Q: My landlord has informed me there is a concern because police have been called to my apartment a few times in the past year. I told my landlord that I’m the one calling the police due to a medical issue with my daughter and her need to be taken to the hospital on those calls. My daughter is bipolar and is unwilling to go to the hospital, so I had to call the police to help bring her to the hospital. Is my lease in jeopardy because the police came to my apartment a few times responding to my calls for assistance concerning my daughter’s medical condition?
A: Under state law, every lease of residential property in Minnesota contains covenants or promises the landlord and tenant make stating that neither party will allow illegal activity such as drugs, prostitution or any other unlawful activity to occur on the property. In your situation, since you are calling the police for medical attention and not in connection with any illegal activity occurring in your apartment, there appears to be no wrongdoing concerning the nature of your call. You are most likely not violating your lease terms by calling the police for assistance in getting your daughter the medical help she needs.
However, some cities track the number of calls to residential rental properties, and may revoke a landlord’s license if there are too many calls. Obviously, every city has to comply with the constitution and fair housing laws, and cannot simply revoke a landlord’s rental license for medical calls, but it may be that the city isn’t differentiating between the different types of calls. You should work with your landlord to make sure the calls are being tallied accordingly.
Your daughter’s bipolar disorder is often considered a disability, thereby making it illegal for any landlord to discriminate against a protected class. If you believe your landlord is terminating your lease because of your phone calls to the police, or you feel that you and your daughter are being discriminated against, you should contact an attorney.
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, 650 3rd Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Information provided by readers is not confidential.