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Unusual - Is there a law that covers this? Minnesota

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  • Kayne
    started a topic Unusual - Is there a law that covers this? Minnesota

    Unusual - Is there a law that covers this? Minnesota

    This is (to me) an unusual circumstance that I am not sure that I have it posted in the correct forum. Nor am I able to figure out how to ask this, to see if there are some legal options or otherwise. So I will explain the situation, and maybe someone will have some options.

    For a decade I have worked as a onsite maintenance - part time in the apartment(privately owned) we live in.
    To supplement my income, I took up a full time job as a manager down the road. And so has my lifestyle been since. The W2 were always "shady". I make $1,500/mo salary, $750(discounted) rent and the remaining goes to me as direct deposit, however, my W2's always say $6250 for the year??? Recently the W2 says something to the effect of 9000. I didnt mind, simply because it was taking care of rent which is a large chunk that my FT job cannot accommodate.
    (bear in mind, all properties around us are over $1,600/month rent - so another reason to just go with it)

    Owner passed away 6months ago, leaving the bank as the trustee. Sold here this last week.

    The "unknown factor" of what the new owners intentions are has left everyone in a state of panic - us included, but on a higher level. The current property manager stated that my last check will come from him, end of this month. He has no information as to whether the new owners will keep me on, or tear down the building or just increase rent and put "lipstick on the place". They are in the closing process and should be done the 30th.

    But this poses a massive issue as this is ALSO my income for the rent - which I why I need the full time job (which of course, pay $13/hr). So you can see the dilemma. My full time job will not be enough to cover our rent(immediately), and our living expenses (which includes a truck payment with $1,100 left - out of 10k!, If I pay that off, I stand the risk of loosing the apartment for lack of rent, and vs with the truck) - wife cannot work, so I have her expenses as well.

    It would seem that without notice, my "services are no longer needed" and a large chunk it cut from my income almost instantly.

    I am not sure what else to add, so my question

    1. What Options do we have, No one in the building, including us had planned on moving, and thus never made a huge savings play for just a scenario. And we definitely do not have some $2k - $3k to move within 30days. No our credit is not the best, and no we do not have family to stay with or "loan" us the money. We have always done well on our own. This is just an odd situation, that one only reads about in the paper.
    2. What is with the w2's changing like that with no actual change in my pay? The current property manager, who is leaving as well due to the sale, has only been there 2yrs, the prior I worked under another who has been there 30+yrs and started the $6250 w2.

    Hope none of that got too confusing.

    cheers
    Last edited by Kayne; 02-18-2017, 03:26 AM.

  • hr for me
    replied
    It really is dependent on the sales agreement with the prospective owner regarding who communicates to the employees and tenants. The employees have already been told about the pending sale and honestly it could still fall through. I can't tell you the number of offers we got over the years that we investigated but never closed.

    Tenants aren't generally informed until the sale has closed and then they are usually communicated with by the new owner/managers. If the sale hasn't closed then the current owner should be letting the tenants know where rent should be paid.

    Employees --- that's a laugh coming from a prior HR to the prior owner -- we didn't know til close date who they were possibly keeping on although they did background checks a few weeks later. They asked for NO employee information beyond overall payroll numbers. like I said earlier, they offered jobs at other complexes to a couple (and bad ones at that such that none took them up on the offers) and kept one or two on property.

    They claimed they would be tearing down the complex within 18 months and honestly we are a few years out from the sale and I drove past it last week and they haven't torn down a thing. They bought based on the upgraded pricing of new units....and at this point have to be losing a lot of money based on their purchase price and what we know the rents were.

    All I can really give you for advice is it is ALL up in the air. There are generally NO answers right now because the deal isn't complete. You are in that period of uncertainty that always seems to exist. The old owner has no authority to promise you anything other than a possible severance package and the new owner isn't concerned yet.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kayne
    replied
    Hi
    ONce again, thank you for your insightful information!!!
    It is a small one, 61 units, two of which are studios.

