Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Minnesota

We moved from Georgia to Minnesota and agreed in principle to lease a single family property via craigs list and email. We asked repeatedly for a lease to sign before we move in but was put off by the owner/landlord. We moved in a few days early and paid the owner landlord early move in fees, first month rent annd a deposit. total $2800. after 1 week we meet with the owner/landlord to go over and sign the lease only to discover a number of conditions we did not know about. after thinking about it overnight we decided we could not live under these conditions and informed the owner/landord in person that wwe would be moving out immediately and why. We moved out after occupying the property for 11 days. The owner/landlord is now saying that not only do we not get any of our money back, but we are obligated for the full term of the lease based on the verbal email interacttion and that the written lease is only a formality. Please help me understand my rights so we can decide our next actions.

Asked on 5/30/12, 6:49 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Hellmuth Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC

In Minnesota, real estate contracts must be in writing. You have a defense, but may have to sue the owner to get your money back. We have a small claims court in which you can pursue claims up to $7,500.00. I could have one of our junior lawyers help you file the claim and represent you. Contact me at [email protected] if you need assistance.

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Answered on 5/31/12, 6:00 am

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