Ellis v. DoeAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the district court finding for Tenant in the underlying eviction proceedings brought by Landlord and concluding that Landlord had breached the covenants of habitability, holding that a tenant asserting a common-law habitability defense in an eviction proceeding is not required to follow the procedures for an action under the rent-escrow statute, Minn. Stat. 504B.385.
In response to Landlord’s action, Tenant raised the common-law habitability defense. The district court agreed with Tenant and ordered retroactive and prospective rent abatement until Landlord’s habitability violations were fixed. On appeal, Landlord argued that a tenant must follow the statutory procedures, including written notice, for a rent-escrow action under section 504B.385. The court of appeals held that Tenant was not required to do so. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that written notice is not required before a tenant raises a common-law habitability defense to an eviction proceeding.