Minnesota Landlord Tenant Laws
January 20, 2023
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Tenant screening criteria
Rent and Fees
Application Fees: Permitted
Rent Control: Banned
Late Fee Limit: 8% of monthly rent
Grace Period Minimum: N/A
Amount Limit: N/A
Return Within: 3 weeks
|Fair Housing Protections|
Source of income
Permitted Times of Entry: N/A
Rent Demand Notice: N/A
Notice for Lease Violation: N/A
Minnesota Landlord-Tenant Law
Understand the essential landlord-tenant laws in Minnesota before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the Minnesota state law code.
Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.
The landlord must disclose, in writing, the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises and the landlord or agent authorized to receive notices, prior to the beginning of the tenancy. This disclosure must be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises.
Rental agreements in Minnesota should include a covenant in which the tenant agrees not to unlawfully allow controlled substances, prostitution-related activity, unlawful use/possession of a firearm, or stolen property to exist on the premises.
Tenant Screening Criteria
If the landlord collects an application fee, they must disclose in writing the name, address, and phone number of the tenant screening service and the criteria for making the decision. Additionally, within 14 days of rejecting an applicant, the landlord must disclose to that applicant which criteria they failed to meet.
If the landlord has received notice for deed cancellation or mortgage foreclosure sale on their property, they must disclose this to any prospective tenants in writing before entering a lease agreement or accepting any rent or security deposit payments. The landlord must also disclose the date that the contract cancellation period ends.
Landlords in Minnesota must provide tenants with copies of all outstanding inspection orders for a rental unit or common area. The order must also include the specific code violations issued, and it should be provided to the tenant prior to signing a lease or paying rent or a security deposit if the citation exists before a new tenancy. If the citation is received during the tenancy, the notice should be delivered or mailed to the tenant within 72 hours of receiving the citation.
Rent and Fees
- Rent Due Date: Rent in Minnesota is due on the day specified in the lease agreement.
- Application Fees: Application fees to cover tenant screening costs are permitted. However, landlords in Minnesota must return screening fees if the applicant is rejected for a reason not disclosed, if a prior applicant accepts an offer to rent the unit, or if the landlord does not obtain any consumer credit or tenant screening report (MN Stat. § 504B.173(2)).
- Rent Increases: Rent control is banned in Minnesota (MN Stat. § 471.9996).
- Late Fees: 8% of the amount due. Landlords may not charge a late fee unless the amount of the fee is specified in the lease agreement (MN Stat. § 504B.177).
- Grace Period: There is no mandatory grace period in Minnesota.
- NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a rental NSF (non-sufficient funds) fee of $30 (MN Stat. § 604.113(2)).
- Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If the landlord fails to repair a building, health, or housing code violation, the tenant may send the landlord a 14-day notice to remedy the condition. If the landlord refuses to make the repair, the issue may be tried by the court. If the court finds the tenant’s complaint valid, it may order the landlord to remedy the violation or allow the tenant to arrange the repair and deduct the cost from rent (MN Stat. § 504B.395-425).
- Deposit Limit: There is no limit on security deposits in Minnesota.
- Interest: Landlords are required to pay interest on security deposits to their tenants, at a simple non-compounded rate of one percent annually (MN Stat. § 504B.178(2))
- Return Within: 3 weeks, or within 5 days of the date the tenant surrenders the premises (MN Stat. § 504B.178(3)).
- Deposit Location: Minnesota landlords are not required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account.
- Withholding: Landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for unpaid rent or other bills or to restore the premises to its original condition (excluding ordinary wear and tear). Landlords must, however, include a written statement specifying the reasons for withholding any funds from the security deposit (MN Stat. § 504B.178(3)).
Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections
- Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). Minnesota state law adds marital status, source of income, and sexual orientation (MN Stat. § 363A.09).
- Minnesota landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial.
- Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in Minnesota.
- Minnesota landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property.
- Advanced Notice: Minnesota landlords are required to provide “reasonable” advanced notice under the circumstances before entering a unit (MN Stat. § 504B.211(2)).
- Permitted Times: Minnesota state law does not designate any time-of-day entry restrictions. However, landlords may only enter for a “reasonable business purpose.” Reasonable purposes include showings; maintenance; health, housing, building, fire, or housing code maintenance; to address a disturbance, to investigate a lease violation, housekeeping for senior citizens, or suspicion that the tenant has vacated the unit (MN Stat. § 504B.211(3)).
- Emergency Entry: In case of emergency, Minnesota landlords may enter without advanced notice. An “emergency” is defined as a situation in which entry is necessary to prevent injury relating to maintenance, building security, or law enforcement; to determine a tenant’s safety, or to comply with local ordinances regarding unlawful activity (MN Stat. § 504B.211(4)).
- Rent Demand Notice: 14 days to pay or quit for month-to-month tenants; no notice is required for all other tenancies (MN Stat. § 504B.135).
- Notice for Lease Violation: There is no statute in Minnesota on terminating tenancies for lease violations or illegal activity. Landlords are not required to give tenants an opportunity to cure either violation and may start the eviction process immediately, but they should provide notice.
Other Laws and Facts About Minnesota
- The median rent rate in Minnesota is $1,537.
- The median rent rate in Minneapolis is $1,608.
- Rent control ordinances exist in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul.