This is a summary of Minnesota Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the Minnesota Statutes Annotated and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about Minnesota landlord-tenant laws, Minnesota eviction laws, and Minnesota renters’ rights.
However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.
Rules and Regulations Governing Minnesota Landlord-Tenant Laws
- Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B – Landlord and Tenant
Minnesota Lease Terms Provisions
- What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
There is no Minnesota law limiting security deposits.
- Are security deposits required to earn interest?
Yes. Security deposits are required to bear simple non-compounded interest at the rate of one percent per annum, computed from the first day of the next month following the full payment of the deposit to the last day of the month in which the landlord returns the deposit. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.178 Subd. 2)
- Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account?
No. There is no Minnesota law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account.
- Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?
No. There is no Minnesota law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- How long do landlords have to return security deposits?
3 weeks after termination of the tenancy or 5 days when the tenant leaves due to the legal condemnation of the unit for reasons not due to willful, malicious, or irresponsible conduct of the tenant, and after receipt of the tenant’s mailing address or delivery instructions, return the deposit to tenant, with interest thereon, or furnish to the tenant a written statement showing the specific reason for the withholding of the deposit or any portion thereof. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.178 Subd. 3(a))
- Can landlords withhold security deposits?
Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to remedy tenant defaults in the payment of rent or of other funds due to the landlord or to restore the premises to their condition at the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear excepted. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.178 Subd. 3(b))
- Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?
Yes. Landlords must furnish the tenant with a written statement showing the specific reason for the withholding of the deposit. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.178 Subd. 3(a))
- Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?
Yes, but only if it is paid in cash. It must be provided immediately upon receipt if the payment if made in person, or within 3 business days if payment in cash is not made in person. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.118)
- Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?
No. There is no Minnesota law specifying record-keeping requirements.
- What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?
The landlord is liable to the tenant for a penalty in an amount equal to the portion of the deposit withheld, plus interest, in addition to the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld by the landlord, plus interest. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.178 Subd. 4(3))
- Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)
No. There are no rent control laws in Minnesota.
- Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?
No. There is no Minnesota law requiring a certain payment method for rent, but a landlord must provide a receipt if the tenant pays in cash. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.118)
- Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?
Yes. Minnesota allows landlords to impose late fees if they are agreed to in the lease and do not exceed 8% of the overdue rent payment. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.177(a))
- Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?
No. There is no Minnesota law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.
- Can landlords charge application fees?
- Can landlords charge returned check fees?
Yes. There is no Minnesota law forbidding returned check fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
Minnesota Landlord-Tenant Relations
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?
Yes. The landlord may not give notice of a rent increase that is shorter than the time the lease provides for the tenant to give notice of an intention to quit the premises. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.147 Subd. 3)
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?
No. There is no Minnesota law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.
- What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?
No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease unless otherwise stated in the lease.
- What notice is required to terminate a tenancy at will?
Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with notice at least as long as the interval between the time rent is due or three months, whichever is less. If tenant neglects or refuses to pay rent due on a tenancy at will, landlord may terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant 14 days notice to quit in writing. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.135)
- Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?
There is no statute in Minnesota law covering this issue.
- :When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
- Landlords can enter the premises only for the following reasonable business purposes:
- Showing the unit to prospective residential tenants during the notice period before the lease terminates or after the current residential tenant has given notice.
- Showing the unit to a prospective buyer or an insurance representative.
- Performing maintenance work.
- Allowing inspections by state, county, or city officials charged in the enforcement of health, housing, building, fire prevention, or housing maintenance codes
- If the residential tenant is causing a disturbance within the unit.
- If the landlord has a reasonable belief that the residential tenant is violating the lease within the residential tenant’s unit.
- Prearranged housekeeping work in senior housing where 80 percent or more of the residential tenants are age 55 or older.
- If the landlord has a reasonable belief that the unit is being occupied by an individual without a legal right to occupy it.
- If the residential tenant has vacated the unit. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.211 Subd. 2 – 3)
- Landlords can enter the premises only for the following reasonable business purposes:
- What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?
The landlord must make a good faith effort to give the residential tenant reasonable notice under the circumstances of the intent to enter. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.211 Subd. 2)
- When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?
- When immediate entry is necessary to prevent injury to persons or property because of conditions relating to maintenance, building security, or law enforcement.
- When immediate entry is necessary to determine a residential tenant’s safety.
