A Guide to Landlord Tenant Laws Minnesota- Rights, Regulations, and More [Update 2024]

Explore Minnesota's landlord-tenant laws with our comprehensive guide, offering essential insights into rights, responsibilities, and key regulations found in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 504B. Whether you're a landlord safeguarding your property or a tenant exercising your rights, gain the knowledge you need for a successful renting experience in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

By
Rachel Robinson
|
Last Updated
January 19, 2024
A Guide to Landlord Tenant Laws Minnesota- Rights, Regulations, and More [Update 2024]

Are you navigating Minnesota's rental landscape? Curious about the key facts you need to know? Look no further!

Minnesota landlords and tenants have to navigate local and state rental laws that affect their rights and responsibilities in the landlord-tenant relationship. Understanding these laws can be a bit tricky, even for experienced property owners and renters.

That’s why we created this comprehensive guide on Minnesota’s rental laws. With this guide, landlords and tenants will gain an understanding of the laws found in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 504B.

Landlords, discover how to protect your rental properties and create positive relationships with tenants. Tenants, get ready to gain invaluable knowledge on how to use your fundamental rights while renting a home. So, let's dive in and explore the critical elements of Minnesota's landlord-tenant laws, from rental licenses to security deposits, rent control, late fees, and much more.

Minnesota landlord tenant law fast facts

  • Is a rental license required to be a landlord? Not statewide, but some cities do require licenses
  • Are there any security deposit requirements? Yes
  • Is there rent control? Not statewide, but some cities have rent control
  • Are there limits on late fees? Yes
  • Are there rent payment grace period laws? No
  • Are there notice of entry laws? Yes

Minnesota landlord responsibilities and rights

Rights

Both the landlord and tenant have fundamental rights in Minnesota. In the case of the landlord, these rights help them operate a successful rental business shielded from legal issues. Some of these rights include:

  • Collecting rent payments on time
  • Charging a security deposit to cover unforeseen costs like damage beyond common wear and tear
  • Legally evicting a tenant if they breach the lease agreement. (As from 01/01/24- Property owners must give 14-days written notice before filing evictions if rent has not been paid)

Responsibilities

Rental owners in Minnesota also have a set of responsibilities that ensure a safe living environment and smooth tenancy for renters. Their main duties are:

  • Providing a rental unit that meets basic health and safety requirements
  • Making repairs within 14 days after receiving written notice from a tenant
  • Complying with security deposit regulations
  • Disclosure of additional fees in advertisements and apartment listings (As from 01/01/24)

Minnesota tenant responsibilities and rights

Rights

As previously stated, Minnesota law provides renters with fundamental rights. For tenants, these laws ensure their safety and legal protection during their tenancy. Their main rights include:

  • Living in a safe and habitable rental unit that meets local health and safety codes (As from 01/01/24, Landlords who control the heat in a building must keep the temperature at least 68 degrees from October to April)
  • Having repairs made in 14 days after providing written notice
  • The right to inspections before or after a move (as from 01/01-24)
  • Taking legal action against landlords if they fail to make repairs and/or violate the lease agreement

Responsibilities

Minnesota tenants, too, have obligations they must uphold while residing in a rental property. They must:

  • Pay rent on time
  • Keep the unit in a safe and habitable condition
  • Make small repairs and perform maintenance when necessary
  • Not disturb neighbors or other renters

Minnesota landlord tenant law through the rental cycle

Minnesota tenant screening and rental application laws

Minnesota has stricter laws around charging rental application fees. In the state, landlords cannot:

  • Charge a fee when there are no rentals available
  • Collect a screening fee without providing a receipt
  • Deposit a prospective tenant’s screening fee until all applicants have been screened or rejected

Landlords can only run background checks if they have the potential renter’s consent. Landlords can conduct checks including criminal history, rental history, and credit reports. Additionally, Minnesota and federal law protect tenants from discrimination and ensure fair and equal access to rental housing.

