Minnesota Eviction Process

Minnesota Eviction Process

Last Updated: January 2, 2024 by Phil Ahn

Evicting a tenant in Minnesota can take around 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on the reason for the eviction. If tenants request a continuance, jury trial, or appeal, the process can take longer.

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 the terms of the lease
  • Committing illegal activity

Depending on the grounds for eviction. the landlord must give proper notice and provide the tenant a chance to cure the violation.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent

Tenant-At-Will

14 Days Yes
Nonpayment of Rent

All Other Tenancies

No Statute Yes
End of Lease or No Lease 30 Days No
Lease Violations No Statute Maybe
Unlawful Destruction of Premises No Statute No
Illegal Activity No Statute No

Nonpayment of Rent

In Minnesota, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a proper notice, which gives the tenant a chance to pay the balance due or move out.

For tenants at will, the landlord must serve the tenant a 14 days’ notice to quit. For all other tenancies, the landlord must serve the tenant a Notice to Quit for Unpaid Rent. 

For all other tenancies, the number of days a tenant is given to pay past due rent is stipulated in the lease. However, if there is no written lease or the number of days to pay past due rent is not specified, the landlord can determine when the past due balance must be paid.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each month and is considered late in Minnesota the day immediately after its due date. Minnesota landlords are not required to give tenants a rent payment grace period. However, if the lease or rental agreement allows for one, then the landlord must honor it.

example

If rent is due on March 1st, it will be considered late starting on March 2nd, unless the lease specifically states there is a grace period.

If the tenant does not pay the balance due or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

note

Pay and Stay: If the tenant pays the landlord the rent owed plus interest, court costs and attorneys’ fees before the judge makes a decision in court, the eviction process stops.

End of Lease or No Lease

In Minnesota, a landlord can evict a tenant who does not have a lease (“tenant at will”) or has a lease that has terminated and continues to remain on the premises (“holdover tenant”). To do so, the landlord must first terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant a proper 30-days’ notice to move out.

If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Lease Violations

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. To do so, the landlord must serve the tenant a Notice to Comply or Vacate. The lease indicates the number of days tenants have to correct a lease violation.

If there is no written lease or if the lease does not specify the number of days a tenant has to fix the issue, landlords are not required to give them a chance to correct the violation pursuant to state law. So at the discretion of the landlord, the tenant can either fix the issue or move out.

Examples of lease violations include:

  • Failing to maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary manner
  • Refusing to allow the landlord access to the premises
  • Allowing unauthorized occupants or pets to reside in the rental unit
  • Interfering with the peace and enjoyment of other persons
  • Causing minor property damage

If the tenant does not fix the issue or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Unlawful Destruction of Premises

In Minnesota, a landlord can evict a tenant for causing willful and malicious destruction of the premises. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a Notice to Vacate for Unlawful Destruction.

The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out by the termination date set forth in the notice. The state statute does not include the number of days a tenant has to move out. The number of days is either specified in the lease or determined by the landlord if there is no written lease.

If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Illegal Activity

In Minnesota, a landlord can evict a tenant for committing an illegal activity on the premises. To do so, the landlord must first provide the tenant a Notice to Vacate for Illegal Activity. The tenant does not have a chance to fix the issue and must move out by the date set forth in the notice.

The state statute does not specify the number of days a tenant has to vacate the premises. The number of days is either stipulated in the rental agreement or determined by the landlord if there is no written lease.

In Minnesota, illegal activity includes:

  • Making, selling, possessing or purchasing controlled substances
  • Engaging in or promoting prostitution on the premises
  • Unlawfully using or possessing a firearm on the premises
  • Storing stolen property or obtaining property from a robbery on the premises

If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Illegal Evictions in Minnesota

In Minnesota, there are a few different types of eviction actions that are 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

A landlord is not allowed to attempt 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

    Read More

    Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

    In Minnesota, all evictions go through the same process:

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

    Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant

    A landlord can begin the eviction process in Minnesota by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered using one of the following methods:

    1. Handing the notice to the tenant in person
    2. Handing the notice to a person of suitable age and discretion
    3. Mailing the notice by registered or certified mail with a return receipt
    tip

    Landlords should always keep the original signed notice and declaration of service as proof of proper service if the case proceeds to court.

    Notice to Quit for Unpaid Rent

    In Minnesota, a tenant who is not a tenant-at-will and is late on paying rent (full or partial), can be served a Notice to Quit for Unpaid Rent. This eviction notice gives the tenant a chance to pay the balance due or move out.

    The number of days the tenant has to pay the balance due is stipulated in the lease. If there is no written lease, the number of days a tenant has to pay a past due balance is determined by the landlord.

    If a tenant-at-will (i.e. month-to-month) is late on paying rent (full or partial), this eviction notice gives the tenant 14 days to pay the balance due or move out.

    30-Day Notice to Vacate

    For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Minnesota, the landlord can serve them a 30-Day Notice to Vacate to terminate the tenancy. This lease termination notice allows the tenant 30 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 Comply or Vacate

    In Minnesota, if a tenant violates the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities, the landlord can serve them a Notice to Comply or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant a chance to fix the issue or move out.

    The number of days a tenant has to correct the violation is stipulated in the rental agreement. If there is no written lease, the landlord can determine how much time the tenant either has to fix the issue or move out.

    Notice to Vacate for Unlawful Destruction

    In Minnesota, if a tenant causes willful and malicious destruction to the premises, the landlord can serve them a Notice to Vacate for Unlawful Destruction. This eviction notice gives the tenant a specified number of days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

    The number of days a tenant has to move out is stipulated in the rental agreement. If there is no written lease, the landlord can determine how much time the tenant has to vacate the premises.

    Notice to Vacate for Illegal Activity

    In Minnesota, if a tenant commits illegal activity on the premises, the landlord can serve them a Notice to Vacate for Illegal Activity. This eviction notice gives the tenant a certain number of days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

    The number of days a tenant has to vacate the premises is specified in the lease. If there is no written lease, the landlord can determine how much time the tenant has to vacate the rental unit.

    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
    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.

    Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

    Step 3: Court Holds Hearing and 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 held7-14 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 6-daycontinuance may be granted for either party; the tenant may request a continuance for up to 3 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 daysof the date the judgment was issued.

    note

    Depending on the type of eviction, a hearing may be held 5-14 days within delivery of the summons.

    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.

    note

    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 7-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.

    note

    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 7 days to the process.

    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 7-30 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

    Minnesota Eviction Court Fees

    The total cost of an eviction in Minnesota for all filing, court, and service fees varies heavily on the county. For cases filed in District Court, the average cost is $495. For cases filed in Housing Court, the average cost is $557.

    Fee Justice  Housing 
    Initial Court Filing $285 $297+
    Summons Service ~$45+ ~$80+
    Writ of Recovery Service $55 $55
    Writ of Recovery Execution $110+ $125+
    Notice of Appeal Filing (Optional) $550 $550

    Read more

     

    Sources