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2024 New Eviction Legislation Summary

On May 19th Governor Walz signed a bill that includes the most sweeping changes to the eviction laws in a single session in State history.  These statutory changes will become effective January 1, 2024.

Pre-Eviction Tenant Protections: Landlords must give their tenants a 14 days’ written notice before filing an eviction action for nonpayment of rent.  Because, apparently, people do not know they are subject to eviction for failing to pay rent.  Cities may enact and enforce more stringent pre-filing notice requirements than that required by this new legislation.  I have attached a 14 -day notice that complies with the state statute and it is similar to, but not the same, as the Minneapolis 14 Day Notice of Intent to Evict ordinance.   The notice must be delivered personally to the tenant or by first class mail (no email notice is allowed).  A copy of the notice must be attached to the eviction complaint along with a ledger and a lease.

Redemption of Tenancy: Landlords must accept letters of guaranty offered by nonprofits and State or Federal agencies as redemption of the premises;

Housing Subsidies: The complaint must state whether the tenancy is supported by a rent subsidy program such as Section 8, or any other State or Federal rent subsidy program stating the name and address of the agency.

Courts may not require Defendants to post undisputed portions of the rent into court to secure a trial date unless the action is delayed more than 10 days and then may only include future accrued rents. This will encourage trial settings. 

Expungement Reform: The new legislation codifies the Court’s inherent authority to expunge and allows it in the interest of justice when it outweighs the public’s interest in discovering the eviction.  Further, expungements are required in situations where: 1) the tenant prevails; 2) the case is dismissed; 3) the parties agree to expungement or upon request of the tenant if the case is settled and the tenant fulfills the terms; 4) the eviction was ordered three or more years ago. Evictions will be prohibited from being reported in public court records until a court judgment is made for the landlord.

Transparency in the cost of housing: Requires landlords to disclose non-optional fees (along with the rent) on the first page of the lease as well as in any advertisement or posting of a unit for a residential tenancy. Enforced by treble damages and attorney fees.

Privacy Rules: Requires 24-hour notice from landlords before entering a tenant’s apartment unless the tenant and landlord agree otherwise. The landlord must specify a time or anticipated window of time of entry and may only enter between 8 AM and 8 PM unless the landlord and the tenant agree to an earlier or later time.

Lease Termination: Allows tenants to break their lease with a 2-month notice if certain medical conditions—determined by a medical professional—require them to move.

Heat Minimum: Sets a standard statewide 68 degrees Fahrenheit heat minimum in apartments from October 1 to April 30 if the tenant does not control the heat.

Emergency Repairs: Expands the category of emergency repairs (for which court proceedings are expedited) to include, but not be limited to: no working refrigerator; no working air conditioning (if the rental was advertised as having air conditioning and included it in the lease); serious infestations; nonworking elevators (if included in the lease); Notice of Intent to Condemn; or, loss of any conditions, services, or facilities that pose a serious and negative impact on health or safety.  This list is not exhaustive.

Reduced Court Fees: Emergency Tenant Remedies Action / Lockout petition filing fees will be the same as the lower small claims court filing fee, making it more accessible for tenants facing housing repairs.

 Right to Counsel in Eviction Actions.   Provision adding the right to counsel in public housing breach of lease eviction cases.  It will be required that the Tenants’ attorney have at least two years experience and can charge up to $5000 which will be paid by the county.

Required Move in/out Inspections .  Must give tenants notice of option of a move in move out  inspection and must provide a move in move out inspection if requested, or, lose the right to withhold a deposit and provide tenant damages in the amount wrongfully withheld plus interest.    

Additionally, several more tenant/landlord policy changes are included in the bill: (1)  Multiple detailed changes to formal court eviction procedures; (2) Prohibition of Landlord’s requiring pet

declawing/devocalization in rental housing; (3) Prohibition of lease renewals which are requirements of a lease which are greater then 4 months; (4) Termination of a lease based on a crime free lease violation or penalties where the conduct takes place outside of the premises, or the common areas unless it endangers a co-tenant;

Kelly Griffitts is an experienced landlord tenant lawyer serving Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties in Minnesota.  Schedule an appointment with Kelly to get started or to learn more.