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Minneapolis, Minnesota Business Litigation Blog

Hennepin challenges residential rental real estate policies

Throughout Minnesota and right here in Hennepin County there are opportunities for low income wage earners to find affordable rental housing. Federal laws require that states provide certain amounts of such housing, so that individuals of all levels of affluence have chances to get into their own properties. However, several local communities are questioning the state's implementation of that requirement and have made their challenge in the form of a complaint based in the Fair Housing Act.

Three communities and one organization -- Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Richfield and the Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing -- are parties to the complaint. They have alleged that the majority of low-income rental housing is in non-affluent neighborhoods. The communities and group want the state to spread such housing opportunities out, including into the predominantly white suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Manage a Minnesota real estate dispute

First-time Minnesota home buyers are often caught up in the excitement of making their real property dreams come true that they sometimes miss important details in their purchase agreements. All across Hennepin County contracts for new and existing homes carry with them diverse and often unexpected clauses that unprepared buyers may not properly heed before signing on the dotted line. When issues arise during or after a home's closing, the parties to the real property sale may find themselves fighting over issues that could have been addressed much sooner.

Whether a point of disagreement relates to a property condition, contract clause or verbal exchange between buyer and seller, it can have repercussions on the success of the sale down the road, if it is not managed. A real estate dispute can threaten the success of a home's sale and leave parties scraping to either find new buyers or find new homes into which they can move.

Will your home be OK if your neighborhood is rezoned?

The short answer is yes. Zoning standards change all the time and for a number of different reasons. A change may mean that your home does not conform, but it does not mean that your home is in violation of the new zoning codes.

Think about the movie "Up" -- or just think about most neighborhoods in South Minneapolis. In the movie, Carl and Ellie's home starts out in a lovely residential neighborhood; over time, though, the neighborhood changes until the house is surrounded by skyscrapers. The house may not conform to the current zoning code, but it did when it was built.

Three simple steps to reduce your home's radon risk

Whether you are a Minnesota home buyer or a home seller, you likely have more than enough to worry about. Simply reading through all the legal documents that accompany a real estate purchase or sale can keep a person busy for days.

With this in mind, it's unlikely that you want to add one more worry to your list: Radon gas.

Turn out the lights, we've got a scary one - about foreclosure!

There are as many myths about bankruptcy and foreclosure as there are about … whatever there are myths about. Before the financial meltdown and the ensuing foreclosure crisis, there may even have been groups of campers sitting around fires late at night telling scary stories about foreclosures.

The tales of terror would go like this: A friend told me that her cousin's neighbors were a really normal family. They kept a nice lawn, and the kids played with the other kids on the block. They put out all the appropriate holiday decorations. Everyone liked them.

Make sure you understand fees when buying a house in Minneapolis

When buying a home -- whether it is for the first time or the sixth time -- it can always be exciting, but also rather stressful. Many in the Minneapolis area are no doubt familiar with the process of going from house to house, checking for new listings and hoping that the next home will be the one. 

Buying a home is more than just picking a place to live. Rather, it is also an investment. Most soon-to-be homeowners want to make sure they are getting a good deal for their money. The last thing anyone wants in a residential real estate transaction is an unknown. Rather, it is reasonable to want to know every aspect of a purchase -- from who will pay closing costs to who is responsible for the real estate commission -- well before documents have been signed. 

Let's get a move on! Housing starts slow, but is there an answer?

Federal regulators are considering reducing the down payment requirements for a handful of mortgage products backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The proposal would lower payments from 5 percent to 3 percent in an effort to improve home sales nationwide.

Interest rates are still low -- and getting lower, according to Freddie Mac -- but sales continue to lag. The U.S. Department of Commerce, in fact, had to revise the sales rate it reported for August: 504,000 was pared down to 466,000.

Deal or no deal? The mechanics of a mechanic's lien p4

We are back to our discussion of mechanic's liens. Specifically, we were discussing what a homeowner may or must do when he or she learns of a lien. As we said in our Sept. 22 post, the lien is only valid if the contractor or subcontractor gives the homeowner proper notice.

With subcontractors, the homeowner must understand that the property is subject to a lien if the contractor does not pay the subcontractor. The subcontractor must give the homeowner notice no later than 45 days after the work is commenced or the supplies are delivered. And, the sub must deliver the notice to the homeowner in person or by certified mail.

You need solid contracts to keep construction projects going

When it comes to construction projects, the importance of planning can't be overstated. Whether you're a builder, supplier, designer, contractor, subcontractor or owner, the success of a project depends on the planning and the strength of the contracts between all parties involved. As with a built structure itself, protections against liability and the trajectory of profits must come from a firm foundation, and solid contracts are that foundation.

In construction, delays cost money. It is crucial to the success of any construction project to ensure prompt payment and delivery of services from all parties involved. You can address these issues with effective construction contracts, which can clarify and account for a range of obstacles that could potentially lead to the stoppage of work and the loss of money.

Deal or no deal? The mechanics of a mechanic's lien p2

We are circling back to our Aug. 21, 2014, post. The subject, as the title says, is mechanic's liens, and when we left off we were talking about what happens in a home sale if a mechanic's lien is filed against the property.

Remember, a mechanic's lien relates to construction or other work done on your property. If you do not pay a contractor, he or she can record a mechanic's lien against your home. Likewise, if a contractor does not pay a subcontractor or supplier, the subcontractor or supplier can file a mechanic's lien. This is true in Minnesota and every other state.

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