    Also, not sure If I mentioned it, this has been a privately owned complex by a single owner with no heirs interested in the property (and trust me when I say it is on PRIME/PRISTINE restate - I can send you the zip - every single store, salon and community service is within 4min MAX walking - with dr. office and library across the street!!) This is why many of us are in dire fear that they will demolish it, for something better (1963 is the age, and sadly, I can say it is very rough looking, with a 3mil $$ price tag on a parking lot that is over the underground parking - ripped membrane).

    WoW, this almost makes one want to own a home instead :-), We are starting to feel like a heard of cattle, and should maybe stand at our door exposing our teeth for inspection. LOL

    I cannot thank you enough for taking time to smooth over some of the rough edges, believe me when I say, it helps when conveying procedures to the tenants (who also have become almost family, if not close friends being a small building, this was easy to fall into).

    thanks again

    edit:
    Is there any reason you can think of why tenants are not informed since the previous property manager is no longer handling the building at the end of the month - one question mainly: where do you make the rent check to?
    Also since I am an employee there - is it customary to leave me in the dark as far as procedures etc.. that you were kind enough to provide? All of this would have helped immensely.
    A simple:
    "Yes we will be keeping you on, we will give you the details around the first" or "no we have our own team"
    As it sets, I am not sure if I will be getting another check, so I started a new job, if they decide to keep me, that puts me and my friend(mgr of the new job) in a pickle!
    Thanks again
    Last edited by Kayne; 03-05-2017, 06:34 AM. Reason: update

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  • hr for me
    replied
    Yes, in the sale of our last apartment complex the new owner wanted to assess/walk EVERY apartment. They want to know exactly what they are buying and want/need to calculate what updates might be needed - and that is going to be by unit. And generally if you are getting a lower rent as a live on employee, yours would be the first they would show, not the last. Especially if you have been there a long time and no one in management has reviewed/assessed your apartment for the whole time you have been there (since no one as moved out/in).

    The other large apartment complex sale, I honestly don't remember if the owner/investor walked every unit. But it was an investor buying and at some point the larger the complex, the less they need to look at EVERY apartment. But the prospective owner can ask for the moon to be hung over the apartments every night and the current owner has to decide what access he is going to grant (usually a lot more if he wants the place sold!) You may have stated this earlier, but how many units in total are in your complex?

    What you are stating is very common honestly. I've been through two different apt complex sales and while they are different and lot of what you are posting is common and nowhere near illegal.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kayne
    replied
    Just had some interesting news I was wondering if you could clarify for me. The onsite manager is doing a lot of double talking, or falling over his comments, as they are not consistant and I point them out.
    The "assessor" wants to come look at a few apartments in the building.
    I am not fond of strangers coming to my apartment (and neither is the onsite manager - I have never seen his apartment in 10yrs, and the last person I took to his apartment - sort of an emergency - he chastised me for doing so).

    (it was in the evening as we text a lot):

    His first answer was that they want to see each of the floor plans in the building. There are several with this floor plan that I am in.
    So I asked him what is wrong with the blue prints in the office? they have all the layouts.

    he then replied that he/she is an assessor for the new owner (who has not signed yet), to supposedly look for defects in apartment units to help negotiate a lower price.

    I told him ours and the others they are looking at are sound, solid and no issues.

    to which he went back to the original comment, they just want to see the layouts.

    What is the real purpose of this? is it required? Or are they just checking to see if people are indeed living a normal life there, and not some run down ghetto type environment?

    I don't care if they come in, just for the right reasons.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kayne
    replied
    Originally posted by dkstaub View Post
    The pitfall of having a month-to-month lease is that it can be terminated on very short notice (typically one month in most states). That means if the closing is March 30 and the new owner immediately gives you notice, he can terminate your lease as of the end of April. Similarly, if he is not using your services as a handyman, he can give you notice that your rent goes up to the market rate on May 1.
    Thank you for your comments. I am hoping for the later, as not only myself but others just do not have the funds to move out, even if we were offered 90days.. Keep in mind, which I forgot to mention, this property is privately owned, so it is a sole building owned by a lady who passed away recently and the trustee is the bank. So it has had some very weird "questionable" legal issues throughout the years. Building upkeep for one (not the maintenance end, but larger structural issues).