Its also important to note, that any additional fees must be disclosed in advertisements and apartment listings as of 01/01/24

Minnesota lease agreement laws

Minnesota allows lease agreements to be documented orally for leases up to three years long. At that time, the lease agreement must be written. It’s always recommended to have a written lease agreement, as it outlines the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

In a written agreement, landlords are required to include their name, phone number, rent amount, rent due date, lease period, and a general description of the rental unit. Learn more about what information should be included in a lease agreement.

To update a lease agreement, landlords must provide a 30-day notice for leases of a year or more, and 15 days in advance for all other tenancy lengths.

Maine security deposit laws

Minnesota landlords are allowed to collect a security deposit to cover property damage beyond common wear and tear and other unforeseen costs at the end of a lease. Landlords can charge whatever they deem appropriate for the deposit.

Other Minnesota security deposit laws to be aware of include:

  • Landlords must provide the tenant with a receipt for security deposits paid in cash.
  • Landlords are required to provide at the minimum 1% annual interest on security deposits.
  • Security deposits do not have to be held in a separate account.

At the end of the lease, Minnesota landlords have 21 days to return a tenant’s security deposit after the tenant provides delivery instructions. Landlords can make deductions for reasons including unpaid rent, late fees, and utilities, plus damage exceeding normal wear and tear.

If the landlord fails to comply with the notice period or wrongfully withholds funds, the tenant can sue for twice the amount wrongfully withheld, plus $500.

Minnesota rent laws

Minnesota doesn’t have state-wide rent control laws, but the state allows cities and towns to create their own laws. This is the case for St. Paul. In areas without rent control, landlords may charge any amount for rent and increase rent as often as they choose, except during the lease period, unless the lease agreement allows for it. But before increasing rent, landlords must provide advanced notice equivalent to the frequency of rent payments.

If tenants fail to pay rent on time, landlords can immediately charge a late fee, as the state doesn’t have a grace period law. However, late fees cannot be more than 8% of the amount past due.

It’s important to note that Minnesota renters can withhold rent payments if the landlord fails to repair a serious problem or code violation.

Minnesota repair and maintenance laws

Same as most states, Minnesota law requires rental owners to ensure their property meets basic safety and health requirements. This includes making repairs within 14 days after receiving written notice from tenants.

If the landlord fails to make the repairs in that time frame, Minnesota renters can file a rent escrow action against the landlord. The court may then: award monetary damages to the tenant, issue an injunction against the landlord, or allow tenants to withhold a percentage of their rent.

Minnesota notice of entry laws

Landlords in Maine can enter the rental property for reasonable purposes related to the tenancy, such as maintenance, inspections, and showings. Unless for an emergency, landlords must provide a 24 hours notice before entering the property- this is part of the new changes in effect from 01/01/2024.

Minnesota eviction and lease termination laws

There are legal reasons landlords can evict a tenant in the state of Minnesota. The reasons and required notice periods for evictions in Minnesota include:

  • Unpaid rent: If a tenant fails to pay rent when due, the landlord may issue a 14-day notice to quit before filing an eviction with the court.
  • Lease violation: If a tenant commits a lease violoation, landlords can alert the tenant and provide instructions on how to remedy the issue, although they do not have to remedy the issue. If the landlord chooses to evict the tenant, they must serve the renter with 14 days notice prior to taking action. The amount of notice is usually noted in the lease agreement.
  • Illegal activity: In Minnesota, illegal actions that warrant eviction include illegal gambling, prostitution, and drug manufacturing. The amount of notice required depends on the lease terms.
  • No lease/end of lease: If tenants stay past the end of the tenancy, the landlord can serve a notice to quit. The notice period depends on the length of the lease. Week-to-week leases must provide a 7-day notice to quit and month-to-month leases must provide a 30-day notice to quit. All other tenancies require a three-month notice or equal to the time frame between rent payments.

