Warranty of Habitability in Minnesota

Last Updated: June 7, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

In Minnesota, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by Minnesota Statutes §504B.161. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities Hot/Cold Water, Heat, Sanitation Facilities.
Time Limit for Repairs 14 Days
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: Yes
  • Repair and Deduct: Yes

Applicable Dwelling Types in Minnesota

The implied warranty of habitability in Minnesota does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs Not specifically addressed
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Not specifically addressed
Condos Not specifically addressed
Hotels/Motels No

Landlord Responsibilities in Minnesota

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Minnesota, as indicated below.

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. Heat required
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Not addressed
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Yes
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Not addressed
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Yes
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Not addressed
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Yes
Provide a working washer/dryer. Not addressed

Note that Minnesota state law does not address most landlord-specific responsibilities.

However, many of these items are spelled out at the local level. Tenants will need to check with the local government where the rental unit is located to determine what landlords are required to provide in that location. It is unlawful for a landlord to rent a property that has been condemned or deemed unfit for human habitation.

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Required Disclosures

Landlords are required to disclose the following to potential or current tenants:

  • Any citations issued for violating health or safety standards.
  • A notice of foreclosure on the rental property.
  • The potential for lead-based paint for any units built prior to 1978.

Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in Minnesota

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in Minnesota, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

Requesting Repairs in Minnesota

Minnesota tenants must request repairs by notifying the landlord, in writing, of the condition that needs repair. Additionally, when the local government has cited the landlord for a code violation, that counts as putting the landlord on notice, and the renter doesn’t need to submit a repair request.

Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Minnesota

Renters in Minnesota have the right to repairs for issues that affect health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. Landlords usually get 14 days to fix issues after being put on notice either from the renter’s written request or the government’s citation of a code violation.

If the issue isn’t fixed, the renter could get a court order for repairs, get a rent deduction or rent reduction, or (in extreme cases) claim constructive eviction and move out. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in Minnesota

It’s illegal for Minnesota landlords to retaliate with increased obligations, reduced services, eviction, changes to the rental agreement, or contacting law enforcement about a tenant’s immigration status. The law presumes retaliation when a landlord does one of these things against tenants who report landlord violations, seek assistance from community, news, or tenant organizations, or exercise other legal rights and remedies.

The landlord has to prove non-retaliatory intentions if any of the previously mentioned tenant actions take place fewer than 90 days after a complaint. If a court finds a landlord retaliated, the court will stop any eviction against the tenant and award the tenant reasonable attorney fees plus $1,000 per occurrence of retaliation.