A: Your ex-partner doesn’t have the authority to summarily evict you or lock you out because you are considered a sub-tenant, not a guest, even though management indicated differently when you requested an agreement in writing from them. As management indicated to you, they can evict you or your ex-partner if you or he violates the lease. It sounds like you’ve agreed with management on a date to vacate, so you won’t be evicted before then unless you commit a lease violation.
The statement your ex-partner gave you promising he won’t evict you does give you written proof that you entered into a sub-tenancy agreement with him. If he or you violate the lease with the landlord, the sub-tenancy arrangement may not prevent an eviction by the landlord, but it will likely give you time to move out. In reality, it would be very difficult to evict you quickly, especially if you are already moving. In order to legally evict, the landlord and/or your ex-boyfriend would have to file an action with the court. You are legally entitled to seven days’ advance notice of the initial hearing. If you go to court with the agreement from the ex-boyfriend, and inform the court you are moving soon, the court is going to give you that time to move, unless you are engaging in some unsafe activity or using drugs on the premises.
If your boyfriend or the landlord changes the locks prior to the day you vacate the property, you should call the police and file a report. The police will usually contact the key-holder, and try to help you, but they can’t do much more. If you cannot gain access, you may need to call a locksmith. If that is the case, you are entitled to recover that expense from whomever changed the locks, and possibly receive additional damages as a result of the lockout.
Under Minnesota law, even if you leave the premises without your personal belongings, the landlord/management is required to store and care for your personal property, including your cats. However, your landlord/management would then have a claim against you for the reasonable costs and expenses involved in removing, storing and caring for your property. The landlord/management may sell or otherwise dispose of the property 28 days after they receive actual notice of the abandonment or 28 days after it reasonably appears to them you have abandoned the premises, whichever occurs last. Management is required to notify you 14 days before the sale would occur, by personal service in writing or certified mail, and by posting notice of the sale in a conspicuous place on the premises.
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.