- When immediate entry is necessary to comply with local ordinances regarding unlawful activity occurring within the residential tenant’s premises. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.211 Subd. 4)
Landlord’s Duties (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.161 Subd. 1)
- Landlords must ensure that the premises and all common areas are fit for the use intended by the parties,
- Landlords must keep the premises in reasonable repair during the term of the lease or license.
- Landlords must make the premises reasonably energy efficient by installing weatherstripping, caulking, storm windows, and storm doors when any such measure will result in energy procurement cost savings.
- Landlords must mainLandlords must maintain the premises in compliance with the applicable health and safety laws of the state, and of the local units of government where the premises are located during the term of the lease or license. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.161 Subd. 1)
Tenant must give cold weather notice before vacation of building (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.155).
Required Landlord Disclosures
- Landlords are required to notify residential tenants that the Landlords and Tenants Rights and Responsibilities Handbook is available to them. (Minn. Statute § 504B.181 Subd. 2(b))
- Landlords are required to disclose in writing the names and business addresses of:
- the person authorized to manage the premises.
- the owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for service of process and receiving notices. (Minn. Statute § 504B.181 Subd. 1)
- Before renting pre-1978 property, landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65).
- Before signing a lease, landlord must give tenant a copy of all outstanding inspection and condemnation orders and declarations (Minn. Statute § 504B.195).
- Before entering into a lease, landlord must notify the prospective tenant in writing that the landlord has received notice of a contract for deed cancellation or notice of a mortgage foreclosure sale as appropriate, and the date on which the contract cancellation period or the mortgagor’s redemption period ends. (Minn. Statute § 504B.151(b)).
- Landlords must disclose information on utility charges in the rental agreement (Minn. Statute § 504B.215).
Minnesota Renters’ Rights
- What are Minnesota renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)
If a landlord violates a health and safety code, the terms of the lease, or the landlord’s duties, the tenant may deposit the amount of rent due to the landlord into escrow with the court administrator. (Minn. Statute § 504B.385 Subd. 1(a))
- Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?
Yes, but only under court order. (Minn. Statute § 504B.425(c))
- What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Minnesota renter’s rights?
Minnesota law prohibits landlords from increasing rent, decreasing services, or evicting a tenant in retaliation for complaining about a violation of a health and safety code, the terms of the lease, or the landlord’s duties. (Minn. Statute § 504B.441)
Minnesota Eviction Laws
- What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Minnesota eviction laws?
- Nonpayment of rent (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.135(b))
- Violation of lease terms / rental agreement (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.285 Subd. 1)
- Illegal drug activity, prostitution, illegal firearm activity, and storage of stolen property. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.171)
- The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy) (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.285 Subd. 1)
- What notice do Minnesota eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
- For evictions of at-will tenants based on non-payment of rent, landlords must give a 14-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.135(b))
- For evictions based on a violation of lease terms and illegal activity, the notice required before starting the eviction process will be determined in the lease. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.285 Subd. 1); (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.171)
- For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide the notice required to end the tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.285 Subd. 1)
- Do Minnesota eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities?
No. If a landlord evicts a tenant using self-help methods, the tenant can recover possession through a court proceeding. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.375)
COVID-19 Changes to Minnesota Landlord-Tenant Laws
- The CDC’s national eviction ban was effective through August 26, 2021, and is no longer in place.
- The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is no longer effective.
- Minnesota established a state housing program to provide housing and rent assistance.
- Minnesota Public Utility Commission provides help with utility services.
Squatter’s rights in Minnesota
Under the Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have the deed to the property, and have paid rent or taxes on this property.
Minnesota has no specific laws recognizing squatters. The squatter must consecutively live on the property and pay taxes for 15 years to claim adverse possession (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 541.02).
- Minnesota Attorney General
- Minnesota Conciliation Court (Small Claims)
- Minnesota Guide to Conciliation (Small Claims) Court
- Minnesota Guide to Conciliation (Small Claims) Court
- Minnesota State Judicial Branch
- Minnesota Department of Commerce – Insurance Division
- Minnesota Consumer Guide to Renter’s Insurance
- Minnesota Department of Consumer Protection
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Minnesota
- Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota (LASNEM)
- Central Minnesota Legal Services
- Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
Attorney Referral Services
Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations
- Minnesota Association of Realtors
- Minneapolis Association of Realtors
- St. Paul Association of Realtors