Minnesota Rental Laws

Written on January 30, 2014 by , updated on November 1, 2017

Flag of MinnesotaThis article summarizes some key Minnesota Landlord-Tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

We’ve used the Official State Statutes and other online sources cited below to research this information and it should be a good starting point in learning about the law.

With that said, our summary is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change, and may even vary from county to county or city to city.

You are responsible for performing your own research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

If you have legal questions or concerns, we recommend consulting with the appropriate government agencies and/or a qualified lawyer in your area. Your local or state bar association may have a referral service that can help you find a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant law.

Official Rules, Regulations, and Guides

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Statute
  • Security Deposit Interest: Landlord is required to give the tenant interest on the security deposit in the amount of one percent per year, calculated from the first day of the next month following the full payment of the deposit to the last day of the month that the landlord returns the deposit. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.178)
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No Statute
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: Within 21 days after termination of the tenancy; or within five days of the date  the tenant vacates the building or dwelling due to the legal condemnation of the property. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.178)
  • Require Written Description / Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.178)
  • Length of Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: No Statute
  • Failure to Comply: If Landlord fails to comply with Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.178, Landlord must return the full deposit with interest, as well as a penalty equal to the amount withheld. If landlord withholds the deposit in “bad faith”, landlord may also be subject to a $500 fee. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.178 (Subd 7))
  • Sale/Transfer of Property: If landlord’s interest in the property is terminated, landlord has 60 days to return or account for the deposit to the tenant. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.178 (Subd 5))
  • Deposit Used as Last Month’s Rent: No tenant shall use the deposit to pay for last month’s rent. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.178 (Subd 8))

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Is Due: No Statute
  • Rent Increase Notice: Landlord must give written notice, one rental period plus one day prior to the change. (handbook)
  • Rent Grace Period: No Statute
  • Late Fees: Allowed if agreed to in the lease, but cannot exceed 8% of the overdue rent payment. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.177)
  • Prepaid Rent: No Statute
  • Returned Check Fees: No Statute
  • Receipt for Rent: Landlord is required to give a receipt if the tenant pays in cash. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.118)
  • Screening Fee Allowed: Yes, as long as it is “reasonable” and is used to perform a background check on the applicant for an existing and available unit. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.173Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.175)
  • Written Lease Required: A landlord of a residential building with 12 or more residential units must have a written lease for each unit rented to a residential tenant. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.111)
  • Copy of the Lease: The landlord shall provide the tenant with a copy of any written rental agreement and all amendments and additions thereto. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.115)
  • Automatic Lease Renewals: Allowed, but with some restrictions. See Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.145 for details.
  • Subleasing:  Allowed unless prohibited in the lease. The original tenant is still responsible for any damages or unpaid rent. (handbook)
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes, but the rent money must be put in an escrow account and follow the rules in Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.384 (Subd 1)
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes, with a Judgement (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.425)
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.172)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: No Statute

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Lease w/ Fixed End Date: No Statute. The lease simply terminates as scheduled. Automatic Lease Renewals are allowed, but with some restrictions. See Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.145 for details.
  • Notice to Terminate a Tenancy at Will (incl. Monthly Leases): The time of the notice must be at least as long as the interval between the time rent is due or three months, whichever is less. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.135)
  • Notice to Terminate a Tenancy at Will for Non-Payment (incl. Monthly Leases): If a tenant neglects or refuses to pay rent due on a tenancy at will, the landlord may terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant 14 days notice to quit in writing. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.135)
  • Termination for Lease Violation: No Statute
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No Statute
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Business, Maintenance, and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes, but landlord must give “reasonable notice” (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.211 (Subd 2)). I suggest at least 24 hours notice.
  • Examples of Entry for Reasonable Business Purposes: (handbook)
    • Showing the unit to prospective tenants.
    • Showing the unit to a prospective buyer or insurance agent.
    • Performing maintenance work.
    • Showing the unit to state or local officials (i.e., fire, housing, health, or building inspectors) inspecting the property.
    • Checking on a tenant causing a disturbance within the unit.
    • Checking on a tenant the landlord believes is violating the lease.
    • Checking to see if a person is staying in the unit who has not signed the lease.
    • Checking the unit when a tenant moves out.
    • Performing housekeeping work in a senior housing unit. A senior housing unit is a building where 80% of the tenants are age 55 or older.
  • Emergency Entry Allowed Without Notice: Yes, immediate entry is allowed when it is necessary to necessary to prevent injury to persons or property because of conditions relating to maintenance, building security, or law enforcement; when it is necessary to determine a residential tenant’s safety; or when it is necessary in order to comply with local ordinances regarding unlawful activity occurring within the residential tenant’s premises. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.211 (Subd 4)).
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No Statute
  • Entry Without Tenant’s Presence: If the landlord enters when the residential tenant is not present and prior notice has not been given, the landlord shall disclose the entry by placing a written disclosure of the entry in a conspicuous place in the premises. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.211 (Subd 5)).
  • Penalty for Failure to Give Proper Notice: Consequences can be severe for the landlord, including termination of the lease, rent reduction, and/or a $100 civil penalty per occurrence. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.211 (Subd 6))
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.225§§ 504B.375)
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.375§§ 504B.381)
  • Cold Weather Notice: Except by lease expiration, between November 15 and April 15 a tenant must give at least 3 days notice before abandoning or vacating so the landlord can winterize the property. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.155)

