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I'm renting a room in a house in Minnesota, USA. Upon telling my landlord that I was looking for a different place to rent because of her dogs constantly barking at me (and even biting me), she immediately stated that I need to provide 60 days notice and that my rent is now due on the 1st of the month, despite paying my rent on the 6th of the month for the 9 or so months that I have lived here. From what I understand, Minnesota law states that 30 days notice is required when there is no statement in the lease agreement, and we didn't sign any lease agreement. Everything was verbal. I even asked them how much time they would like for a notice before I move out. The other landlord (who had basically done everything as far as showing me the unit, telling me their price, etc) said that two weeks would be OK, but more time was preferred.

Is it legal for a landlord to say my rent is due 5 days earlier than we had verbally agreed? Is it legal for a landlord to do this right after I tell them that I am planning on moving out? I found somewhere that any action such as raising the rent within 90 days of a tenant action could be considered retaliatory in nature by law.

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she immediately stated that I need to provide 60 days notice

She is wrong. See Minnesota statute 504B.135(a). Absent any agreement that supersedes the statute, the landlord cannot unilaterally stretch the notice period to 60 days.

Is it legal for a landlord to say my rent is due 5 days earlier than we had verbally agreed? Is it legal for a landlord to do this right after I tell them that I am planning on moving out?

No. The lanlord cannot unilaterally alter the implied contract that exists between you two, including the pattern of you paying rent on the 6th of the month. To prove in court that this was indeed the pattern, it suffices to show the receipts your landlord has the statutory obligation to provide to you immediately upon making each one of your payments. See 504B.118.

The landlord is just "making sure" you will not recommend her to other prospective tenants.

  • I haven't received any receipts for any of my payments. I assume this changes things, but I am not sure how. I suppose if she has been breaking the law every time I paid rent, she is in a legal pickle if she pursues any sort of action against me? However, I don't have proof that she didn't give me any receipts. – Craig Mar 2 at 2:42
  • @Craig You might want to devise a skilled email message to your landlord in a way that she ends up conceding --even if only implicitly-- that your payment date has hitherto been the 6th of the month. For evidentiary purposes, this should be achieved in writing (hence the importance that you approach her by email). Her statutory violations are not as important, but it wouldn't hurt if you find a way to slide that in your message so as to use it to your advantage. It is hard to be more specific on how to leverage the statutory aspect without knowing more details of your interactions with her. – Iñaki Viggers Mar 2 at 21:10
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Your landlord is free to demand rent on the 1st as part of a leasing agreement. However, your current lease agreement says that rent is due on the 6th. So your landlord would have to terminate the current agreement, and then present the new terms to you, which you would be free to reject (at the cost of no longer leasing the property, of course).

504B.135 says:

(a) A tenancy at will may be terminated by either party by giving notice in writing. The time of the notice must be at least as long as the interval between the time rent is due or three months, whichever is less.

If you are paying rent every month, then your landlord would have to give notice a month in advance to go from rent being due on the 1st to rent being due on the 6th.

As a side note, it may have been better to have secured an alternative residence prior to giving notice. As it stands now, if your landlord chooses to alter the agreement, then after a month if haven't found another place to rent, you will be bound by the new conditions.

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    I didn't legally give notice. According to 504B.135 I have to give notice in writing. I merely verbally stated that I was looking for a place elsewhere to give them some time to start thinking about the next renter if they want one. – Craig Mar 2 at 2:45

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