Don’t Be Afraid To Put Tenants Out In The Cold

Small houseThere are a lot of misconceptions about investment property ownership in Minnesota.

The two that I hear most often, however, are that a landlord must give a tenant 24 hours notice before entering their unit, and a tenant cannot be evicted in the winter for non-payment of rent.

It is easy to trace the origins of the latter. In Minnesota, the Cold Weather Rule applies to utilities. While it does not prohibit companies from shutting off a customer’s utilities for non-payment, they must reconnect any customer whose household income is at or below 60 percent of the state median income. (Governor Dayton increased the percentage from 50 to 60 percent on February 4, 2014.)

This law requires utility companies to be willing to enter in to payment plans with tenants.

It does not, however, apply to rent whatsoever.

As human beings, the thought of putting someone out in sub-zero temperatures is difficult for many of us. Sometimes tenants take advantage of that; going all winter without paying rent.

Remember, we are running a business; one many of us hope will fund our retirement. A business can only suffer losses for so long, or it ceases to exist.

Of course, if you live somewhere other than Minnesota, be sure to check your local laws and regulations regarding winter evictions.