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Landlord Responsibilities (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.161)
    1. Fit for Use: To ensure that the premises and all common areas are fit for the use intended by the parties;
    2. Maintenance: To keep the premises in reasonable repair during the term of the lease or license, except when the disrepair has been caused by the willful, malicious, or irresponsible conduct of the tenant or licensee or a person under the direction or control of the tenant or licensee;
    3. Energy Efficiency: To make the premises reasonably energy-efficient by installing weather-stripping, caulking, storm windows, and storm doors when any such measure will result in energy procurement cost savings, based on current and projected average residential energy costs in Minnesota, that will exceed the cost of implementing that measure, including interest, amortized over the ten-year period following the incurring of the cost; and
    4. Comply with Laws: To 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, except when violation of the health and safety laws has been caused by the willful, malicious, or irresponsible conduct of the tenant or licensee or a person under the direction or control of the tenant or licensee.
  • Disclosure of Tenant Handbook: 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))
  • Disclosure of Orders: Before signing a lease, paying rent, or paying a security deposit, a prospective tenant must be given a copy of all outstanding inspection and condemnation orders and declarations. (Minn. Statute § 504B.195)
  • Unlawful Activity: If tenant participates in unlawful activity as described in Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.171 (Subd 1), the tenant loses his/her right to possession of the premise, but may still be obligated to pay rent or satisfy other terms of the lease. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.171 (Subd 2))
  • Name and Addresses: Landlord must disclose the name and address of the property owner and anyone authorized to manage the property. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.181)
  • Domestic Violence Situations:
  • Retaliation: Landlord must not terminate, refuse to renew a lease, or decrease services to a tenant who has filed an official complaint regarding a violation to a Government Authority or neighborhood organization in the previous 90 days. (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.441§§ 504B.385 (Subd 2))
  • No Smoking: Minnesota’s Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in all common areas within apartment buildings. (handbook)
  • Storage of Tenant’s Belongings: After eviction, a tenant has 28 days to claim his/her belongings before the landlord can sell the belongings to pay for moving and storage costs. Tenant must pay for any storage costs when he/she claims the items. (handbook pg. 48)

Court/Legal Related:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License Required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
  • Minneapolis Rental Property Licenses
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102 CommentsLeave a Comment


    Thank you so much for this helpful article. I have another question that you may be able to answer for me.
    Is a landlord required to disclose any current or past insect (cockroaches) or rodent infestation to a potential tenant?
    I live in a building that is cockroach infested, which I did not learn until I signed a lease and was moved in. The property management company will send an exterminator but will only treat units at a tenants request, which doesn’t solve the problem.
    As I am preparing to move out in April I have to purchase a number of large tubs with lids to place my belongings into so I don’t carry this awful roach issue with me.
    I would really appreciate any advice you could offer.
    Thanks much,

  • Sean

    Does Minnesota require that you provide a physical address to tenants? I have been informed but would like to confirm the following: “Minnesota law requires that management disclose a mailing address for legal notices–a post office box does not meet this requirement.”
    Thank you in advance for your comments.

  • Shavon Jackson

    I live in 3 bedroom duplex with one other person. She is on the lease as the primary tenant, I am not on the lease. Per my landlord, I am listed on the addendum as a sub-tenant/sub-leaser. My landlord owns the property and both my roommate and I are renters. Again, per my landlord, I pay my half of the rent to my roommate and my monthly pet fee goes to my landlord. I came home to a 30 day notice, typed up by my roommate, last evening. After briefly speaking with my roommate this morning, she is citing property damage as her reason to giving me the notice. She stated that my cat has clawed and put holes in her chair. I was under the impression that only a landlord can evict someone due to a breach in the lease etc. I also thought these type of matters were handled in court. Does my roommate have the right to evict me? Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

  • Catherine Jarocki

    Hello! I left a security deposit at an apartment. It has been five weeks and I still have not approved. I pursued a different residence and was accepted the same day, so I am going to live there instead. Place #1 landlord is refusing to return my deposit, claiming that they’ve been holding the apartment I was going to move into vacant for a while, to which my response is that I have been waiting for approval and moving in for the same amount of time. It’s not my fault they’ve dragged their heels on the approval process for five weeks. Is there a statute I can refer to in order to fight to get the security deposit back for an apartment I never even lived in or signed a lease for?

