The following provides some information about your rights as a renter. For more information contact Wayzata's Inspection Department at 952-404-5313.
In 2008 the City of Wayzata developed a rental license ordinance which references the City Property Maintenance Code. The purpose of this ordinance is to assure that rental housing in the City is decent, safe and sanitary and is so operated and maintained as not to become a nuisance to the community.
Before you move into your new apartment, your landlord must be able to show proof of a rental license. It is illegal to offer a dwelling for rent without a current rental license. The license lets you know, that the common space of the building and grounds has been inspected and approved as rental property. The City does not inspect individual dwelling units unless requested by the tenant or landlord.
According to Minnesota law the landlord is responsible to make sure that the rental unit is:
- Fit to live in
- Kept in reasonable repair
- Kept in compliance with state and local health and housing codes
Tell the landlord or caretaker about any problems with the housing unit. If the repairs are not completed after notice has been made, you can ask the City Inspector to inspect the rental unit by calling 952-404-5313. Violations discovered by the inspection will be cited and the owner given a timetable for corrections, based on the seriousness of each violation. It is always a good idea to notify the landlord both verbally and in writing of the problem, include dates and keep a copy of the letter for your records.
Filing a Complaint
Any citizen of Wayzata can file a complaint about the appearance of any property. All complaints will be investigated by the Wayzata Inspection Department. Complaints involving life/safety issues will take priority. Complainant information is classified as confidential and will not be released except by a court order. It is a crime for your landlord to retaliate against you for making a complaint; it is likewise illegal for you to make a false or malicious complaint.
Please note that your lease with the landlord is a legally binding contract of which the City of Wayzata has no part. Except for the provisions outlined in the City ordinance, the City will not get involved in breaches of your lease in any way, including evictions.
As a tenant, you have an obligation to help keep your apartment or rental unit in compliance with the Property Maintenance Code. This includes making sure all garbage and waste is disposed of properly, as well as keeping your premises safe and sanitary.
Conduct on Rental Property
Landlords are held responsible for the conduct of the people on their property. Therefore, loud parties and other disruptive activity, which result in the police being called, may put your landlord's license in danger of being revoked.
Attorney General's Office
The Minnesota Attorney General's Office publishes a handbook called "Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities," that outlines the expectations spelled out by state statutes. The handbook is available at no cost and can be obtained by calling the Attorney General's Office at (651) 296-3353 or 800-657-3787 (TDY 1-800-366-4812). This handbook is also available online (PDF).
Home Line provides free legal, organizing, education, and advocacy services so that tenants can solve their own rental housing problems. Home Line works to improve public and private policies related to rental housing by involving affected tenants in the process. Tenant/landlord legal advice and problem-solving includes:
- Explanations of applicable laws
- Procedures for legal options available to tenants
- Providing form letters, fact sheets, excerpts from statutes, or other written information
- Referrals to local housing inspectors, sources of emergency assistance, etc.
Tenants who contact Home Line will usually receive immediate attention to their problem from 1 of the staff attorneys or law student volunteers. Tenants will receive free advice regarding Minnesota landlord/tenant law and options for resolving the problem will be offered. Home Line is free and available to all tenants, regardless of income. The number for Home Line is 612-728-5767 and you can learn more on their website.