The speeches, “What Every Landlord Should Know: Avoiding Honest (and costly) Mistakes” focuses on key issues that cause problems between landlords and tenants.  Additionally, learn about new laws that took effect in the last few years.

All trainings take place at HOME Line’s office (3455 Bloomington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407):

  • Monday, July 27, from 2:00 – 4:30 at HOME Line
  • Monday, August 10, from 2:00 – 4:30 at HOME Line
  • Monday, September 14, from 2:00 – 4:30 at HOME Line
  • Monday, October 19, from 2:00 – 4:30 at HOME Line
  • Monday, November 16, from 2:00 – 4:30 at HOME Line
  • Monday, December 14, from 2:00 – 4:30 at HOME Line

Please note: This course is recognized by the City of Minneapolis as covering the Fundamentals of Property Management.  This can be up to a $250 savings for “point of conversion” fees (going from a non-rental to a rental unit). Learn more about this discount here.

Along with the new laws, topics to be covered will include:

  • Fair Housing Complaints- What Starts Them?
  • The Application Process
  • Leases
  • Caretakers/On-site Staff
  • Bedbugs
  • Evictions
  • Security Deposits
  • When Can a Landlord Enter an Apartment?
  • Rent Increases
  • How to Give a Notice to Vacate

HOME Line attorneys have given speeches to landlord groups throughout Minnesota, covering a wide variety of landlord/tenant law topics. HOME Line is now offering a two-hour training conducted by Managing Attorney, Michael Vraa. Mike has personally spoken over 115 different groups of landlords in his 14 years of experience as an attorney working exclusively on landlord/tenant law.

“I was very skeptical that this wasn’t going to be much more than a very basic landlord class.  Boy was I wrong!  This class was informative and interesting…I recommend that every landlord take this class. It was invaluable.”
-Scott Ficek, Real Estate Agent

“In my practice, I frequently represent residential Landlords and receive phone calls from prospective clients asking, ‘What do I need to know about being a Landlord?’  My answer these days: Read HOME Line’s How to be the Smartest Renter on Your Block.”
-Jason T. Hutchinson, Attorney at Law

The cost to register online is $45 per attendee. 

Our book on Minnesota tenant landlord/law, How to be the Smartest Renter on Your Block will available for at a reduced rate of $15 if purchased in advance, and can be picked up at the training.

To register, please fill out the form below and it will allow you to pay online. If you prefer to pay with a check, you can register by contacting Deb at 612-728-5770 (x109) or at Additionally, if a management company or other agency would like to hire a HOME Line attorney to give a speech at your office, contact Tracey.

Step 1 of 2

  • Price: $45.00 Quantity:
    Fee is $45 per attendee. Please enter number of attendees in "Quanitity" field.
  • Price: $15.00 Quantity:
    Our book on Minnesota tenant landlord/law will available for at a reduced rate of $15 if purchased in advance, and can be picked up at the training.

Gender Justice, St. Paul, MN
HOME Line, Minneapolis, MN

Tenants Sue Landlords for Severe Violations of Privacy and Sexual Harassment at Home

Secretly videotaped and subjected to unwanted sexual advances by landlords, tenants feel unsafe in their homes.

Minneapolis, December 11, 2014.  Days before secretly installing a video camera trained on his tenant Tasheena Lewis’ shower, landlord Thomas Monson fired off this text message:


Monson’s wife and co-owner, Barbara Monson, failed to supervise the property or to prevent Monson from sexually harassing Lewis. Thankfully, Lewis discovered the hidden camera and moved out of the apartment in his St. Paul building.

Privacy violations in rental housing are surprisingly common; they are one of the top five legal issues for which Minnesota callers to the nonprofit tenant hotline HOME Line sought assistance last year. Female tenants like Lewis are especially likely to be subjected to unwanted invasions of their privacy. Seventy-one percent of the Minnesota HOME Line callers were female.

Existing laws require landlords to give “reasonable” notice before entering a tenant’s home, but in practice, renters often fear for their safety and face retaliation when they invoke their rights. Property owners or managers typically carry keys to their rental units, and a recommendation from a former landlord can greatly influence a tenant’s future housing options. Even when an individual does intend to enforce their rights, they must wait fourteen days before filing a rent escrow case in housing court. Such cases often take several more weeks to play out in court.

With help from HOME Line and Gender Justice, a nonprofit law firm that focuses on gender barriers, two separate lawsuits were filed yesterday in Hennepin County District Court on behalf of female tenants alleging sexual harassment both say they experienced at home.  (See Lewis v. Monson, 0:14-CV-04971; Malchow v. Tam, 27-CV-14-20178).

“Harassment at home is especially traumatic because victims and their families have no place to retreat from the abuse,” noted Jill Gaulding, a co-founder of the nonprofit law firm, Gender Justice, “and they risk losing their housing if they complain.”

That’s something Kimberly Malchow, who filed suit alleging sexual harassment against her former landlord Harvey Tam, knows all too well.

Malchow’s suit claims Tam sexually harassed her and consistently violated her privacy in her Richfield, Minnesota home. At one point, the suit explains, Tam barged into Malchow’s bedroom after learning she was breastfeeding her daughter.

