Breathing Easy: What MN Home Buyers & Sellers Should Know About Radon

Breathing Easy: What MN Home Buyers & Sellers Should Know About Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that enters structures from the surrounding soil. It is a naturally occurring gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to smoking, and causes more than 21,000 deaths annually in the United States. Radon is an…

Sample Residential Lease Agreement Template

Sample Residential Lease Agreement Template

Upon execution of this lease, Tenant will deposit with Landlord the sum of Dollars ($ ), which is to be held as collateral security and applied on any rent or any other charge that may remain due and owing at the expiration of this agreement, any extension thereof or holding over period or applied on any damages to the premises caused by the Tenant…

Sample Real Estate Purchase & Sale Agreement Template

Sample Real Estate Purchase & Sale Agreement Template

Below is a sample real estate purchase and sale agreement. This template provides an example of a document that would be used in a purchase or sale of real estate. As with any legal document, you should not use this template without consulting with an attorney licensed in your area. Sample Template REAL ESTATE PURCHASE…

Sample Commercial Lease Agreement for Minnesota Businesses

Sample Commercial Lease Agreement for Minnesota Businesses

Tenant is taking the Premises and accepting the condition of the Premises “AS IS” and Landlord is under no obligation to make any structural or other alterations, decoration, additions or improvements. Tenant shall not make, and shall not commence, any improvement that has not been previously approved by the Landlord.

Appealing and Changing Local Zoning Ordinances

Appealing and Changing Local Zoning Ordinances

Once zoning ordinances are established by the local legislature, it is possible to appeal the zoning decision and to subsequently try to change the local zoning ordinance. Minnesota Statute § 462.357 subdivisions 3 through 6 addresses these processes. Local property owners that are affected by a zoning ordinance may raise an appeal. Changing a local ordinance…

Minnesota Construction & Building Permit Laws

Minnesota Construction & Building Permit Laws

When is a Permit Required? One of the first steps to any successful construction project is to obtain the necessary building permits. Building permits are regulated locally and will vary depending on the town or city your project is located in. Generally, you will need a building permit for any new construction, reconstruction, or structural…

Eminent Domain & Condemnation of Private Land in Minnesota

Eminent Domain & Condemnation of Private Land in Minnesota

Eminent Domain & The United States Constitution Under the United States Constitution and Minnesota’s Constitution, the government has the authority to take private property. This power is called eminent domain. What this means is that the government, at any time, has a right to anyone’s property if it is determined that the government is going…

Required Contractor Licenses in Minnesota

Required Contractor Licenses in Minnesota

Licenses Required for Minnesota Contractors There are a number of licenses required for different activities under Minnesota Law. The best way to determine what licenses are needed for any given project is to visit the Minnesota License website at http://mn.gov/elicense/. On that website, click on “A-Z Indexes” or “Browse by Topics.” If the information there…

Minnesota Land Use Agreements: Covenants, Easements, and Licenses

Minnesota Land Use Agreements: Covenants, Easements, and Licenses

Government agencies restrict land use through zoning requirements and other ordinances. But private entities, such as real estate developers, have their own set of tools to control what happens on their land. Covenants, easements, and licenses are three forms of agreements between private parties that dictate how the land can be used. Each can take…

Property Line Disputes and Unwritten Property Rights in Minnesota

Property Line Disputes and Unwritten Property Rights in Minnesota

Surveying land and closely examining deeds prior to purchase avoids most issues regarding property lines. Yet various legal doctrines can stand in the way of even the most careful purchase, leaving the buyer with less than what they bargained for. Prescriptive easements, adverse possession, and easements implied by preexisting use can all establish property rights,…

Understanding Rezoning Requests in Minnesota

Understanding Rezoning Requests in Minnesota

Minnesota Rezoning Requests Zoning is a device of land use planning used by local governments throughout the United States. The concept involves designating permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one area of land uses from another. The purpose of these zones is to divide different uses of land that might be…

Utility Easements and Road Easements in Minnesota

Utility Easements and Road Easements in Minnesota

Generally speaking, an easement is a real property interest that gives one party the right to go onto another party’s property. The easement is a real property interest, but separate from the legal title of the owner of the underlying land. While easements can take many different forms, this section will explain two different types:…

Understanding Minnesota Variances & Variance Laws

Understanding Minnesota Variances & Variance Laws

Local ordinances establish standards for land development which regulate things such as where buildings, yards, parking lots, driveways, signs, and lighting may be placed on properties, minimum and maximum sizes, height, potential effects on adjacent properties, and aesthetics. When there are strict requirements, property owners may seek relief by following the variance process. Minn. Stat….

