Q My November rent was due on the 1st. I live in Anoka County and just received an eviction notice that says I have three days to leave. Does this sound right? Three days seems a little soon. Is it legal to give a family only three days to vacate an apartment when they are only a week late on their rent?

It does say in the community codes sheet, not the lease, that if rent is not received by the 5th of the month, a tenant can be evicted immediately.

A Technically, if rent is not paid on the due date, the landlord has the legal right to move for immediate eviction. Many landlords give their tenants a grace period to the 5th of the month, or sometime thereafter, because pursuing an eviction action is expensive and time-consuming. Under Minnesota Statute 504B.291, a tenant has the right to "redeem" the tenancy by paying all amounts outstanding up to the date the court issues the writ restoring the property to the landlord.

While your landlord has told you to vacate if the rent is not paid by a certain date, you can try to work out a different date with the landlord. If you can't work something out, your landlord has to file an eviction action in court and schedule a hearing, with at least seven days' notice to you unless there's emergency circumstances. Although you want to avoid having an eviction action on your record, you have the right to go to that hearing and present your case.

Your landlord has indicated you need to pay the rent by the 7th or expect an immediate eviction. If you have it, you should obviously pay your rent. If you don't have the money, or have only part of it, you should contact your landlord to try to negotiate a payment plan. Any agreement should be put in writing. If you can't reach an agreement and the landlord files an eviction action, you should go to the hearing and try to work out a payment plan with the landlord. If you expect to have the rent money soon, you can ask that the court give you additional time to pay.

Several organizations help people pay their rent in emergency situations. You should start by contacting Homeline at 612-728-5767, which can refer you to the appropriate agency.

Q Last February I rented out my house for the first time following a rather sudden move from Rochester to Minneapolis. I had several offers, but rented to the first interested party.

We agreed upon a one-year lease, but before details were drawn up, he asked if he could do the work I intended to hire. He is a skilled laborer and the rent was at the top end of his budget.

We agreed that he could bid on the jobs, including laminating the kitchen floor and installing new trim in the family room, and when agreed upon I would complete the lease, discounting rent for labor. I discounted the first month $200. In the meantime, his bid was delayed because he got busy. The process halted and the lease was never formalized.

On Oct. 31, he gave me one month's notice, although he acknowledged that we'd agreed upon one year through February. I immediately bought a rental ad. Where do I stand on this?

A If your lease isn't formalized, I'm assuming there is no written documentation containing your signatures, so your renter is on a month-to-month tenancy. Under a month-to-month lease, the renter needs to give only 30 days' notice to vacate and terminate the lease.

It sounds like your renter gave the necessary notice.

Without a written lease, your renter became a month-to-month tenant with no obligation to pay rent for the entire year. Without a written lease, your tenant can terminate his tenancy with only one month's notice. One option is to contact the tenant and try to get some type of compensation to cover your losses because you had a verbal one-year agreement. However, if you take the tenant to court, I believe most judges would agree with the tenant in that he's on a month-to-month lease and that he gave the appropriate notice.

It sounds like you're already advertising the apartment for rent, which I recommend doing, so hopefully you'll get a tenant soon.

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, post your questions at or write in care of Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488.