Q: I haven't received a CRP form from my landlord yet. When am I supposed to get it?
A: Minnesota law states that if a person owns or manages rental property and rents out living space, they must provide a Certificate of Rent Paid or CRP form by Jan. 31, 2020, to each of their renters. If one or more adult renters live in the same unit for the entire year, each person should receive a CRP showing they paid an equal amount of rent. Also, married couples now receive two forms, one for each individual, instead of one form for the couple. It is most likely just an oversight by your landlord; many CRP forms show up in renters' mailboxes even into March.
You should contact your landlord and request a CRP form if you qualify for a renter's property tax refund. To qualify you must have a valid Social Security number or tax identification number, you must be a Minnesota resident or have spent more than 183 days living and paying rent in Minnesota, and have lived in a building where the owner was assessed property tax or made payments in lieu of property tax. In order to qualify for a refund you also cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return, and your household income for 2019 must be less than $62,340. To claim your refund you will need to complete the CRP and send it in with your return or submit it through a software provider. You can go to the following site online to get more information: www.revenue.state.mn.us/filing-property-tax-refund. The CRP will show how much rent you paid in 2019 and how much went to property taxes. If you believe the amount is wrong, then you should ask your landlord to correct the CRP. If your landlord doesn't provide you with a CRP or a corrected CRP by March 1, 2020, you can then request a Rent Paid Affidavit (RPA) from the Minnesota Department of Revenue by calling 651-296-3781 or 1-800-652-9094 (toll-free) or sending a request by electronic mail to the following e-mail address: email@example.com. If you request an RPA by e-mail, include only the last four digits of your Social Security number. To request an RPA, you will need to provide your name, current address, phone number, date of birth and Social Security number. If you're married, you will need to provide your spouse's name, date of birth and Social Security number. You will also need to provide your landlord's name, address and phone number, along with the address of the unit you rented, the county where it is located, whether it's in an assisted living facility, the number of renters, the dates you rented the unit, the monthly rent and whether you received any rent subsidies, such as Section 8.
Q: I live in an older home that's been converted into apartments. The landlord has told me that I can't take showers or baths after 10 p.m. because of the noise it generates in the apartment below and next to me. Is that a reasonable request? I feel that being able to shower or bathe shouldn't be dictated by time and is part of my reasonable usage of my apartment, but I cannot determine whether the law supports my argument. The apartment walls near the shower are rather thin, and I can hear my neighbors when they talk, so should I just request that the landlord soundproof better vs. complying with my landlord's request not to shower or bathe at night?
A: All tenants have a right to quiet enjoyment of their apartment. Being able to shower after 10 p.m. would be a requirement for many tenants to enjoy their living space. State law requires that landlords promise to keep the property in compliance with all safety and health codes, in reasonable repair and fit for the use intended. Being able to shower after 10 p.m. most likely would be considered a typical use of your apartment and would be allowed. However, if you have signed a one-year lease with a written clause stating that there is no showering allowed after 10 p.m., then you should not shower after 10 p.m., since you agreed to these terms. If a provision on not showering after 10 p.m. isn't written into your lease, then you can shower after 10 p.m., and you won't be in violation of your lease terms. If you are on a month-to-month lease, then your landlord can just add a clause in writing stating no showers after 10 p.m. and give you a 30-day notice to either agree to these new terms or move out.
It can be difficult living in a building with other tenants because you want to enjoy your place, but also want to respect your neighbors' privacy. You could ask that your landlord soundproof the shared walls in your building to limit the noise issue, but that may prove to be too expensive. To be a good neighbor, on the nights that you can shower before 10 p.m., you should do it.
Kelly Klein is a Minneapolis attorney. Participation in this column does not create an attorney/client relationship with Klein. Do not rely on advice in this column for legal opinions. Consult an attorney regarding your particular issues. E-mail renting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Kelly Klein c/o Star Tribune, 650 3rd Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Information provided by readers is not confidential.