the landlord may be deemed to have waived its eviction action (Minn. Stat. § 504B.291).


A landlord should carefully decide when it is appropriate to evict a tenant because Minnesota law may consider an eviction as an acceptance of the tenants' surrender of the premises, and impose upon the landlord a duty to mitigate its damages 


What Can A Landlord Sue For?


A landlord may sue the tenant for any damages incurred by the landlord resulting from the tenant's default. Most leases provide that the tenant will be obligated to pay the landlord's attorneys fees incurred in connection with a tenant lease default. If the lease has not been terminated and if the landlord has no duty to mitigate its damages, the tenant's obligation to pay rent on a monthly basis continues and the landlord may sue for such amounts as they come due. In the case of a non-monetary tenant default, a Minnesota court is unlikely to order that the tenant specifically performs under the lease, and damages may be difficult to prove unless the lease contains a liquidated damages provision.


Accelerated Rent and Duty To Mitigate Damages


Most leases provide that the landlord is entitled to its expectation damages following a tenant default. If the landlord has terminated the lease and evicted the tenant, the lease may provide for accelerated rent that the tenant would otherwise have paid had the tenant not defaulted.


In Minnesota, a landlord is in general not obligated to mitigate its damages (by, for example, releasing the premises), but eviction by the landlord probably triggers a duty to mitigate (see Condor Corp. v. Arlen Realty and Dev. Corp., 529 F.2d 87 (8th Cir. 1976); Provident Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Tachtronic Instruments, Inc., 394 N.W.2d 161 (Minn. Ct. App. 1986)).

However, some leases automatically require a landlord to 
mitigate its damages by explicitly providing so, or stating that the amount of future rent that a tenant must pay to the landlord following a default will be reduced by the amount the landlord could reasonably obtain from releasing the premises or the amount that the landlord actually obtains from releasing the premises.


What Happens to My Security Deposit?


If the tenant has given a security deposit to the landlord and if the lease so provides, the landlord may apply the security deposit to offset any unpaid rent or costs incurred by the landlord in curing the default. If a person or entity has guaranteed the tenant's obligations under the lease, the landlord should consider when and whether it is appropriate to look to the guarantor to cure the tenant's default. Minnesota law does not permit a landlord to seize the tenant's personal property for payment of delinquent rent, unless the landlord has a properly perfected security interest in the property under the Uniform Commercial Code (see Minn. Stat. §504B.101).

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney. All information contained in links are the property of the linked site. 

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney. All information contained in links are the property of the linked site.

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cosjj
June 4, 201811:11 PM
cosjj
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