Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: June 8, 2022 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 below disclosures are 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.

Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.

Late Fee Disclosure

Applicable to any unit charging late fees in Minnesota.

Late fees in Minnesota must be outlined in the lease agreement to be enforceable, this includes the amount of the fee and the date it will be charged. This fee may not exceed 8% of the overdue balance.

The below 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 & Condemnation Disclosure

Applicable to any property with a citation issued for an inspection order related to health and safety in Minnesota.

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. This must be disclosed 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 in Minnesota.

A Minnesota landlord must disclose if the property that is being offered for rent has a pending 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 and 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 in Minnesota.

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.

Download: Minnesota Shared Utility Arrangement Disclosure Form (PDF)

Covenant of Landlord and Tenant Not to Allow Unlawful Activities

Applicable to all rental units in Minnesota.

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 below 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 below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Minnesota law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

Optional Disclosure How the Disclosure is Helpful
Asbestos This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.
Medical Marijuana Use Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.
Mold Disclosure Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.
Move-in Checklist A move-in checklist holds the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause.
Non-Refundable Fees A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.
Smoking Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.

If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)

It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.