Minnesota Eviction Laws

Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Minnesota and understand their responsibilities.

Quick Facts for Minnesota

  • Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent, refusing to move at lease-end, serious lease term violations & criminal behavior
  • Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 14-Day Notice to Quit for at-will tenants; otherwise, no notice required
  • Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: 30-Day Notice to Quit for at-will tenants
  • Notice Required for Lease Violations: No notice required; landlord can file Summons & Complaint immediately
  • Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: Immediately, via Summons & Complaint

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Minnesota?

Although the eviction process is less strenuous in Minnesota than the eviction process in many states, it is still difficult to provide an easy answer to the amount of time it will take to evict a tenant. As with any legal proceeding, the eviction process in Minnesota is unpredictable.

That said, it is likely that the eviction process in the state of Minnesota will proceed more quickly than a similar process in many other states. This is due to the fact that Minnesota law does not require that a landlord offer tenants the opportunity to remedy the situation leading the landlord to seek an eviction or to provide the tenant with notice of his/her intention to seek an eviction.

The only exception to this rule is when the landlord is seeking to evict a tenant who is renting without the benefit of a written lease (an “at-will” tenant). When seeking to evict an “at-will” tenant, a landlord is required to provide notice of his/her intention prior to proceeding with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint claim with the court.

Regardless of the reason for the eviction, the amount of time an eviction will take in the state of Minnesota will depend heavily upon the tenant’s desire to fight the eviction process.

Reasons for Eviction in Minnesota

Every state establishes legitimate reasons that a landlord may seek to evict a tenant. In the state of Minnesota, a landlord may legally evict a tenant for the following reasons:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Refusing to move at the end of the lease
  • Serious violation of the terms of the lease
  • Criminal behavior

Serious violations to the lease agreement include:

  • Causing substantial damage to the rental property
  • Having unauthorized individuals living in the property
  • Having unauthorized pets on the rental property

Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent

In most states the landlord is required to offer a tenant the opportunity to pay outstanding rent prior to proceeding with the eviction process. However, in the state of Minnesota, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint claim with the court without having to provide the tenant with either the opportunity to pay outstanding rent or offering notice of his/her intention to seek the eviction of the tenant.

Only when the landlord is seeking to evict an “at-will” tenant for failure to pay rent is a landlord required to provide the tenant with notice to quit. In this instance, the landlord is required to provide a 14-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant fails to leave the property within the time provided, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint claim with the court.

Eviction if Rent has Been Paid

In Minnesota, a landlord may seek to evict an “at-will” tenant with no cause. Generally a landlord is required to provide a 30-Day Notice to Quit before proceeding with the eviction process when he/she is seeking to evict an “at-will” tenant. When the “at-will” tenant has failed to pay rent, the landlord may provide a 14-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant fails to leave the property by the date indicated in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint claim with the court.

Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease

In the state of Minnesota, the landlord is not required to provide tenants with the opportunity to remedy a violation to the terms of a lease or with notice of his/her intention to seek an eviction. Once the tenant has committed a violation to the terms of the lease, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint claim with the court.

Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior

In the state of Minnesota, a landlord may seek to evict a tenant for a variety of illegal activities. These activities include:

  • The sale, production, possession, or manufacture of illegal drugs on the rental property or in common areas.
  • Acts of prostitution
  • Criminal gang activity
  • Use or possession of an illegal firearm

No notice is required when the eviction is being sought because the tenant has made, sold, used, or possessed illegal drugs on the rental property. A landlord who fails to evict a tenant for these offenses may risk having his property confiscated.

How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant When There is no Lease?

In the state of Minnesota, a landlord may evict an “at-will” tenant without cause. To do this a landlord must first provide the tenant with a written Notice to Quit (M.S.A. 504B135). The length of time allowed in the notice must be the lesser of three months or the length of time that lapses between rental payments. Therefore, any “at-will” tenant renting by the quarter or month, may be provided with a 30-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant fails to move from the property before the end of the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint claim with the court.

Read more about tenants at will here.

When there is no written lease, the state of Minnesota requires that the landlord provide a minimum 14-Day Notice to Quit when a tenant fails to pay rent before he/she can proceed with the eviction process. If the tenant remains on the property after the 14th day, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint claim with the court.

When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in Minnesota?

In the state of Minnesota, it is illegal for a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant within three months of having reported the landlord to an agency for violation of health, safety, building, or housing codes. It is also illegal for a tenant to evict a tenant based on his/her color, race, religion, nation of origin, sex, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, disability status, or status regarding public assistance.

Once a Notice to Quit has Expired

The landlord may file a Summons and Complaint with the court. When this is done, the landlord must serve the tenant with a copy of the complaint at least seven days before the claim is scheduled to be heard in the court. The notice may be served:

  • By personal delivery, by a person not involved in the complaint
  • By leaving a copy of the notice with another responsible individual living at the property
  • By mailing a copy of the complaint to the tenant’s last known address and posting a copy of the complaint on the door of the rental property.

The hearing will generally take place between seven and 14 days after the claim is filed. Both sides are provided time to present their case, however, the burden of proof lies with the landlord in such cases.

If the landlord is seeking an eviction because of the tenant’s failure to pay rent, the tenant may still “pay and stay” so long as he/she pays all past due rent, any interest, a $5 attorney fee if the landlord was represented by an attorney, and any costs the landlord incurred in filing the action with the court.

The court may choose to allow the tenant up to seven days to pay the court costs.

Once Eviction Occurs

If the court rules in favor of the landlord, a Writ of Recovery will be issued. A minimum of 24 hours must be provided between the time of the court ruling and the actual eviction of the tenant. Only a law enforcement officer may physically evict a tenant.

Personal property left at the rental property after the eviction of a tenant must be dealt with appropriately. If the tenant’s property is to be stored, the landlord must inventory the items in the presence of the law enforcement officer. A copy of the inventory must then be mailed via first class mail to the tenant’s last known address. The landlord is required to remove, store, and care for the tenant’s property properly.

If the tenant’s property is stored anywhere other than on the rental property, the landlord has a right to take a lien against the property for the “reasonable” cost of removing, transporting, and storing the property. The landlord may keep this property until these expenses are paid.

The landlord may sue the tenant for any outstanding rent after the eviction, but he/she may not withhold the tenant’s property to cover the costs of outstanding rent.

Make sure to read the Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504b.135, 504b.271, 504B.285 & 504B.291 before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.

Eviction Process in Other States

Other Resources for Minnesota Landlords & Tenants