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Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In Minnesota, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by Minnesota landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a Minnesota lease, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Minnesota lease template for download!
A Minnesota lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease adheres to Minnesota’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every Minnesota lease agreement. Note that these components primarily apply to residential leases; a Minnesota commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. In Minnesota, rent control is banned—no city or county can pass a law that regulates or restricts the price of rent (MN Stat. § 471.9996). This means landlords can set their own rental rates based on the current market.
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. Minnesota limits late fees to 8% of the amount due (MN Stat. § 504B.177). Since there is no mandatory grace period in Minnesota, late fees can be applied as soon as rent is late. However, landlords cannot charge any late fees unless the amount of the fee is specified in the lease agreement. Be sure your late fee policy is clearly stated in your Minnesota lease agreement so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late to pay rent.
This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.
There is no maximum or limit for security deposits in Minnesota. However, Minnesota does have laws regulating other aspects of security deposits. When a lease ends, landlords in Minnesota are required to pay the accrued interest on the security deposit to the tenant at a simple, non-compounded rate of 1% annually (MN Stat. § 504B.178(2)).
Additionally, Minnesota landlords are required to return security deposits to the tenant (minus any deductions) within three weeks, or within five days of the date the tenant surrenders the premises (MN Stat. § 504B.178(3)).
Your Minnesota lease agreement should clearly explain your security deposit policy, including the amount of the security deposit, how/when it will be returned, and the conditions under which funds may be withheld from it.
This section encompasses crucial required disclosures in Minnesota, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in residential lease agreements before they agree to rent the property. In Minnesota, the required disclosures are:
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
- Landlord/agent identification – Landlords in Minnesota must disclose the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises and receive notices.
- Unlawful activities – Minnesota lease agreements must include a covenant in which the tenant agrees not to unlawfully allow illegal drugs, prostitution-related activity, unlawful use/possession of firearms, or stolen property to exist on the premises.
- Financial distress – If a Minnesota landlord has received a notice for deed cancellation or mortgage foreclosure sale, they must disclose this to prospective tenants in writing.
- Outstanding inspection – Landlords in Minnesota must provide tenants with copies of all outstanding inspection orders for rental units and common areas.
Landlord Right to Entry
In Minnesota, there are specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Minnesota landlords must provide “reasonable” advanced notice before entering an occupied unit for a non-emergency reason. Additionally, landlords can only enter for a “reasonable business purpose,” such as showings, maintenance, or inspections (MN Stat. § 504B.211(3)). Be sure to include the landlord’s right of entry in each Minnesota rental lease agreement.
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. All Minnesota residential lease agreements should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.
A Minnesota residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. All eviction notice periods in Minnesota should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a Minnesota sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
Minnesota Lease Agreement Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable Minnesota lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Minnesota state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of a Minnesota residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a Minnesota lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free Minnesota lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.