Attorney Fees in a Residential Lease

If you have a Minnesota¬†residential lease which has language allowing your landlord to recover their reasonable attorney fees and costs associated with enforcing the terms of the lease, be aware that Minnesota Statutes Section 504B.172 will allow the tenant to recover THEIR attorney fees if the tenant prevails in “the same type of action, under the same circumstances, and to the same extent as specified in the lease for the landlord”.

This change in Minnesota landlord/tenant law went into place for leases entered into after August 1, 2011 and for leases renewed on or after August 1, 2012.

If you have questions about your rights as a residential tenant in Minnesota, you may want to contact Homeline at www.homelinemn.org, a non-profit organization advocating for tenants.  You can always call our offices as well.

You Snooze You Lose

In Minnesota as of July 1, 2014, if you were a party in a civil lawsuit and were served more than one year ago, the matter will be deemed to be dismissed with prejudice. Many creditors have sued out their claims against debtors using a process called a “pocket filing”, which means you may have been personally served but the case not filed. The rule change now requires filing of a lawsuit with the Court and a payment of a filing fee. We are all curious to see what creditors will now do in their collection efforts.

Remember, if you are served or receive something called a “Summons”, pay attention and read it. Just because it does not have a file number on it or anything reflecting that the Court has acted does not mean you can ignore it. Check with an attorney.