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Gregory Luce’s Answers

4 total

  • Can I legally break my lease if we have mold in our home

    If I write a letter stating their is mold in my home and they do nothing about it can I break my lease.

    Gregory’s Answer

    Probably not. There really are only two reasons you can legally walk away from a lease in Minnesota without being held liable for rent or 'damages': 1) your rental house or apartment has been legally condemned by the city or government or 2) a court issues an order that you are not liable for rent (or are liable for a lesser amount than the full rent). Without either of those situations, the tenant is legally required to continue to pay rent. In your case, if you believe you have mold in your home and you wish to have it removed or fixed, your written notice to your landlord would be sufficient to tell him or her that that issue needs to be investigated and, if necessary, fixed. if the landlord refuses to do so after 14 days, the tenant has the right to pay any rent into court and ask the court to decide what rent should be paid to the landlord. While the court could rule that you can "break" your lease, that is an unusual outcome. In your case, it is best that you consult with an attorney about your specific facts before you do anything that could affect your legal rights or make you liable for rent for an apartment in which you no longer live. If you consult with an attorney, you should ask about your rights to file a rent escrow action to force the landlord to make any needed repairs. But every tenant should proceed very carefully before refusing to pay rent or before walking away from a lease.

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  • How much can my landlord raise my rent?

    I have been living in my residence for two years now, and have paid the same amount in rent the whole time.I pay on time, and with cash, and have no lease agreement. But now my landlord wants to raise my rent ALOT!What can I do?

    Gregory’s Answer

    I'm assuming that you are not living in a subsidized rental unit, such as Section 8, which generally limits the amount a landlord may charge the tenant for rent. If you do not live in subsidized housing, the landlord usually can raise the rent any amount he or she wants so long as the landlord provides sufficient notice to the tenant about the increased rent. Usually, in a case where there is no lease, that notice would be one calendar month (which is not necessarily thirty days). For example, to raise the rent for January, the landlord would have to give the tenant notice of the increased rent no later than November 30, or a full calendar month before January 1.

    So, the bottom line is this: unless you have a lease that limits any rent increase or you live in subsidized housing, a landlord can raise the rent to any amount so long as he or she gives the tenant sufficient notice of the increase. There are some limited exceptions, such as if the rent increase was in retaliation for something the tenant did legally (for example, complain about a housing condition), or if the rent increase was discriminatory against the tenant on the basis of the tenant's race, gender, or any other 'protected' legal status. if you believe the increase was in retaliation for something you did that was legal, or if you believe the landlord is discriminating against you, you should consult with an attorney.

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  • Damage Deposit

    Hey: My landlord refused to give us back the damage deposit. He send us an email saying that he use the $1616 to do the cleaning work, which was about 20 days after we moved out and gave him our new address. We thought it was not fair and argued ...

    Gregory’s Answer

    Minnesota's security deposit law requires only that the landlord provide a "written statement' within 21 days after the tenant moves out and provides a fowarding address to the landlord. The law says that it is "sufficient" to provide the notice by U.S. mail, but it does not rule out delivery of the written statement by e-mail. Given the facts you've provided, it would be highly unlikely that a court would agree that the landlord failed to follow the law. This answer, however, does not address whether or not the amount withheld from your deposit was proper. It only addresses the issue as to whether the notice you received from the landlord was legal.

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  • Is it legal for a landlord to regulate the level of heat provided?

    Our daughter rents in NE Mpls. The landlord provides heat (boiler). He limits thermostats to a maximum of 65 degrees. Is this legal?

    Gregory’s Answer

    It's a little complicated. Minnesota law requires a landlord to comply with state law and local ordinances relating to health and safety, which would include any city ordinances requiring a minimum level of heat. Most towns in Minnesota do not have local housing code ordinances, but in Minneapolis, the local ordinance generally requires heat of at least 68 degrees measured a certain distance (36 inches) from interior walls. This requirement, however, does not become effective until October of each year (it is required to be at 65 degrees between May and October) and may also depend on how cold it is outside. The best thing to do is to call the City of Minneapolis Housing Inspections division to ask whether the heating ordinance is currently in effect and what temperature is required.

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