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33rd Company News

A St. Paul Landlord's Guide to Evictions

Tom Sedlack - Sunday, July 30, 2023

The need for evictions is growing in Minnesota, with a record 18,855 filed in 2022 and more expected in 2023. No one wants to evict tenants, but there are many legitimate scenarios in which an eviction may be necessary. These could be as common as late payment or as serious as health and safety concerns.

Landlords (especially new landlords) need to be equipped to handle evictions on the off-chance that something goes seriously wrong. Keep reading this handy breakdown of the St. Paul evictions process to learn everything you need.

Filing the Notices

The eviction process begins with the landlord serving the offending tenants with a notice to quit. This notice must stand for the lesser of three months or the usual period between rent payments. Only when a tenant refuses to pay when rent is due may the notice be for 14 days.

You can only give a notice to quit for certain reasons. Non-payment of rent, breaching the lease agreement (or contract), illegal activities, and non-renewal of the lease agreement are the primary reasons for most evictions in Minnesota.

A notice to quit should be accompanied by a notice to comply. These two together give the tenants time to render the required performance or to cease the negative activities. You can require them to vacate in these notices.

We're only talking about tenant law here, so remember that police and criminal law are there to handle serious illegal activity. It's also good to remember it's illegal to evict tenants in retaliation to requests or without following these procedures.

Filing a Complaint

You'll only succeed if you follow the correct procedure. Once the notices expire, you can then file a complaint in the Housing Court. The court must have jurisdiction over the property's geographical area.

You'll need to fill out the correct forms and pay the required filing fee at the court. The court will then view the case and issue a summons for the hearing. The landlord does not serve these summons but rather a third party on their behalf.

The Evictions Hearing

The judge will issue a default judgment in the landlord's favor if the tenants fail to appear in court. If the tenants do appear with an intention to defend, the judge will then receive evidence from both parties.

The landlord must prove on a preponderance of the evidence that their argument is correct. This means that the evidence (receipts, bank statements, and even witness testimony) needs to show that your side of the story is more probable than that of the opposition.

The court will issue a writ of recovery if you succeed. The "tenants" then have between one and seven days to vacate, depending on the severity of their infractions.

Protect Your Investment Property

Tenant screening is one of the best ways of avoiding all this trouble, but you do need to be ready if a lousy tenant slips through. You need to follow the procedures perfectly to succeed.

It starts by issuing official notices to quit and comply. You may then approach the court to file a complaint if the offending tenants failed to comply within the given period. The matter can then go to a full-blown hearing in which you must provide suitable evidence to win.

Evictions can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for first-timers. A property management company's help can simplify the process and get your investment working for you again. Contact us today if you need help with evictions, property management, and more.


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