Legal Memorandum: Trade Fixtures and Personal Property in MN

Issue: Are trade fixtures generally considered personal property or the property of the landlord in Minnesota?

Area of Law: Real Estate Law
Keywords: Trade fixtures; Personal property
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 07/01/2013

Generally, trade fixtures are “fixtures used in the conduct of a business” and they are usually regarded as personal property even though affixed to the premises while ordinary fixtures are treated as real property.  Wilcox Boiler Co. v. Messier, 1 N.W.2d 130, 132 (Minn. 1941).  Ordinarily, a tenant must remove his trade fixtures before the end of the term or they become the property of the landlord.  RPC Props. Inc. v. Olson, 2005 WL 1804474 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug 2 2005). 

Priordale Mall Investors v. Farrington, 411 N.W.2d 582, 583 (Minn. Ct. App. 1987) (the general rule is that a landlord’s subsequent acceptance of rent acts to waive his or her right to rely on any prior alleged breaches of the lease known at that time as a basis for an action). 


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