Written by attorney Timothy Helmer Baland

Evictions (Unlawful Detainers) in Minnesota

All landlords and tenants should know the provisions of Minn. Stat. Ch. 504B that govern evictions in Minnesota. These laws apply to apply to all landlord-tenant situations, regardless of whether the landlord or tenant is a corporate entity or an individual. Please note that, in Minnesota, all corporate entities must be represented in court by a licensed attorney. Minn. Stat. § 481.02, subd. 3(12); Nicollet Restoration, Inc. v. Turnham, 486 N.W.2d 753, 754 (Minn. 1992).

A landlord can bring an eviction action in three circumstances: (1.) a tenant does not pay rent; (2.) a tenant violates the terms of their lease; and (3.) a tenant remains in the rental property after being given proper notice to vacate. The law governing evictions also applies to situations where the tenant remains in the property (a.) after the property is sold pursuant to an execution or judgment or (b.) after the period of redemption has expired for the owner of the property to redeem it from a foreclosure.

Eviction, sometimes called unlawful detainer, is all about who has the right to possession of the property. If the tenant has not paid rent, has violated the terms of the lease, or is otherwise holding over after being given the proper notice to vacate, then the landlord is entitled to possession of the property. However, the tenant may have a defense if the tenant can prove that the eviction action brought by the landlord is in retaliation for the tenant’s proper assertion of legal rights. Minn. Stat. § 504B.185, subd. 2.

After the eviction summons and complaint is filed with the court and served upon the tenant, the court schedules a hearing to determine if the tenant has an excuse under Minnesota law for not paying rent. If the court determines that the tenant does not have an excuse, the court will issue a Writ of Execution, which is an order for the Sheriff to remove the tenant from the property. However, the Writ of Execution will be stayed for a period of time, usually less than seven (7) days, to give the the tenant time to vacate the property voluntarily. If the tenant does not voluntarily leave within the specified period of time, the Sheriff will remove the tenant from the property.

A trial will be scheduled only if the court determines at the initial hearing that the tenant has an excuse under Minnesota law for not paying rent. Typically, however, the landlord and tenant will reach a settlement whereby the tenant will pay all or a part of the rent owing within a certain period of time, or a Writ of Execution will be issued upon the filing of an affidavit by the landlord and the tenant will be evicted. If the tenant is evicted, the landlord will initiate a separate action, usually in conciliation court, to recover the unpaid rent.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents both landlords and tenants in eviction actions, and in other litigation related to the landlord-tenant legal relationship. Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today!

WARNING: The information contained in this legal guide applies only to evictions in Minnesota, does not constitute legal advice, and may not be applicable to your situation. Reading this legal guide 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 legal guide . To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

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