Minnesota Tenants Get Trashed

garbage canOne man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

According to the state of Minnesota anyway.

I was reminded of this last night when I a unit tenants had recently vacated.

It was a mess. Everywhere my clients and I looked there were pieces of broken furniture, abandoned clothing, framed posters on the walls…

All of which needs to be stored and taken care of by the owner, for the next 60 days.

Of course, that would involve cleaning up the duplex, boxing and packing the departed tenant’s belongings, and moving them to a storage unit. Or moving them to the garage. Or, I suppose, leaving them right where they are, which, I assure you, would not entice anyone to rent the place.

While it’s a pain, and the likelihood of recouping damages is remote, the landlord does have a claim against the tenant for the costs she incurs in boxing, moving and storing the property. Of course, recouping that may involve legal fees.

There is some good news. As a result of the passage of the “Tenants Bill of Rights”, after August 1, 2010, the number of days a landlord has to store abandoned property will drop to 28 days.

What’s more, regardless of the length of time, the duplex owner may sell the abandoned belongings once the required storage time has expired.

The owner must make a reasonable effort to notify the tenant of the pending sale at least 14 days before it occurs.  Notification must be in writing; either by personal service or certified mail.

Who knows? After all, there might be the Antiques Roadshow treasure buried in the trash.