Reader Sue Pike responds to Gaslighting Minneapolis landlord John Klinkner loses to ex-renters in court:
I rented from him, I got out of my lease early, and I didn't lose my deposit.
To all those out there still affected by this monster, be proactive. Don't take action after he has taken all your money:
1. Know your tenant rights.
2. Get cheap (free for some) legal advice. P.S. They know his name well.
3. Send this monster a letter demanding necessary repairs (make sure it's certified, so you have proof he got it). The organization in #2 can give you a form letter and advice.
4. When he doesn't repair the problem after 14 days of receiving your letter, file a rent escrow action in court. Give your rent money directly to the court!! Here's info for Hennepin county.
5. Collect your documents and show up to the court date. Go early. Approach him beforehand and let him know all the info you have on him. Come to an agreement before the proceeding happens. (The judge will make you go with a mediator before he will hear the case anyway.)
My terms were simple. I wanted out of my year lease early. He agreed. Then he sat next to me in the court room and tried to make nice and get me to agree to ludicrous things, which I didn't.
When we went in front of the judge, he tried to tell the judge that I had agreed to never come after him again legally. I said "no I didn't." The judge reprimanded him, told him that's not even legal. In the end I got what I wanted and he got his rent from court.
6. Don't let him intimidate you, and don't let him get away with all his lies.
7. Don't let him take your deposit. This is what he is notorious for. This article just mentioned someone who spent two years in court to get a deposit back.
Be proactive. Don't give him your last month's rent. The majority of cases against him are to try to get deposits back. Ultimately, he's getting paid the last month's rent anyway, so your conscience is clean (if you were worried).
8. Move on with your life!