Tenant’s Right to Redeem Possession

Author: Todd Christiansen | Category: Eviction Law

So I get this question often on how a tenant can actually take back the property despite an unlawful detainer in Minnesota.  Here are some notes that I found on MN Judicial website:

The tenant may, at any time before possession has been delivered (means the end of the day judgment is stayed to, not physical transfer of possession), redeem the tenancy and be restored to possession by paying to the landlord or bringing to court the amount of the rent that is in arrears, with interest (rare, but occasionally a lease will include an interest clause), costs of the action (typically the filing fee plus the fee to the process server), and an eviction attorney’s fee not to exceed $5 (not a misprint, as the $5 has not been changed for over a century), and by performing any other covenants of the lease. Minnesota. Stat. 504B.291 subd. 1 (a).

THERE ARE 5 BASIC RULES REGARDING THE RIGHT TO REDEEM:

  1. The right to redeem only exists in actions for “nonpayment of rent” and applies to both residential and commercial tenants.
  2. The court has no authority to deny this right. The judge can, however, limit the tenant‟s ability to redeem the premises by either issuing an immediate writ or limiting how long the writ is stayed for (7 days or less). See number #3 below.
  3. The court has discretion to allow the tenant up to 7 days to redeem. However, the tenant‟s right to redeem is only available during the time the writ is stayed. And absent an agreement by the parties, the writ cannot be stayed longer than 7 days and must be based on a finding of substantial hardship. M.S. 504B.291, subd 1(a).
  4. The right to redeem does NOT exist in actions filed ONLY for “breach of lease”.
  5. The right to redeem MAY exist in cases involving claims of both nonpayment of rent and breach of lease. For example, if the claims are contested, the court must first determine the breach of lease issue: M.S. 504B.285, subd. 5.
    1. If the landlord wins the breach of lease issue, the nonpayment issue becomes moot;
    2. If the landlord loses the breach of lease issue, then the case becomes a standard nonpayment of rent case and the tenant would then have the right to redeem.
You can see that the ability of the tenant to redeem the rental unit after a tenant eviction is very limited.

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