H.F. No. 1379, as introduced - 86th Legislative Session (2009-2010) Posted on Mar 05, 2009
1.1A bill for an act1.2relating to real property; providing for waiver of storage of abandoned property;
1.3amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 504B.271, subdivisions 1, 2, by
1.4adding a subdivision.
1.5BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
1.6 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 504B.271, subdivision 1, is amended to
1.8 Subdivision 1. Abandoned property. If a tenant abandons rented premises, the
1.9landlord may take possession of the tenant's personal property remaining on the premises,
1.10and shall store and care for the property. The landlord has a claim against the tenant for
1.11reasonable costs and expenses incurred in removing the tenant's property and in storing
1.12and caring for the property.
1.13The landlord may sell or otherwise dispose of the property 60 days after the landlord
1.14receives actual notice of the abandonment, or 60 days after it reasonably appears to the
1.15landlord that the tenant has abandoned the premises, whichever occurs last, and may apply
1.16a reasonable amount of the proceeds of the sale to the removal, care, and storage costs
1.17and expenses or to any claims authorized pursuant to section
1.18paragraphs (a) and (b). Any remaining proceeds of any sale shall be paid to the tenant
1.19upon written demand.
1.20Prior to the sale, the landlord shall make reasonable efforts to notify the tenant of the
1.22notification of the sale by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the tenant's last known
1.23address or usual place of abode, if known by the landlord, and by posting notice of the sale
1.24in a conspicuous place on the premises
2.1 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 504B.271, is amended by adding a
2.2subdivision to read:
2.3 Subd. 1a. Waiver of storage of abandoned property. Prior to executing a lease
2.4agreement, the landlord must provide, and the prospective tenant may sign, a waiver of
2.5the tenant's right to 60 days' storage of their abandoned property by the landlord. This
2.6waiver must be part of the lease agreement, written in conspicuous typeface, explaining
2.7that the landlord will be under no obligation to store the tenant's abandoned property for
2.8any amount of time following the end of the tenant's lease term, and may proceed with
2.9a sale or other disposal of the property. Tenants acknowledge and agree to this waiver
2.10provision by affixing their initials or signature to it. If the landlord decides to sell the
2.11abandoned property, the landlord must provide notice of the sale in the same manner
2.12provided in subdivision 1, and may apply a reasonable amount of the proceeds of the sale
2.13to the removal, care, and storage costs and expenses, or to any claims authorized pursuant
2.14to section 504B.178, subdivision 3, paragraphs (a) and (b).
2.15 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 504B.271, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
2.16 Subd. 2. Landlord's punitive damages. If a landlord, an agent, or other person
2.17acting under the landlord's direction or control, in possession of a tenant's personal
2.18property, fails to allow the tenant to retake possession of the property within 24 hours after
2.19written demand by the tenant or the tenant's duly authorized representative or within
2.2048 hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays, after written demand by the tenant or a
2.21duly authorized representative when the landlord, the landlord's agent or person acting
2.22under the landlord's direction or control has removed and stored the personal property
2.23in accordance with subdivision 1 in a location other than the premises, the tenant shall
2.24recover from the landlord punitive damages not to exceed $300 in addition to actual
2.25damages and reasonable attorney's fees.
2.26In determining the amount of punitive damages the court shall consider (1) the
2.27nature and value of the property; (2) the effect the deprivation of the property has had
2.28on the tenant; (3) if the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's
2.29direction or control unlawfully took possession of the tenant's property; and (4) if the
2.30landlord, an agent, or other person under the landlord's direction or control acted in bad
2.31faith in failing to allow the tenant to retake possession of the property.
2.32The provisions of this subdivision do not apply to personal property which has been
2.33sold or otherwise disposed of by the landlord in accordance with subdivision 1 or 1a, or to
2.34landlords who are housing authorities, created, or authorized to be created by sections
3.1property, except that housing authorities must allow the tenant to retake possession of the
3.2property in accordance with this subdivision.