Q: I have yet to receive the Certificate of Rent Paid (CRP) form from my former landlord. I have made a few phone calls asking my former landlord where it might be. I am afraid it either got lost or stolen from the mail. The landlord tells me he sent it, and that he cannot issue a new one until he has the original one returned to him. I don't know how to handle this situation.
A: There is nothing in the law stating that a landlord has to give the tenant a copy if the CRP form is lost or misplaced. Similarly, there is nothing in the law that says your landlord has to have the original returned before he can provide a copy. The regulations do require the landlord to provide a CRP to each eligible tenant and to keep a copy available for tenants who have moved and left no forwarding address.
According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, some landlords have required their tenant to pay an administrative fee in order to obtain a replacement copy of a lost CRP; there is nothing in the law preventing a reasonable fee in those circumstances.
There is a procedure for people who do not receive a CRP by April 1. The tenant can contact the Department of Revenue and fill out a form indicating their rental property and the amount of rent they paid, which then works as a CRP. Contact your landlord in writing and ask him to provide the CRP, informing him that you never received one. If your landlord does not provide one, then you should contact the Minnesota Department of Revenue at 651-296-3781 after April 1, and follow the procedure for someone who did not receive a CRP.
Does short-term rental to friend need CRP form?
Q: I own a house, and my friend lived with me for about three weeks. When she moved in, she signed a standard Minnesota lease for one year. We both believed she'd be living there longer than a few weeks, however, she decided she didn't like it and asked me if she could leave.
She asked me for a CRP form for her taxes. I understand why she would ask, but my understanding is that a CRP is for rental property owned by a landlord, such as a townhouse or apartment. My house isn't technically a rental property, and I don't claim it as a rental property on my taxes.
Do I have to write up a CRP form for her?
A: The Minnesota Department of Revenue states that anyone who owns rental property and rents living space to others must complete a Certificate of Rent Paid. Since you rented a room to your friend, you are responsible for completing a CRP showing all rent received from her during the 2012 calendar year. If you go to the department's website (www.revenue.state.mn.us) and search the term "certificate of rent paid" in the search box, you can find instructions for landlords on completing this form. Please note that the rent is also income to you, so you will want to make sure to include this income on your tax return. You should talk to an accountant if you have any questions about deductions or amounts you can write off against this income.
Kelly Klein is a Minneapolis attorney. Participation in this column does not create an attorney/client relationship with Klein. Do not rely on advice in this column for legal opinions. Consult an attorney regarding your particular issues. E-mail renting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Kelly Klein c/o Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Information provided by readers is not confidential.