Buyer Beware and Be Smart

Buying a home can be treacherous.  You rely upon many other people to guide you, but sometimes those folks fail you.  Take care of yourself and do some of your own minimal investigation.  If you are purchasing in Minneapolis or St. Paul, you can visit the websites for these cities and check on the inspection records for any home.  You can also locate valuations over the past few years.  Double check to make sure  the home you are interested in is not on any City lists for vacant and unoccupied homes.  In St. Paul, a home on that list cannot be legally sold unless you as the buyer agree to undertake all the work necessary to get it removed from the list; this is a City ordinance. Don’t rely, verify!

Warning to Condominium owners renting units for Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis

If you own a condominium unit in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and have great plans to rent it out for the Super Bowl LII, beware.  Many Association’s are warning their owners of steep penalties if the units are rented for this event and you may jeopardize the ability for your condominium project to qualify for FHA financing.  Read this article and learn more:



Minnesota Landlords and Leases

Don’t surf the internet to get your lease if you are a Minnesota landlord.  There are a number of specific statutes in Minnesota which require certain language within your lease.   Be safe, call a lawyer and get the right form.  It is cheaper to do that on the front end then pay for a lawyer when fighting over your lease terms on the back end.

Beware: Conversion Fee for Homeowners

If you are contemplating moving out and converting your home into rental property in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, you will want to check with your local city or municipality to see if you need to get a license and if you need to apply to convert your home for that use.  Some cities will charge a “conversion fee” to change the use of your property to a rental.

Home Improvement Warranty – Minnesota

The good news is that the economy seems to be ticking along and new home construction and remodeling jobs seem to be increasing.  But, what do you do when the work you paid for is defective?  Here in Minnesota, there are statutory warranties for newly constructed homes and remodeling work  (Minnesota Statutes Chapter 327A).  You must, however, give the contractor the ability to come and inspect the work and an opportunity to correct the defect before proceeding with a lawsuit.  When you think about it, that is only fair to the contractor.   You need to follow the obligations set forth in the statute to preserve your warranty claim.  Similarly, a contractor needs to be responsive to a homeowner’s notice or face legal action.  Don’t let your frustration and anger, and that comment goes to both the contractor and homeowner, get in the way of following the law as to warranty claims.  If in doubt, call us.  We have represented both homeowners and contractors in these types of claims.

Mechanic’s Lien

In Minnesota, workman and material suppliers may have the right to file a lien against your home if you do not pay them for work.  The right is governed by statute with a number of steps that need to be followed to make sure the lien is valid.  We have represented both contractors who have not been paid for work and property owners who may be subject to lien claims so are very familiar with the ins and outs of these types of claims.  The take away today is that a lien claimant must serve and record their lien within 120 days after their last date of work and begin to foreclose their lien within 1 year of their last date of work.  Every situation is unique, so do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about mechanic’s liens.

Quiet Title, what does it mean?

“Quiet Title” is a technical phrase to describe how people can ascertain ownership of real estate.  It is a legal theory used when you want to establish that people claiming an interest adverse to yours in real estate do not actually have any interest.  It is also a description used when there may be problems with how real estate was deeded in the past and a person needs to establish they have good, clear title to a parcel of real estate.  Ultimately, a party is looking for a Judge to review the evidence regarding the title to the property and uses of the property and make a decision as to “who” owns “what” in regard to the disputed real estate.  Boundary line disputes, bad legal descriptions, adverse possession claims are just a few instances where it may be necessary to bring a Quiet Title action.

Prescriptive Easement – Driveway

Not all easements have been written down and show up in a title search.  The typical problem arises where someone may share a driveway, or cross over a part of another’s property on a regular basis to access their property.   All may be well between neighbors until it is not when one side blocks the access of the other.  In Minnesota, if you own Abstract property, a party claiming a right to cross your property would need to prove their use is (1) hostile, (2) actual, (3) continuous and (d) exclusive for a period of 15 years.   My first suggestion if you find yourself in this situation is to talk to your neighbor and try to work out a resolution.  If that fails, we can help.