Q: I am in a sticky situation. I was hired to perform a security job for a property corporation in Minnesota. I worked from April 18 into mid-July, when I was asked to resign because I reported to an area I wasn’t assigned to work. Meanwhile, I had a verbal agreement with a property manager that I would be moving into a two-bedroom apartment, owned by the company I worked for, about a block away from my security post. I moved in July 1, and the rent was set at $650 a month until I could find a roommate. Once I found a roommate, I would pay the normal $920 a month with a signed lease.
I am a current active member of the Army National Guard who regularly serves on active orders. My situation is odd in that I just moved in, and now I’m being asked to move out because of my discontinuation as an employee. I haven’t violated any housing laws that I know of, and I am now able to pay the full rent every month. The lease is month-to-month.
A: You are on a month-to-month lease, and the landlord has to honor the terms of the lease. Even if you are no longer employed by the landlord, that does not mean that the landlord can kick you out without giving you sufficient notice. The notice must be for more than a rental period, and tied to the end of the following rental period. Since you are to pay your rent on the first of the month, effective notice in your situation must be given before the end of the month and tied to the end of the following month.
Talk with the landlord to see if you can continue living in your apartment. If you cannot work out an arrangement with your landlord, then inform them that their notice is void, and that you will not be moving until you receive proper notice.
Because you are in the Army National Guard and regularly serve on active orders, you may have some additional protection under the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940, as amended. This act protects members of the armed forces from certain types of civil litigation depending on the circumstances, and also permits members of the armed forces to raise certain defenses depending on when and whether they are called to active status. You should talk with your unit about obtaining legal advice to see if any of these defenses apply in your situation.
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.