Minnesota HOA Laws

Minnesota HOA Laws

Last Updated: June 16, 2023 by Corrin Swintosky

In Minnesota, many planned communities are managed by a homeowners association (HOA). The laws governing HOAs in Minnesota are set forth by various local and state regulations, as well as by each individual HOA’s governing documents.

Who Regulates HOAs in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, HOAs are regulated by the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act found in Chapter 515B of the Minnesota Statutes. This act governs homeowners who are members of an association in community developments.

Otherwise, governing documents regulate an HOA. Although every HOA is different, the governing documents typically include: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and other rules and regulations.

HOAs in Minnesota may be subject to applicable federal laws such as:

HOAs may be subject to certain state laws such as:

How to Find HOA Regulations in Minnesota

HOA governing documents in Minnesota are public records. HOAs are required to file a declaration, bylaws, amendments, or any other supplemental materials with the county recorder’s office. To obtain these documents, visit the local county recorder’s office. Some counties may have documents available to view online.

Additionally, HOAs must file their Articles of Incorporation and other required documents with the Minnesota Secretary of State. These documents can be found by conducting a Business Search and ordering copies of a fee.

HOA Powers in Minnesota

In Minnesota, HOAs have the power to:

  • Regulate common areas and the units
  • Collect payments for maintenance of common areas
  • Levy reasonable fines
  • Collect charges for payment of assessments

Additionally, HOA governing documents can grant further powers such as restrictions on membership, exterior paint colors, fencing, and parking requirements.

Can an HOA Impose Fines on a Homeowner in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, HOAs can impose fines on a homeowner for late payment of assessments or violation of any rules or regulations of the HOA. Before an HOA can impose fines, the HOA must give the homeowner proper notice and an opportunity to be heard.

An HOA cannot fine a homeowner for (or generally prohibit) the display of the American flag or the State of Minnesota flag. In addition, HOAs cannot fine or prohibit the installation of satellite dishes and antennas.

Can an HOA Take a Homeowner’s House in Minnesota?

HOAs can foreclose on a homeowner’s home within its community. HOAs have the power to place a lien on a property when the owner neglects to pay their dues. If a lien goes unresolved, the HOA can foreclose on the house.

The process of foreclosure requires a judgment entered from the court that includes the amount due. The court order will be provided to the sheriff instructing the sale of the premises and reporting to the court the amount of the sale to satisfy the judgment.

An HOA can evict a homeowner or tenant if they do not pay the past due or current assessment amounts within the redemption period given by the sheriff before foreclosure of the association lien.

Can an HOA Enter a Homeowner’s Property in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, HOAs can enter a homeowner’s unit when there is a health, safety, or welfare hazard. In addition, there are provisions that include the repairs and personnel involved in the units, common areas, and facilities.

Units are solely used by the property owners but have certain spaces that require maintenance by the HOA, such as balconies. Common elements are the shared spaces in and around the house that are collectively owned by the HOA, such as a pool. Shared utilities may include water or sewage that are provided directly through the HOA.

Except in the case of an emergency, the HOA must generally give prior notice before entering the property. Typically, an HOA will give 1-2 weeks’ notice, but notice requirements are determined by the governing documents.

Where Do Homeowners File Complaints Against Their HOA in Minnesota?

The venue for filing a Complaint against an HOA in Minnesota depends on the complaint.

For complaints concerning HOA fees, a homeowner can file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, homeowners may also file in state or federal court within one year of the violation date.

If a homeowner feels they are a victim of housing discrimination, they can file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the U.S. Department of Urban Housing, or file a private lawsuit in Minnesota state or federal court.

Otherwise, a homeowner with any other complaints can bring a claim in state court in the appropriate county.

Joining and Leaving an HOA in Minnesota

In Minnesota, if a person purchases a home in a neighborhood with a preexisting HOA, they are required to join and abide by the HOA rules. At closing, the homeowner’s realtor should present them with documents explaining the HOA and its rules.

If a person bought a house in an area where an HOA is present, they cannot leave or opt-out of the HOA. To depart from an HOA, the homeowner can sell their house or petition the HOA to have their home removed from the association. However, there is no guarantee the petition will be granted.

How to Dissolve an HOA in Minnesota

The process for dissolution of an HOA in Minnesota may be set forth in the HOA’s governing documents. If it is not, a vote of at least 80% must be met by HOA members to approve the dissolution.

If the vote is in favor of dissolution, an agreement to terminate needs to be written stating when the HOA should dispose of all of its assets and debts.

The agreement to termination and certificate of termination must be recorded in every county where the HOA holds property. The HOA will be considered dissolved upon the recording of the appropriate documents.