Statutes & Selected Cases

Links to external websites are for informational purposes only. The information on external websites is believed accurate but not guaranteed. Acknowledgment of these websites does not constitute endorsement by HOME Line.

Minnesota Statutes

Landlord-tenant Statute, Chapter 504B

Manufactured Home Statute, Chapter 327C

Kari Koskinen Act (Statute regulating caretaker/manager hiring)

Selected Minnesota Landlord-Tenant Cases selected cases
This website reprints in electronic form the following three important cases:

  • Strupp v. Canniff, 276 Minn. 558; 150 N.W.2d 574 (1967)
  • Oesterreicher v. Robertson, 187 Minn. 497, 245 N.W. 825 (1932)
  • Fritz v. Warthen, 298 Minn. 54, 213 N.W.2d 339 (1973)

For leases entered into or renewed on or after 1/1/2011, late fees are governed by MN Statute 504B.177. For prior leases, the following link is to a copy of a case setting out the Minnesota rule on liquidated damages, including late fees as liquidated damages. The part printed in blue is the statement of the legal rule:

The following link is to a copy of a case dealing with a type of waiver created by repeated acceptance of late payments:

The following link is to a copy of a federal case holding that when a landlord takes a security deposit, the landlord does not own the money and owe it back to the tenant. Instead the money is still the tenant’s but is being held by the landlord pending the end of the tenancy. This indicates that by going bankrupt a Minnesota landlord does not discharge his duty to return the security deposit to his residential tenant.

The following link is to a copy of the Minnesota case holding that a sale of premises by the landlord does not end the lease. Rather the lease transfers to the buyer and both tenant & buyer/new landlord must honor the lease. The parts printed in blue state the legal rule.

The following link is to a copy of a case governing the consequences of a landlord not sending a security-deposit-disposition letter within the three-week deadline of Minn. Stat. sec. 504B.178.

The following link is to a copy of a case holding that for the purpose of waiving a notice to vacate, keeping a money order or a check without cashing it becomes acceptance of rent after passage of time.

The following links are to a copy of the Complaint and to a Consent Judgment in a case brought by the Attorney General of Minnesota under Minn. Stat. sec. 504B215. The main issue in the case was the right (or lack thereof) of the landlord to charge administrative billing fees over and above apportioned utility charges under that statute. The AG alleged that doing so was unlawful. Under the Consent Judgment, the landlord agreed to stop doing so and to pay the State a $5,000 civil penalty.

The following case states a rule on the right to withdraw a notice to vacate (most of the way down page 453): “It is doubtless true that a tenant may withdraw or waive a notice to quit given by him. And if he does waive it, it is plainly correct that the situation is as if no notice had been given.”

The King case adopted the rule in the note in 25 Ann. Cas. 160, which states: “The very decided preponderance of authority in the United States is to the effect that a notice to quit given by a landlord or tenant may be revoked or withdrawn before it has been acted on, so that thereafter the rights of the parties are the same as if such notice had not been given [in contrast to] … England and Canada [where] … such a notice may not be withdrawn at the option of the party giving it, but only by mutual consent.”

The following is a link to a trial court case involving a security deposit. While the analyses of the expected life span of the carpet and of the adequacy of the substance of the November deposit disposition letter are cursory at best, the discussions regarding the issues of attorney fees, carpet depreciation/damage analysis, and when an email notice is “written” are very thoughtful.

When Thomas Haeg stepped down from a term as Hennepin Housing Court Referee, he distributed a disk to several of us attorneys active in his court. The disk contained in electronic form many of the final orders he had generated. These orders are in this folder. The first file listed is a compressed .ZIP file with all of the orders included. They are in a rather archaic format, so the reader may have to remove extraneous characters (which are obvious) and make other formatting changes to make it easier to read the files, but no words have been left out. The original orders were signed by Referee Haeg and then filed with the court. I’ve had a chance to read some of these signed orders and compared them to the electronic files to confirm that they match up.

–Paul Birnberg, currently the Senior Housing Attorney at HOME Line