The Minnesota residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a binding agreement that allows a tenant to occupy a landlord’s property for a designated period of time in exchange for rent. When authorizing a lease agreement, the landlord should first check the tenant’s credit, background, and rental history.
Minnesota Lease Agreement Disclosures
The following disclosures are either required for some or all residential lease agreements in Minnesota.
- Landlord’s Name & Address – for all rental units in Minnesota.
- Late Fee Disclosure – for all rental units charging late fees.
- Inspection & Condemnation Disclosure (PDF) – for any property with a health and safety inspection order pending.
- Financial Distress Disclosure (PDF) – for any property with a pending foreclosure, deed cancellation, or other form of termination.
- Shared Utility Agreement (PDF) – for any single-meter building with multiple units.
- Covenant of Landlord and Tenant Not to Allow Unlawful Activities (PDF) – for all rental units.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure (PDF) – for rental units built prior to 1978.
There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts and/or legal liability in Minnesota.
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Minnesota.
So that future legal notices and demands sent by the tenant can be properly delivered to the landlord, the name and address of either the landlord or the person authorized to act on the landlord’s behalf must be disclosed up-front (commonly done so in the lease agreement) .
Late Fee Disclosure
Applicable to any unit charging late fees.
Late fees in Minnesota must be outlined in the lease agreement to be enforceable, including the amount of the fee and the date it is assessed. This fee may not exceed 8% of the overdue balance, and can only be charged after the stated due date that is included in the lease .
The following is an example of a late fee section:
LATE FEE. If rent is not paid by the due date outlined in this lease, a late fee of 8% will be assessed to the balance due after a 3-day grace period. If payment is received before the grace period expires, there is no late fee owed.
Inspection & Condemnation Disclosure
Applicable to any property with a citation issued for an inspection order related to health and safety.
If a property in Minnesota has an outstanding health & safety inspection order with a citation issued for it, a landlord must disclose it in the lease agreement before the tenant signs or pays a security deposit .
If the pending order is not deemed a health risk, the landlord must instead include a notice that the inspection order is available for review upon request .
Inspection orders should be included as an attachment to the lease.
Financial Distress Disclosure
Applicable to any property that has received a notice of foreclosure.
A Minnesota landlord must disclose if the property that is being offered for lease has a pending foreclosure, including the date of the foreclosure. The landlord may not offer a lease term past the date mentioned unless the foreclosure has been remedied, in which case the lease may be extended .
FINANCIAL DISTRESS DISCLOSURE. This property has a pending deed cancellation or disclosure, set to execute on __/__/____. Note that until further notice, this lease agreement will terminate on the aforementioned date.
Shared Utility Agreement
Applicable to single-metered buildings with multiple tenants
It is required that landlords in Minnesota who manage a building with a single utility meter act as the bill payer responsible for the entire building, and disclose this fact in the lease. They must also provide information in the lease about how charges will be distributed .
Minnesota landlords must also provide the following information related to the utility charges :
- Total utility costs for the shared utility meter for the whole building or property
- Breakdown of the shared utility bill charges for the whole property for up to 2 years prior (upon request)
- Information relating to the “Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program” by September 30th of each year
The following section is an example of a shared utility agreement:
UTILITIES: This rental unit shares the following utilities with another unit or common area:
[ ] Electricity
[ ] Water
[ ] Gas
This lease uses the following method for calculating utility charges between Tenant(s):
[ ] Home Square Footage
[ ] Number of Tenants
[ ] Even Split Between Tenants
[ ] Other:___________________________________________________________
Tenant agrees to pay the utility charges accrued, plus a $____ service charge, to Landlord:
[ ] Monthly
[ ] Yearly (estimated)
[ ] Yearly (end of year)
Upon request, a copy of the total utility charges and apportioned unit charges for each month of the past two (2) calendar years are available. Information relating to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will also be provided during the term of your lease.
Covenant of Landlord and Tenant Not to Allow Unlawful Activities
Applicable to all rental units
Minnesota landlords are required to provide a notice in the lease agreement that outlines legal obligations that fall on both the landlord and tenant. This notice includes an agreement for both parties to maintain only legal use of the property and to not allow unlawful activities.
The following exact notice must be included in the lease:
Landlord and tenant promise that neither will unlawfully allow within the premises, common areas, or curtilage of the premises (property boundaries): controlled substances, prostitution or prostitution-related activity; stolen property or property obtained by robbery; or an act of domestic violence, as defined by MN Statute Section 504B.206 (1)(e), against a tenant, licensee, or any authorized occupant. They further promise that the aforementioned areas will not be used by themselves or anyone acting under their control to manufacture, sell, give away, barter, deliver, exchange, distribute, purchase, or possess a controlled substance in violation of any criminal provision of Chapter 152.
Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Minnesota to:
- Fill out and attach this lead based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Minnesota law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
- Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Minnesota law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants.
- Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the lease agreement or signed as a separate document.
- Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
- Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to establish an understanding of the current status of bed bugs at the property in case of a future infestation and to provide information on the protocol for handling one.
- Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units in buildings built prior to 1981 (which are considered at-risk for asbestos), it is recommended to establish an understanding of any prior knowledge on the existence of asbestos on the property.
- Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to tenant negligence during the lease term.