Minnesota tenants can also end the lease early for the following legal reasons:

  • Active military duty
  • Landlord harassment
  • Early termination clause
  • Domestic violence

Even if breaking the lease for legal reasons, tenants may still be liable for paying the remainder of the rent payments. Landlords in the state are not required to re-rent a unit.

Additional Minnesota landlord tenant laws

On top of addressing major issues like evictions and repairs, Minnesota rental law also covers less-addressed topics like housing discrimination and landlord retaliation. Explore some of those matters below.

Housing discrimination

State and federal laws protect Minnesota tenants from housing discrimination. Under the federal Fair Housing Acts, landlords are prohibited from discriminating against potential renters based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Minnesota further protects tenants from discrimination based on characteristics including marital status, sexual orientation, and use of public assistance.

If a landlord violates these laws, tenants can seek legal help and file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

Landlord retaliation

In Minnesota, it’s illegal for landlords to retaliate against their tenants for taking protected actions like reporting the landlord to authorities for health and safety violations, whether singly or as part of a tenant union. Increased obligations, reduced services, or threatening eviction are all considered forms of retaliation.

Mandatory disclosures

Minnesota state law requires landlords to make certain disclosures to tenants at the beginning of a lease period. The disclosures include:

  • Lead-based paint: Landlords with rentals built before 1978 must provide information about lead paint concentrations.
  • Authorized agents: Landlords must provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and managing the property.
  • Shared utilities: Landlords must disclose if there is a single utility meter used for multiple tenants. (As mentioned before, landlords who control the heat in a building must keep the temperature at least 68 degrees from October to April)
  • Late fees: If a landlord charges a late fee, they must disclose the amount and if they provide a grace period.
  • Inspection & Condemnation: Landlords must inform tenants of all outstanding inspection and condemnation orders.
  • Financial distress: Properties that have received a foreclosure notice must disclose this to tenants.

Why you should understand Minnesota’s landlord tenant laws

Understanding Minnesota's landlord-tenant laws is crucial for a harmonious and legally compliant rental experience. By knowing your rights and responsibilities as either a landlord or a tenant, you can navigate the rental cycle with confidence.

Whether it's security deposit regulations, rent control specifics, repair and maintenance obligations, or eviction and lease termination procedures, being well-informed is your best asset. Remember, knowledge is power in the world of renting.

As you continue your journey in Minnesota's rental market, keep these fast facts in mind to ensure a smoother and more transparent rental experience for all parties involved. For specific legal advice or guidance, consider consulting with a legal professional familiar with Minnesota's landlord-tenant laws.

Stay informed, stay empowered, and may your renting experiences in the Land of 10,000 Lakes be nothing short of excellent.

Minnesota landlord tenant law FAQ

What is the limit a landlord or tenant can sue for in Minnesota small claims court?

Small Claims Court handles disputes involving relatively small amounts of money in a simplified and expedited manner. In Minnesota, Small Claims Court will hear rental cases for up to $15,000. The process normally takes two to three months.

Is Minnesota considered a landlord-friendly state?

Minnesota takes a balanced approach to its landlord-tenant laws—evident in its ranking as the 44th most landlord-friendly state. The state doesn’t have any rent control laws or have many notice requirements for evictions, allowing landlords to run efficient rental businesses. However, tenants do have some protections under Minnesota law, such as the landlord’s duty to maintain the rental in safe and habitable living conditions.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials are for general informational purposes only. This content may not constitute the most up-to-date legal information. No reader, user, or browser of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information herein without first seeking the advice of a legal professional.

Important note: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. This post should not be taken as legal advice or used as a substitute for such. You should always speak to your own legal counsel before taking action.

Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson has 6 years of experience in writing, editing, and SEO, specializing in rental property and real estate. She excels in market trends and landlord-tenant dynamics, producing content that drives traffic and informs. Outside of work, she enjoys climbing Colorado's granite boulders.

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