    OK,
    I will wait the 30 days, I'll pick up another job, have guarantee offers for some part-time, that should hold us while we figure this out. I'll keep you guys posted how they handle this. I am curious myself on a professional end. :-)

    Leave a comment:


  • dkstaub
    replied
    Originally posted by Kayne View Post
    Never had a lease. When we first moved in there 12yrs ago, it was month-to-month, shortly after, maybe a year, when they found out I used to be a handyman(I was working for friends on the side from my current job, and did my own apartment work), wanted to hire me as the the current handyman had failing health. AFter which I was paid a fixed monthly income, with rent coming out first, so month-to-month again.
    The pitfall of having a month-to-month lease is that it can be terminated on very short notice (typically one month in most states). That means if the closing is March 30 and the new owner immediately gives you notice, he can terminate your lease as of the end of April. Similarly, if he is not using your services as a handyman, he can give you notice that your rent goes up to the market rate on May 1.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kayne
    replied
    Originally posted by hr for me View Post
    Not in Minnesota unfortunately.

    That said, it sounds like you are going to have to wait and see until either the new property owner or management company contacts you. Sales can take months (literally) from the time the prior owner thinks they have a buyer and the closing date. Do you know if or when the deal is expected to close? He said April 1st, but if he is only writing you one more check, he has effectively terminated you and no one has stepped up to hire you.
    Close date March 30th, CURRENT property mgr is done April 1st(he already informed me of this)

    Originally posted by hr for me View Post
    Because where is stands now, I would assume that the new owner/property manager has NOT hired you unless you have filled out new hire paperwork or have some type of documentation that he is keeping former employees.
    The ID of the new owner has not been announced to either myself or the tenants. All this is known(as revealed by the current property mgr) is that they are signing March 30th, and are not accepting anymore applications (we have one unit left - that was turned down by the alleged new owner).

    Originally posted by hr for me View Post
    I spoke with one of our property managers and she said it was common (at least in my state) to have employees sign leases for rental units, but they had a 7 day clause that if you lost employment for any reason that you had 7 days to vacate. So you really need to go back to whatever lease you signed, if any to see what your notice rights are.
    Never had a lease. When we first moved in there 12yrs ago, it was month-to-month, shortly after, maybe a year, when they found out I used to be a handyman(I was working for friends on the side from my current job, and did my own apartment work), wanted to hire me as the the current handyman had failing health. AFter which I was paid a fixed monthly income, with rent coming out first, so month-to-month again.

    I understand that they may have their own team, that was a fear we had when the new property mmgr came on board, but he chose us as we were tight with our building. My concern is the possible destruction of the building on short notice and/or possibly evicting everyone for whatever reason. I can find another jbo, I am VERY hire able never been unemployed and usually have more than one job at any given time. (work aholic? LOL)

    PS
    Thanks again for helping me work through this.. your comments do help !
    Last edited by Kayne; 02-23-2017, 05:43 AM.

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  • hr for me
    replied
    Not in Minnesota unfortunately.

    That said, it sounds like you are going to have to wait and see until either the new property owner or management company contacts you. Sales can take months (literally) from the time the prior owner thinks they have a buyer and the closing date. Do you know if or when the deal is expected to close? He said April 1st, but if he is only writing you one more check, he has effectively terminated you and no one has stepped up to hire you.

    Because where is stands now, I would assume that the new owner/property manager has NOT hired you unless you have filled out new hire paperwork or have some type of documentation that he is keeping former employees.

