A Minnesota rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a rental property and a tenant who wishes to use it. Minnesota landlord-tenant law governs these agreements; rental terms must be within the limits allowed by law.
Minnesota Rental Agreement Types
A Minnesota roommate agreement is a legal contract between two or more people (“co-tenants”) who share a rental property according to rules they set, including for things like splitting the rent. This agreement binds the co-tenants living together, and doesn’t include the landlord.
Common Residential Rental Agreements in Minnesota
- Minnesota Bar’s Standard Residential Lease Agreement– this template, for use by Minnesota residential rental units is provided by the Minnesota State Bar Association. It provides an extensive list of rules and procedures, including specifics that go as far as outlining the history of each apportioned utility bill that the past tenant paid for the most recent calendar year.
Minnesota Required Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name and Address (required for all leases) – Minnesota leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice.
- Late Fee Disclosure (required for some leases) – Minnesota will not enforce any late or returned check fees except those disclosed in the lease. Late fees may not exceed 8% of the past due balance.
- Inspection and Condemnation Disclosure (required for some leases) – Minnesota property with outstanding citations relating to health and safety orders must disclose the violation and/or related pending inspection. If inspection has already taken place, the landlord may provide notice that the inspection report is available upon request.
- Financial Distress Disclosure (required for some leases) – Minnesota properties facing foreclosure must include the pending date, so that tenants are not displaced from their homes without notice.
- Shared Utility Agreement (required for some leases) – Minnesota landlords must take sole responsibility for utility billing on any properties which share utilities, and disclose this to prospective tenants. This disclosure must also outline how utility charges are allocated, including a breakdown of shared utility bills from the past 2 years upon request.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (required for some leases) – For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a Minnesota residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.
To learn more about required disclosures in Minnesota, click here.
Minnesota Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Minnesota landlords can only rent out habitable property, which means providing certain features essential to basic health and safety. This includes things like heat, plumbing, electricity, and sound structural elements. Landlords must repair any issues within 14 days after proper notice from the tenant. Failure to repair lets a tenant sue the landlord or get a court order for rent deduction or reduction. Tenants in Minnesota usually can’t repair and deduct.
- Evictions – Minnesota landlords may evict tenants for a number of reasons including, but not limited to failure to pay rent, a violation of a leasing term, or committing an illegal act. Landlords must provide tenants with prior notice to quit. In practice, this means that an evictions length will depend broadly on the guidance of an applicable lease agreement.
- Security Deposits – Current Minnesota laws do not limit the amount a landlord can charge as a security deposit. However, these laws do require all held security deposits to be returned within 21 days of a termination of a lease. This return period is only 5 days if the termination was due condemnation of the property.
- Lease Termination – A month-to-month lease in Minnesota can be terminated by a tenant if they provide notice equal to the frequency at which they make rent payments. Meanwhile, a tenant in a fixed-term lease can break off their lease early if they qualify for termination due to active military duty, domestic violence, landlord harassment, or unit uninhabitability.
- Rent Increases and Fees – Landlords in Minnesota preempts a local municipality’s ability to adopt any ordinance intended to control rent. If a rent increase occurs, the landlord is required to provide one month’s notice. This state also allows landlords to charge most types of fees, as long as they are outlined in a lease agreement. Late rent fees are caped at 8% of the missing rent amount and landlords may charge up to $30 for a bounced check.
- Landlord Entry – Minnesota landlords have the right to enter rental property for purposes reasonably related to the tenancy, like maintenance and inspections. Before entering, they must provide “reasonable” advance notice (usually at least 24 hours), unless it’s an emergency situation.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Minnesota allows landlord-tenant disputes in small claims court (also known as Conciliation Court), as long as the value in controversy is under $15,000. Minnesota has diverse small claims courts, and not all of them accept eviction cases or set the same value in controversy standard for evictions.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Minnesota, click here.
- Entering into the Agreement – Landlords and Tenants – This resource, provided by the state Attorney General, discusses features and issues common to landlord-tenant situations, such as requirements for executing a valid lease.
- Department of Administration – Leasing Services – While intended for people who are renting property from the state government, this page contains numerous sample provisions relating in particular to environmental protection measures. These provisions can easily be included in most leases, if desired.