Minnesota Eviction Process

Minnesota Eviction Process

Last Updated: August 29, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

Steps of the eviction process in Minnesota:

  1. Landlord serves tenant with written notice.
  2. Landlord files complaint with court (if unresolved).
  3. Court holds hearing and issues judgment.
  4. Writ of possession is issued.
  5. Possession of property is returned to landlord.

Evicting a tenant in Minnesota can take around two weeks to three months, depending on the reason for the eviction. If tenants request a continuance, jury trial, or appeal, the process can take longer.

Questions? To chat with a Minnesota eviction attorney, click here

Grounds for an Eviction in Minnesota

In Minnesota, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms or illegal activity. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 14 Days Maybe
End of / No Lease 30 Days No
Lease Violation No Statute No
Illegal Activity No Statute No

Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent

In Minnesota, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first give a tenant-at will (i.e., month-to-month tenant) 14 days’ notice to vacate the premises. No prior notice is required for all other tenancies.

However, a tenant may use the “pay and stay” method and can stop the eviction. The tenant must pay the landlord the rent owed, interest incurred, cost of the action (i.e., filing fees, process server fee, witness fees), and attorneys’ fees. If payment is made before the judge makes a decision, the eviction process will stop.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late in Minnesota the day immediately after its due date. So for example, if rent is due on the first of the month, it is considered late starting on the second of the month (if not paid in full). There is no right to a legal grace period (i.e., five days) or exceptions for weekends or court-observed holidays.

Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease

In Minnesota, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (30 days for tenants that pay month-to-month).

Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Eviction for Violation of Lease or Responsibilities

In Minnesota, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities under Minnesota landlord-tenant law. Minnesota landlords are not required to allow tenants to correct a lease violation, but they must provide tenants with some type of notice prior to beginning an eviction action.

There is no state statute on the amount of notice required for a lease violation. Minnesota landlords and tenants will need to review their written lease or rental agreement to determine how much notice is required.

Tenant responsibilities include:

  • Keeping the unit in a safe and habitable condition.
  • Making small repairs and maintenance.
  • Keeping the unit clean and remove garbage.
  • Not disturbing other tenants or neighbors.

Examples of lease violations include:

  • Having an unauthorized pet or guest.
  • Parking in an unauthorized area.
  • Not maintaining a certain level of cleanliness.

Eviction for Illegal Activity

In Minnesota, a landlord can evict a tenant for an illegal activity. Landlords are not required to allow tenants to correct the issue, but they must provide tenants with some type of notice prior to beginning an eviction action. Minnesota landlords and tenants will need to review their written lease or rental agreement to determine how much notice is required.

Examples of illegal activity include :

  • Possession of controlled substances on the rental property.
  • Prostitution/prostitution-related activity on the rental premises
  • Unlawful use or possession of a firearm on the rental property.
  • Storage of stolen property on the rental premises.
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Illegal Evictions in Minnesota

In Minnesota, any of the below is illegal. If found liable, the landlord could be required to pay the tenant triple the amount of damages sustained or $500, whichever is greater, plus attorneys’ fees.

“Self-Help” Evictions

No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed to forcibly remove a tenant by:

  • Changing the locks.
  • Shutting off utilities.
  • Removing tenant belongings.

A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.

Retaliatory Evictions

It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right. These rights include :

  • Complaining about habitability issues to the landlord or any authority tasked to enforce the law.
  • Filing a complaint to a government authority.
  • Joining a tenant’s union or organization.

Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant

A landlord can begin the eviction process in Minnesota by serving the tenant with written notice. Minnesota state law doesn’t specify how an eviction notice must be delivered; however, common delivery methods include:

  1. Hand delivering the notice to the tenant.
  2. Leaving the notice in a conspicuous place (i.e., on the front door).
  3. Leaving a copy at the tenant’s residence with a competent adult.

It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and served notice as proof of proper service of notice. 

14-Day Notice to Quit

If an at-will tenant (i.e., month-to-month) is late on paying rent (full or partial) in Minnesota, the landlord can serve them a 14-Day Notice to Quit. This notice gives the at-will tenant 14 calendar days to vacate the premises.

