Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 21, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

A Minnesota residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a residential property and a tenant who wishes to rent it. A residential lease may, on or before move-in, additionally require a security deposit from the tenant as assurance against future property damage.

Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement Disclosures

These disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in Minnesota:

Disclosure Applicable to
Landlord Name and Address All Units
Late Fees All Leases Charging Late Fees
Inspection and Condemnation Any Units Pending Health/Safety Inspection
Financial Distress Any Units Under Foreclosure
Shared Utilities Any Multiple-Tenant Units with Single Utility Meters
Covenant Not To Allow Illegal Activity All Units
Lead Paint All Units Built Before 1978

Landlord’s Name and Address

Applicable to all Minnesota rentals.

Minnesota leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice. This contact information is most often written in the lease agreement, for maximum convenience. The landlord has an obligation to notify the tenant in the event of a change in contact information.

Late Fee Disclosure

Applicable to any Minnesota rental charging late fees.

Minnesota will only enforce late fees which are disclosed and agreed in the lease, including the amount of the fee and the timeline upon which fees are charged. The state caps late fees at a maximum 8% of the overdue balance.

This is an example of a late fee disclosure:

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 and Condemnation Disclosure

Applicable to any Minnesota property under citation for health and safety inspection.

Minnesota landlords must provide the tenant with a disclosure whenever the rental property has an outstanding health and safety inspection order with a citation issued. This disclosure must occur before the tenant signs the lease or pays a security deposit. Proper disclosure requires attaching the citation to the lease.

For citations which aren’t deemed health and safety risks, the landlord only has to provide notice that there is an existing citation which may be reviewed by the prospective tenant upon request.

Download: Minnesota Inspection and Condemnation Disclosure Form (PDF)

Financial Distress Disclosure

Applicable to any Minnesota rental under a notice of pending foreclosure.

Minnesota landlords must disclose any pending foreclosure on rental property. Rental agreements may not extend past two months (for periodic leases) or the date of execution for foreclosure (for fixed-term leases), unless and until the property is no longer under the foreclosure.

This is an example of a financial distress disclosure clause:

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.

Download: Minnesota Financial Distress Disclosure Form (PDF)

Shared Utility Agreement

Applicable to Minnesota rentals in single-metered buildings with multiple tenants.

In Minnesota, when multiple rental units share a utility meter for the whole building or property, the landlord may charge tenants separately for utilities. The landlord must disclose how the charges are billed to individual tenants. This ensures tenants receive fair charges and understand what uses contribute to their bill.

The law requires that tenants with shared utilities receive the following information from their landlord:

  • How utility charges are distributed
  • Total utility costs for the shared utility meter for the whole building or property
  • Breakdown of shared utility charges for the whole property for up to two years prior (upon request)
  • Information provided before September 30th of each year about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, including toll-free phone number (only required for shared gas or electric utilities)

Download: Minnesota Shared Utility Arrangement Disclosure Form (PDF)

Covenant of Landlord and Tenant Not To Allow Unlawful Activities

Applicable to all Minnesota rentals.

Minnesota landlords must provide a clause in all rental agreements outlining legal obligations the landlord and tenant have in common, namely, not to allow unlawful activities on the rental property.

This is the notice required by law:

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.

Download: Covenant of Landlord and Tenant Not to Allow Unlawful Activities Disclosure Form (PDF)

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Applicable to any Minnesota rentals built before 1978.

For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a Minnesota residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure. This requires landlords to do the following:

Download: Minnesota Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures and Addenda (Recommended)

The following lease agreement disclosures and addenda are not required by Minnesota law in residential lease agreements, but assist with tenant management and help limit landlord liability.

Optional Disclosure Purpose
Asbestos Informs tenants about any asbestos hazards related to the property. Tenants can take precautions to reduce asbestos hazards by avoiding any disturbance of asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs Informs tenants whether the property or an adjacent unit has a history of suspected bed bug infestation, and reminds the tenant of the obligation to report suspected infestation immediately.
Medical Marijuana Use Informs tenants about policy related to medical marijuana use on the rental property. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only, or allow use only in designated smoking areas.
Mold Disclosure Informs tenants about actual or suspected mold contamination on the property, along with any remediation efforts, to help limit landlord liability.
Move-In Checklist Takes inventory existing property damage, when the tenant takes possession of the rental property. This enables accurate deductions from the security deposit upon move-out.
Non-Refundable Fees Charges not agreed by the tenant in the lease may be refundable upon lease termination. For Minnesota landlords to charge a non-refundable fee, it must be disclosed and agreed as such in the lease.
Smoking Informs tenants of designated smoking areas that do not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of other tenants.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Mandatory disclosures outline important health, safety, and property information for both landlord and tenant safety. A landlord who fails to provide federally or state-mandated disclosures could face legal consequences or monetary penalties, either from a tenant lawsuit or from state officials. Many lease provisions may be unenforceable without legally required disclosures.

Failure to comply with the federal lead-based paint hazard disclosure risks fines of tens of thousands of dollars per violation.