Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 23, 2021 by Elizabeth Souza

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.

Disclosure Applicable to
Landlord Name/Address All Units
Late Fees Units Charging Late Fees
Inspection and Condemnation Units Pending Health/Safety Inspection
Financial Distress Units with a Foreclosure Notice
Shared Utilities Single Metered/Multiple Tenants
Covenant of Landlord/Tenant All Units
Lead Paint All Units Built Prior to 1978
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Landlord’s Name & Address

Applicable to all rental units in Minnesota.

Any individual authorized to manage the rental property (including the landlord and owner) must disclose their name and address so future legal notices and demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered. Generally, this information is provided in the rental agreement and shall be provided to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy.

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 rental agreement.

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 rental unit in Minnesota has an outstanding health and safety inspection order with a citation issued for it, a landlord must disclose it in the rental 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.

Download: Minnesota Inspection and Condemnation Disclosure Form (PDF)

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 rent has a pending foreclosure, including the date of the foreclosure. The landlord may only enter into a periodic residential rental agreement with a rental term that is not more than two months (or the time left in the contract cancellation period). The landlord may enter a fixed term residential rental agreement not past the cancellation period, unless the foreclosure has been remedied, in which case the rental agreement 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.

Download: Minnesota Financial Distress Disclosure Form (PDF)

Shared Utility Agreement

Applicable to single-metered buildings with multiple tenants.

Landlords in Minnesota who manage a multi-unit rental building with one or more rental units with a single utility meter shall be the bill payer. The landlord will be responsible for the entire building and disclose this information in the rental agreement.

Minnesota landlords must also provide the following information related to the utility charges:

  • How the charges will be distributed.
  • 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 two years prior (upon request).
  • Any landlord of a multiunit building who bills for gas or electric and the utility charges are separate from rent must inform tenants of the “Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program” by September 30th of each year. Landlords must provide the toll-free phone number of the administering agency.

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)

Download: Minnesota Shared Utility Arrangement Disclosure Form (PDF)

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 rental 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.

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

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 Environmental Protection Agency (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.

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

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 to not interfere with other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • 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.
  • Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to provide information on the protocol for handling a bed bug infestation. This addendum will notify the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention by promptly reporting any sign of infestation to the landlord.
  • Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings begin to deteriorate.
  • 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 the tenant’s negligence during the lease term.

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