Unable to find another apartment, Malchow demanded an end to her landlord’s abuse. Her family was soon facing eviction and homelessness.

“Difficulty finding replacement housing makes low income renters and single-parent families most vulnerable to harassment.” HOME Line attorney Jess Mikkelson explained. “Threats of eviction are especially compelling, because the eviction stays on your record.”

To avoid sending her family to a shelter, Malchow temporarily moved back into Tam’s building while she sought other options, but Tam’s harassment became even worse. When she objected to it, he evicted her yet again.

“We clearly need to do a better job of protecting renters from privacy violations and sexual harassment at home,” said Gaulding. “These two lawsuits are proof of that.”

Past legislative proposals aimed at strengthening privacy rights in rental housing have included specifying a clear notice timeline (24 hours instead of what the landlord deems “reasonable”), increasing the $100 penalty for privacy violations, and offering tenants a choice to file privacy cases more speedily in conciliation or district court.

About Gender Justice:   Gender Justice is a nonprofit legal advocacy organization that seeks to eliminate gender inequality through litigation, public policy advocacy, and education programs. Founded in 2010, Gender Justice is based in the Twin Cities and serves the Upper Midwest. For more information visit, find us on Facebook, ( or follow @GenderJustice on Twitter.

About HOME Line:   HOME Line provides free legal, organizing, educational and advocacy services so tenants throughout Minnesota can solve their own rental housing problems.  HOME Line works to improve public and private policies relating to rental housing by involving affected tenants in the process. Established in 1992, the organization expanded its free legal services statewide and is on pace to advise over 15,000 Minnesota renter households in 2014. More information on HOME Line is available at


Jessica Mikkelson, Housing Attorney, HOME Line (612) 255-8865,

Jill Gaulding, Legal Director, Gender Justice (612) 789-2090,

Tenant Rights on La Voz del Pueblo

November 19, 2014
KFAI La Voz del Pueblo

Este domingo pasado, Tenant Advocate Claire Branigan, junta con Reyna Flores, líder de inquilinos del vecindario Corcoran, fueron invitadas hablar sobre los derechos de renteros en el show del radio “La Voz del Pueblo” en la estación comunitaria, KFAI. ¡Puede escuchar una grabación de este show el enlace de abajo! This past Sunday, Tenant Advocate […]

Read the full article →

1/31/15 Tenant/landlord law training for students, volunteers, and attorneys (3.5 CLE credits)

November 12, 2014

Do you want to learn about how Minnesota laws affect renters?  Would you like to volunteer at HOME Line and assist tenants with their rental problems? Our free tenant/landlord law training for volunteers is coming up soon. We also offer paid registration for attorneys (we are applying for 3.5 CLE credits). Landlord/Tenant Law Training Saturday, January […]

Read the full article →

When is my landlord required to turn the heat on?

October 14, 2014
Thumbnail image for When is my landlord required to turn the heat on?

Is it chilly in your apartment? We are hearing from renters across the state who are living in cold apartments with no way to control the heat. Tenants who pay their own heating bill directly to the utility company are usually covered by Minnesota’s Cold Weather rule, that goes into effect on October 15.  However, tenants living in rental […]

Read the full article →

Meet HOME Line’s New Somali and Spanish Speaking Tenant Advocates

July 15, 2014

HOME Line would like to introduce Zeynab and Claire, our new Tenant Advocates working on addressing the needs of Somali and Spanish speaking renters. Both staff have been trained in tenant landlord law and are now providing advocacy in Somali and Spanish on our tenant hotline. In addition, they are beginning community outreach to organizations that […]

Read the full article →

Be Careful Before Using Certified Mail to Send a Legal Notice

May 13, 2014

Tenants often want to or are required to give a notice required by a statute. For example, a tenant might want to give a repair notice because if repairs are not done within 14 days after the notice is received, the tenant may file a Rent Escrow case. See Minnesota Statute section 504B.385. For another example, a tenant […]

Read the full article →

Free tenant hotline now open to renters in Minneapolis

April 1, 2014

Beginning April 1, 2014, Minneapolis renters (and all renters in Minnesota) can now contact HOME Line to receive free legal advice about their tenant rights! Tenant Hotline: 612-728-5767 (metro area) …or toll-free from Greater Minnesota: 1-866-866-3546 or email an attorney directly from our website. HOME Line’s expansion to begin serving Minneapolis is provided through generous support […]

Read the full article →

Minneapolis expansion countdown: 1 day — #1 most often asked advice: Repairs

March 31, 2014

With expansion of our free tenant hotline service to all Minneapolis renters only 1 day away, we’re sharing information and advice on the top 5 issues renters call us about. Minneapolis renters will soon have access to this wealth of legal knowledge and practical advice stemming from 22 years of providing legal advocacy services to renters across […]

Read the full article →

Minneapolis expansion countdown: 2 days — 2nd-most often asked advice: Evictions

March 30, 2014

With expansion of our free tenant hotline service to all Minneapolis renters only 2 days away, we’re sharing information and advice on the top 5 issues renters call us about. Minneapolis renters will soon have access to this wealth of legal knowledge and practical advice stemming from 22 years of providing legal advocacy services to renters across […]

Read the full article →