MN Home Buyer Rights: Dealing with Bad Home Sellers in Minnesota

MN Home Buyer Rights: Dealing with Bad Home Sellers in Minnesota

by Lucas Spaeth Mortgage Fraud in Minnesota Inattentive or Fraudulent Minnesota Mortgage Agents Mortgages are only offered to buyers who have sufficient assets and income to validate the risk of the loan. Agents licensed to originate mortgages are responsible for accurately reporting a potential buyer’s income and assets, to minimize the lenders’ risk. Mortgage agents…

The 40-Year Law: What Does It Really Mean?

The 40-Year Law: What Does It Really Mean?

Introduction Minnesota Statutes Section 541.023 (a/k/a the “40-year law”) has confounded attorneys since its enactment in 1943. Even among real estate practitioners, the 40-year law is somewhat of a nebulous concept. Most practitioners harbor the mistaken assumption that when one is examining title, he or she only needs to go back forty years and then…

Financing a Commercial Acquisition: A Checklist

Financing a Commercial Acquisition: A Checklist

 How Do I Finance a Commercial Acquisition? Finalizing a purchase agreement for the acquisition of commercial property can sometimes involve extensive negotiations and hours of work. Compiling all the business and legal terms into one document, and then making that document palatable to both the buyer and the seller, is no small feat. While oftentimes…

Exclusive Use Clauses in Commercial Leases

Exclusive Use Clauses in Commercial Leases

What is an Exclusive Use Clause? In the commercial leasing context, exclusive use clauses are a relatively common topic of conversation when landlords and tenants are negotiating a retail lease. Basically, exclusive use clauses are provisions within a lease that prohibit a landlord from leasing to another tenant for the same business purpose as the…

Minnesota Laws on Commercial Leases: Rent Offsets

Minnesota Laws on Commercial Leases: Rent Offsets

Commercial Leases: Rent Offsets In a typical commercial lease, a landlord has the responsibility to maintain and repair the common areas and the structural elements of the building (i.e., the parking lot, roof, lobby, common bathrooms, etc.). Unfortunately, some landlords don’t honor these obligations as scrupulously as others. For example, when the parking lot is…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Small Business Exemption From Rules and Enhanced Federal Compliance Assistance

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Small Business Exemption From Rules and Enhanced Federal Compliance Assistance

Small Business Exemption From Rules Minn. Stat. 14.127 provides a procedure for small businesses or small cities to claim exemption from certain state rules. Under the statute, an agency must determine if the cost of complying with a proposed rule in the first year after the rule will take effect will exceed $25,000 for a…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Access To The Regulatory Process

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Access To The Regulatory Process

Access To The Regulatory Process The Legislature delegates to state administrative agencies, commissions and boards, the authority to make rules to implement the laws administered and enforced by the agencies commissions and boards. (Note that the Governor has the power to veto all or part of an adopted rule.) The process by which these rules…

Using Professional Advisors for Environmental Evaluation

Using Professional Advisors for Environmental Evaluation

Using Professional Advisors Even before beginning the environmental evaluation, the entrepreneur often will decide whether to perform that evaluation himself or herself, or engage an accountant or attorney to assist him or her. Professional advisors, such as attorneys and accountants, can greatly enhance an entrepreneur’s review of a potential business. This is true for at…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Environmental Audit Program

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Environmental Audit Program

Environmental Audit Program Environmental auditing is a process of examining a facility to determine how well its operations are complying with local, state and federal environmental regulations. This program encourages businesses and other organizations to conduct their own environmental audits and correct any problems they may discover. The intent of the program is to focus…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – "Brownfields" – Superfunds – Other

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – "Brownfields" – Superfunds – Other

“Brownfields” Sites “Brownfield” is a term for industrial or commercial properties that are candidates for redevelopment but sit idle due to actual or suspected contamination. Cities, development agencies, counties and other groups have identified land that would be attractive to developers if information about environmental status of these sites were available. For sites where no…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – "Brownfields" – Superfunds – Other

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – "Brownfields" – Superfunds – Other

“Brownfields” Sites “Brownfield” is a term for industrial or commercial properties that are candidates for redevelopment but sit idle due to actual or suspected contamination. Cities, development agencies, counties and other groups have identified land that would be attractive to developers if information about environmental status of these sites were available. For sites where no…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Properties Where Environmental Assessments Have Not Been Completed

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Properties Where Environmental Assessments Have Not Been Completed

Properties Where Environmental Assessments Have Not Been Completed Over the past few years, it has become standard practice for those involved in land transfers to perform an environmental assessment of the property before sale. Buying or developing land, particularly in former or current industrial-use areas, can pose problems if all parties involved do not know…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Ombudsman, Loan Program and Potential Problems with Property

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Ombudsman, Loan Program and Potential Problems with Property

Small Business Ombudsman The Small Business Ombudsman serves as a representative, or a liaison, for small businesses in their interactions with the MPCA. The Ombudsman offers the following services: confidential assistance to small businesses involving regulations and compliance; resolution of complaints or disputes involving regulations and small businesses; help in identifying funding sources to purchase…