    I spoke with one of our property managers and she said it was common (at least in my state) to have employees sign leases for rental units, but they had a 7 day clause that if you lost employment for any reason that you had 7 days to vacate. So you really need to go back to whatever lease you signed, if any to see what your notice rights are.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kayne
    replied
    O, one thing I forgot to mention,

    I did not get a notice about the property or my wage, other than, this property manager is no longer paying me,(he stated I need to wait to see what the other property manager is going to do). But no news on the new owner, and future Residency and Employment, are without notice at this time as well. Not even the tenants know what to expect or where to send their next months rent. Very Odd, this lack of communication.

    Not sure if that makes a difference

    Leave a comment:


  • Kayne
    replied
    Originally posted by hr for me View Post
    Absent a contract for employment or an apartment lease, yes, you actually got more notice than most -- almost 6 weeks. Employment is generally "at will" and I suspect your apartment doesn't have a true lease but is tied directly to your employment and month-to-month.

    I'm in the property management business, although I do most HR/payroll functions. It is very common at the changeover and sale that many of the employees are not kept because the prop mgmt company wants to bring in their own employees. Generally we give some type of severance package/bonus based off of the sale to all employees (even those who are possibly staying). Our last sale, they kept 2 out of 12 employees.

    While I am sorry that it affects your livelihood, I suggest you start looking quickly. If you are a good apartment maintenance man, you will hopefully find another spot to land soon.
    Thank you VERY much, that is a very spot on answer to my situation, thank you for jumping in and clarifying, Our buildings biggest fears is that they will tear it down. I do not mind staying and changing jobs, just cannot handle loosing the job AND the residency - my other job cannot handle BOTH. Thanks again.

    ps
    If your in MN, contact me :-) I need something to compliment my mgr pos. at the hardware store.

    Leave a comment:


  • hr for me
    replied
    Absent a contract for employment or an apartment lease, yes, you actually got more notice than most -- almost 6 weeks. Employment is generally "at will" and I suspect your apartment doesn't have a true lease but is tied directly to your employment and month-to-month.

    I'm in the property management business, although I do most HR/payroll functions. It is very common at the changeover and sale that many of the employees are not kept because the prop mgmt company wants to bring in their own employees. Generally we give some type of severance package/bonus based off of the sale to all employees (even those who are possibly staying). Our last sale, they kept 2 out of 12 employees.

    While I am sorry that it affects your livelihood, I suggest you start looking quickly. If you are a good apartment maintenance man, you will hopefully find another spot to land soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kayne
    replied
    Got some more news today which helps me better phrase my question:

    I get a W2 from this company.
    The building changes hands, terminates the property manager -after 2yrs, who I am getting my pay from, (Was originally getting it for many years before from the property manager before him). No notice, outside that next week he will make the last check out to me, and he is done april 1st.

    As an employer - can they do that? Without reason? That is a major shift in livelihood for us.
    Last edited by Kayne; 02-21-2017, 01:51 PM.

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  • DAW
    replied
    Also, whether your employer is a saint or sinner, IRS does have some rules here, including a maximum percentage that rent (or anything else) can be discounted. In a rising rental market your employer likely is legally required to either raise your rent or imput the difference as wages. Your contract (if any) with your employer cannot make IRS rules go away.

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  • hr for me
    replied
    You are going to have to ask whoever is doing the payroll about the W-2 or look at previous paystubs. There is no way to figure it out over the internet. That said, you need to figure out what part, if any, of the apartment rent discount is considered taxable income. Are you REQUIRED to live on property? If so, it might not be taxable. But generally discounts are, unless you meet very strict IRS requirements.

    As to whether you will be laid off, terminated or asked to move out, no one but the new owners know that. Do you have a lease? Usually there is at least a 30 day notice of eviction requirement in most states. So you will have a little time. I doubt they have enough employees to fall under WARN which requires a written layoff notice.

    It sounds like you, and others, made the assumption that this was an ongoing deal that couldn't change at any time. Unfortunately change happens.

    My best suggestion is to try to speak with the new owners and/or start looking for another live-on-property position that allows for you to work also at your other job. The new owners do not have to let you stay beyond any required notice period unless you have a lease or a contract granting you further rights.

    Leave a comment:

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