It’s important to note that no prior notice is required for all other tenancies.

Additionally, a tenant may use the “pay and stay” method and can stop the eviction if they pay the landlord the rent owed, interest incurred, cost of the action (i.e., filing fees, process server fee, witness fees), and attorneys’ fees.

30-Day Notice to Quit

For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Minnesota, the landlord must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 30 calendar days to move out.

For tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs.

Rent Payment Frequency Notice Amount
Week-to-Week 7 Days
Month-to-Month 30 Days

Notice to Quit

Minnesota landlords are not required to allow tenants to correct a lease violation or illegal activity, but they must provide tenants with some type of notice prior to beginning an eviction action. Landlord’s may serve them a Notice to Quit to end the tenancy.

The amount of notice required depends on what is written in the lease or rental agreement.

Questions? To chat with a Minnesota eviction attorney, click here

Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court

As the next step in the eviction process, Minnesota landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate court. Filing fees may vary, for example, in Douglas County, the filings fees cost $295.

The summons and complaint may be served on the tenant by anyone who is not part of the case within 24 hours of the date the summons was issued by the court for evictions due to illegal activity, or at least seven days prior to the hearing for all other types of evictions.

The summons and complaint may be served through one of the following methods:

  1. Giving a copy to the tenant in person;
  2. Leaving a copy with someone at the tenant’s residence; or
  3. Leaving a copy with someone at the rental unit (if different from the tenant’s residence).

Leaving a copy of the summons and complaint may only be done if the tenant cannot be found within the county where the eviction hearing is being held.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com24 hours to 7 days, depending on the reason for the eviction.

Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 3: Court Holds Hearing & Issues Judgment

The hearing date depends on the type of eviction being filed.

For evictions due to illegal activity, the hearing will be held 5-7 days after the date the summons is issued by the court.

For all other evictions, the hearing will be held 7-14 days after the summons is issued by the court. If the court finds that the landlord expedited the hearing and it wasn’t due to illegal behavior or a nuisance endangering the safety of others, the landlord could be fined a civil penalty up to $500.

A six day continuance may be granted for either party; the tenant may request a continuance for up to three months if the tenant can prove they need the additional time to track down a crucial witness to testify before the court.

If the tenant fails to appear for the hearing, the judicial officer may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant will need to move out of the rental unit.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a writ of recovery will be issued immediately, and the eviction process will continue.

Either party may appeal within 15 days of the date the judgment was issued.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com5-14 days, depending on whether the eviction is for illegal activity or any other type of eviction. If tenants request a continuance or jury trial, the process will take longer.

Step 4: Writ of Possession Is Issued

The writ of recovery is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff, licensed police officer or community crime prevention licensed police officer returns to the property to forcibly remove the tenant.

If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, the writ of recovery will be issued immediately.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com Immediately. The writ of recovery will be issued immediately upon entry of a judgment in favor of the landlord.

Eviction property possession returned on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned

Tenants will have 24 hours to move out of the rental unit once the writ of recovery has been posted or delivered.

Tenants who are not being evicted due to illegal activity may request a seven day stay of execution if moving out immediately would create a hardship.

For nonpayment of rent evictions, tenants can pay past-due rent, plus court costs, attorney fees, and any other costs ordered by the court at any time before they are forcibly removed from the rental unit and the eviction process will be stopped.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com24 hours. Tenants have 24 hours to move out of the rental unit once the writ has been posted; if a stay of execution is granted, this will add another seven days to the process.

Questions? To chat with a Minnesota eviction attorney, click here

Minnesota Eviction Process Timeline

In Minnesota an eviction can be completed in 2 weeks to 3 months but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.

Below are the parts of the Minnesota eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.

Step Estimated Time
Initial Notice Period 7-90 Calendar Days
Court Issuing/Serving Summons 24 Hours to 7 Business Days
Court Serving Summons 3-21 Business Days
Court Ruling 5-14 Business Days
Court Serving Writ of Possession Immediately
Final Notice Period 24 Hours

Flowchart of Minnesota Eviction Process

Minnesota Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

For additional questions about the eviction process in Minnesota, please refer to the official legislation, Minnesota Statutes §504B, for more information.

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