Latest Tip! Fees Charged to Tenants (October 2022)
Now that nonpayment of rent is back to being the primary reason for eviction in Minnesota, it’s a good time to review fees that landlords can charge to tenants. This practice tip will cover the laws governing fees charged to tenants, the primary types of fees and other things to keep in mind when reviewing ledgers.

Minnesota’s Eviction Moratorium Phase Out Update – What happens to stayed eviction cases after June 1? (May 2022)
Minnesota’s eviction moratorium phase-out statute has prohibited the filing or proceeding of an eviction action for non-payment of rent when the tenant has a pending application from a qualified rental assistance program.1 This phase out protection is sunsetting on June 1. This practice tip discusses what happens next.

Volunteering at a Remote Housing Court Clinic (March 2022)
Appearing over Zoom as a volunteer at a housing court clinic is straightforward. If you are new to Zoom or new to appearing in court over Zoom, below is a breakdown of what you need to know.

Confidentiality and Pending Rent Help Applications (January 2022)
Under the moratorium off ramp legislation, the filing and proceeding of an eviction action “is prohibited” for non-payment of rent if there is a pending application for rental assistance through a qualified program like RentHelpMN. This protection is in place until June 1, 2022.What this means in practicality is that, until June 1,  2022, courts will stay non-payment eviction cases where the tenant has a pending rental assistance application. What is less clear is what should happen to the “stayed” case until a final determination on the rental assistance application is made.

Notice to Vacate (November 2021)
On October 12, 2021, the protections in Minnesota’s eviction moratorium Phase Out statute ended except for tenants who are being evicted for non-payment of rent and have a pending Rent Help MN or other authorized application. This means that landlords may now end tenancies upon proper legal notice to tenants, which include a notice to vacate (or lease termination) given within the proper notice period. If the tenant does not leave by the date given in the notice to vacate, a landlord can file a holdover eviction. This tip is an update for our volunteers as we expect to be seeing many more holdover evictions in the coming months.

What to Do When Clients Stop Responding (September 2021)
VLN staff are frequently asked what to do when a client stops responding to phone calls and/or emails. Here are some guidelines that may be helpful!

Overview of Minnesota’s Eviction Moratorium Phase-Out (July 2021)
Starting in March of 2020, all Minnesota renters received increased protection from evictions pursuant to Executive Orders 20-14, 20-73 and 20-79. The Executive Orders prohibited lease termination, non-renewal of leases and evictions except in a few narrowly defined situations. On June 30, 2021, a phasing-out period, or off-ramp, to the moratorium was enacted into law. The phasing out period immediately revoked the previous Executive Orders mentioned above and began phasing in specific types of evictions over a period of 105 days.

A Step-by-Step Overview of Full Representation Rent Escrow Cases (June 2021)
When landlords do not keep rental units habitable and do not respond to tenants’ requests for repairs, tenants may enforce the covenants of habitability by bringing a rent escrow action in court. Rent escrow actions can be a powerful tool for tenants: they allow them to pay rent directly into court and have a judicial officer decide which repairs must be made.

Family Member Move In: An Exception to the Eviction Moratorium (April 2021)
One of the new, COVID-19-related exceptions under Minnesota’s eviction moratorium is that a landlord can evict a tenant in order to have a family member move in. This practice tip explains those requirements.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Eviction Expungement (November 2020)
This is a Step-by-Step Guide to Eviction Expungement and an update on the COVID-19 changes which make it easier for volunteers to take cases for full representation.

Seven- and Thirty-Day Notices (October 2020)
One of the new, COVID-19-related issues housing attorneys need to understand are the 7- and 30-day notice of intent to file requirements if a landlord wants to evict a tenant for an exception under Minnesota’s eviction moratorium. These notices are not complicated, but they are in addition, and prior to, the service requirements in Minn. Stat. 504B. 331. Thus, it adds another step that is not listed in the Minnesota eviction statute; so unwary landlords may fail to complete this requirement.

Three Steps to Becoming a Housing Phone Advice Attorney with VLN (September 2020)
This tip gives you an inside scoop on how to be a great phone clinic volunteer with VLN. 

The CDC Moratorium and How it Affects Evictions in Minnesota (September 2020)
On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a new, nationwide eviction moratorium pursuant to its authority under 42 U.S.C. § 264 and 42 CFR § 70.2. This tip will briefly discuss this new CDC order and review Minnesota’s continuing eviction moratorium. This tip will conclude with a brief discussion about why the CDC order is likely to have little effect in Minnesota unless the Minnesota moratorium is not renewed.

Pay Or Quit (August 2020)
VLN has become aware of instances where landlords are offering tenants forgiveness of unpaid back rent or other cash incentives during the pandemic and in some instances, then demanding the tenant leave immediately. This practice tip considers whether this is a loophole when it comes to the eviction moratorium of Executive Order 20-79.

Minnesota’s Updated Eviction Moratorium: Executive Order 20-79 (August 2020)
On July 14, 2020, Walz issued a new Executive Order (“EO”) regarding evictions (EO 20-79) which is effective starting August 4. The new EO rescinds the previous executive orders suspending evictions (20-14 and 20-73) but renews the exceptions to the eviction moratorium listed in these orders while at the same time setting forth new, additional exceptions. These exceptions dial back the moratorium slightly. This practice tip highlights of some of the most important changes EO 20-79 enacts.

Eviction Moratoriums during the Pandemic (April 2020)
This practice trip outlines what actions are currently prohibited under the Federal and State eviction moratoriums put into place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The practice tip outlines the cases that are exempt from the moratoriums, the on-going obligations of tenants and landlords during the moratoriums, and financial resources available to landlords and tenants. 

Statutory Costs and Expungement in Eviction Case Dismissals (February 2020)
This practice tip discusses how tenants, who have had their eviction action dismissed, can seek the $200 in costs and/or expungement of the eviction both which are statutorily allowed upon dismissal.The practice tip outlines how to ensure a tenant can receive the benefits of both the monetary award and expungement in the way most beneficial to the tenant.

Retaliation Defense (February 2020)
When a landlord attempts to end a tenancy or raise a tenant’s rent because the tenant has sought to exercise the tenant’s rights protected by law, the tenant has certain remedies in court.  This practice tip discusses the tenant’s remedies when retaliation is an issue. 

Rule 105: Withdrawal (November 2019)
Whilevolunteer attorney’s representation of a client can often be limited to a one-time appearance, at the conclusion of any representation of a client, the attorney should file a notice of withdrawal pursuant to Rule 105 of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts.  This practice tip discusses the process of filing the notice of withdrawalprovides tips on filing a notice of withdrawal when the attorney has lost contact with the client and tips on filing the notice of withdrawal in an eviction expungement case. 

Eviction of Overstaying Guests Practice Tip and Packet (November 2019)
This practice tip addresses what to do when a guest, who is invited by a homeowner to live in the homeowner’s residence temporarily, or an adult family member, living in the residence with the permission of the homeowner, refuses the homeowner’s request to move out. The practice tip instructs on how to make the critical initial determination of whether the guest or family member is a residential tenant, or a guest staying in the home, how to proceed with evicting the individual in both of those distinct cases and what defenses are available to the family member or guest being asked to leave.The packet also includes: (1) a Demand to Vacate Letter instructions and template; and (2) an Eviction Action Complaint instructions and template. 

Invalid Service of Eviction Action Complaint (October 2019)
Because the consequences of losing an eviction action, are so dire for the tenant-defendant, the courts require strict compliance with the eviction statute service requirements. This practice tip discusses what is needed for a landlord to comply with the statutory service requirements, and how to use defective service to help the tenant in settlement negotiations or move to dismiss the action.

Proper Plaintiff (September 2019)
In order to bring an eviction action, the person asserting the action must have the proper authority to possess the property. This practice tip helps to think through whether the plaintiff in an action has the proper authority to bring the action, or whether the tenant has a defense in the eviction case and could challenge that the named plaintiff is not the proper plaintiff.