Watch John Brandt address questions about real estate law

What advice do you have for businesses entering into a lease agreement?
What are some of the most common condominium disputes you see and can people avoid these?


Experienced Professionals Help Close Real Estate Deals and Resolve Disputes

The attorneys at Merrigan, Brandt, Ostenso & Cambre, P.A. have 50 years of experience in property rights, real estate issues, finance and business matters. We handle all areas of real estate law, including residential and commercial transactions, landlord and tenant disputes, condominium law, foreclosures and boundary disagreements.

Guiding Real Estate Transactions

A real estate agreement is a binding legal contract you will have to live with for years. Many buyers and sellers are presented with a “standard” contract that identifies the parties, describes the property and establishes the essential terms of the agreement. However, pre-printed contracts may not reflect the specific circumstances of the parties or the property. For instance, residential and commercial real estate buyers may want to investigate the property for environmental contamination prior to closing.

Advising Landlords and Tenants on Their Rights

A lease agreement should clearly spell out tenant and landlord rights and obligations. For a large commercial retail space in downtown Minneapolis or a one-room apartment in Hopkins, an enforceable rental agreement is the single best way to avoid landlord disputes.

While lease agreements vary, all landlords and tenants should understand these key terms:

Parties — For businesses entering a lease agreement, make sure the business entity, rather than its owners, is listed as the lessee or lessor

Premises — The rental contract should accurately and thoroughly describe the property

Term — This is the length of your lease, including the exact starting and ending dates

Rent and security deposit — The lease must clearly state the monthly rent obligation and any calculations used to determine it (e.g., percentage of business profits). The security deposit and the conditions of its return should also be described

Improvements — Tenants often want to alter the space to meet their needs. Improvement provisions address what changes can be made and how the costs of the projects are allocated between the landlord and tenant

Maintenance and utilities — The lease should spell out each party’s maintenance and repair obligations for the leased space and any common areas shared with other tenants. The rental agreement should also address the utilities for which the tenant is responsible and how the costs are calculated

Termination — The termination clause details the circumstances under which the landlord or tenant can end the lease. It should also specify how much notice must be provided prior to termination and the consequences of ending the lease prematurely

Addressing Minnesota Condominium Disputes

New condominiums are common throughout   the Minneapolis West Metro area. While they alleviate many of the burdens of traditional home ownership, such as mowing the lawn or shoveling snow, they also carry unique legal concerns.

In a “common interest community” (CIC), all townhome or condominium owners in the community are members in an association. The association operates and manages the CIC, which may include establishing and enforcing rules regarding the larger community and the individual units. The association’s activities, often led by a board of directors, must comply with the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act (MCIOA) and the CIC’s governing documents, such as bylaws, articles of incorporation and other formal rules and regulations.

Before buying a condominium, it is important to carefully review the CIC’s governing documents. These documents dictate many of your rights and responsibilities as a homeowner, including repair responsibilities and parking restrictions, and may limit your remedies if a dispute arises.

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned commercial developer, you can benefit from retaining an experienced real estate lawyer in the Hopkins/ Minnetonka area. At Merrigan, Brandt, Ostenso & Cambre, P.A. we offer:

Skilled negotiators –Whether you are buying, selling or leasing, our attorneys negotiate terms that protect your interests

Seasoned litigators — Real estate disputes sometimes end up in court. Our attorneys know how to successfully litigate your real estate disputes

Contact Trusted Hopkins Real Estate Attorneys

The experienced attorneys at Merrigan, Brandt, Ostenso & Cambre, P.A. can help any real estate transaction proceed smoothly. To schedule an initial consultation at our Hopkins, MN office, call us today at 952.933.2390 or contact us online.