Q I am a homeowner and have a roommate to help with expenses. I do not provide a tenant lease or consider my house rental property. The individual lives in the third level, but shares the rest of the house for showers/bath, kitchen, laundry and parking, etc. This is purely a financial roommate arrangement.
Are there any legal considerations I should keep in mind in not having a tenant/landlord contract? Do roommates have a set of legal rights without a written contract?
A If you're the homeowner, any roommate you have living with you is considered a month-to-month tenant, even without a written lease.
These tenants do have rights and must be given a 30-day written notice if you decide to terminate the person's tenancy.
The tenant can also give you a 30-day written notice if he or she decides to move out. You also need to provide a Certificate of Rent Paid form (also known as a CRP) to your renter.
The Minnesota Attorney General's Office has published a handbook titled "Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities," which is free of charge if requested and can be found online at www.ag.state.mn.us/Consumer/housing/lt/default.asp. It has a lot of useful information in it for landlords and tenants.Landlord can show property
Q I am a landlord and I am attempting to sell my condo, but my tenant is doing everything he can to prevent me from showing the property.
This is a continuation of a rough 2 1/2 years of difficulty I have had with this renter. He is an attorney and regularly threatens lawsuits and/or demands I sue other parties but has never brought any to bear because I always met my responsibilities.
A Under Minnesota Statute 504B.211, subd. 2, a landlord may enter the premises rented by a tenant for a "reasonable business purpose" such as selling the condo, and by giving reasonable notice.
Many courts find reasonable notice to be one hour. However, I would give this guy 24-hour notice because it's plenty of time for him to get the unit presentable and there should be no complaint about a 24-hour notice.
Under Minnesota Statute 504B.211, subd. 3, (2) it states what the "reasonable business purposes" might be, and showing the unit to a prospective buyer is specifically mentioned.
I would present him with a written 24-hour notice and tell him if he continues to prevent you from showing the unit it's a direct violation of his lease and you will pursue an eviction action based on it.
He doesn't have the right to keep you from showing the unit to prospective buyers.
Kelly Klein is a Minneapolis attorney. Do not rely on advice in this column regarding a legal situation until you consult a qualified attorney; information provided by readers is not confidential; participation in this column does not create an attorney/client relationship, and no such relationship is created without a retainer agreement with Klein. If you have questions concerning renting, you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, post your questions at www.startribune.com/kellyklein or write in care of Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488.