  • Ann

    What is the statutes of limitation on illegal eviction, wrongful entry/tresspassing, and some of my things stolen?
    I did contact the police that night. I called the attorney in the morning he said i could have stayed and kicked out the person that moved in illegally and the cop didn’t know what he was doing. I didn’t know how to prove anything.
    The landlord told the homeless shelter dept at social services that i left because i didn’t like the place. So i was back to being homeless and not getting help from them after that.

  • Mel

    Can a person who incarcerated rent thier home without a landlord? What measures should I make sure are in place since the person will not be available for Q&A or maintenance, emergencies, etc? If there isn’t a management company or landlord to manage the rental, is this legal? Also, can the landlord make it the tenants responsibility to pay for repairs for heating, plumbing, electrical, and/or basically any repairs?

    Thank you!

  • Shannon Marshall

    We have had many days, intermittently, with out heat. The landlord finally sent over an HVAC specialist that fixed the problem. I had sent many emails requesting maintenance look at our heater, they kept “resetting the boiler” which was not the problem. I told my landlord I was not going to pay my rent in full because of this neglect and I posted a negative review on line which got his attention and prompted the visit by the HVAC specialist. Do I have to pay my full rent? The problem was on going for 6 weeks during December and January. I had to use my oven for heat for a day until I bought space heaters.

  • Stella

    I am wondering who inspects multi family buildings for safety or general law compliance? Fire doors in hall dont close all the way, individual apartment doors are not fire rated, Fire extinguisher in hall hasnt been serviced since 2005, landlord name/adress are NOT posted, etc,

  • Kelsey

    I have a question on a unit transfer. If the building is on a month to month lease can the landlord charge a tenant a unit transfer fee?

  • Nikki

    My daughter rents a house with 4 other people in Mankato. The water main that goes from the house to the main line broke. To repair this the front lawn needs to be dug up, and the line repaired into the house. Since the water main is turned off the land lord has rented only 2 suites for them, 2 girls together 3 boys together. My question is are the renters entitled to per diem for the additional expenses of take out, additional mileage to school and work, etc .,what is that rate. Can they also request an air quality test for mold.

  • Jake raines

    Can a landlord charge first and last month rent plus a damage deposit for a new tenant to move in

  • Luann Kole

    In MN if an elderly person needs to enter an assisted living facility are they allowed to break a 1 year lease without paying a fee?

  • Sandy J Enstad

    Hi there, I am wondering if you would have an answer for me. I am working at renting a duplex. I have two therapy dogs. He has approved for them to come in. He ran my credit report and due to a very ugly divorce, I have not the greatest credit. The landlord first asked for one year prepaid rent. I the asked if we could compromise and do six month prepaid. I am a 51 year old single mother. I need a home therefore I have no intention of stiffing him of his rent. He is so worried that my credit record will have this effect on what I’m paying him. Opinions???
    Thank you, Sandy

  • Carol

    If tenants have paid pet deposits and fees for two animals and then upgrade to a larger apartment in the complex, is it legal for the rental company to charge the deposits and fees again before the tenants move into the new apartment? The company says that this is a new contract and that the terms of the previous lease are null and void.

  • Loreal Jackson

    I got a lease Termination for a Lease Violation (the zero tolerance policy ) can I still try to rent to apartments or will I get denied ? Should I tell my potential apartments about it ?

  • Crissy Allen

    Can a married couple with a 5 month old rent a 1 bedroom apartment and then switch to a 2 bedroom when their lease is up?

  • Jake

    Does MN have cohabitation laws or occupancy time limits? I need my gf out now. She has no lease, has never paid a dime, I own the house and she gets physically violent. She’s been given 2 eviction notices even tho I don’t think they were needed but hasnt left. I stuck at the moment and just need her gone.

  • John Norman

    I gave notice to my landlord halfway through the month of April. I allow landlord to debit my rent owed to a checking account and the full amount was deducted for May, even though I had announced my intention to move May 15. This action was allowed by my lease but landlord has yet to return portion of May rent deduction after apartment was empty. In other words, I paid for a full month of May and vacated on the 15th. What is the landlord’s obligation to return the period where rent was paid in advance but apartment was only occupied for half that period? There has been no notices of any kind from landlord so it is past the three-week limit for returning security deposit or informing me why.

  • Etal

    Hello this question is for my 61 year old mom. She has lived in the apartment for 12 years the owner sold the building this year and has been study going up on her rent so I been looking for her a new home but in the mean time she was served Eviction Court papers we didn’t expect that to happen without a notice from the landlord I mean wasn’t she supposed to notify my mom in writing before filling eviction? Also I’m sure she will try to keep the deposit after 12 years of tenancy

  • Genevieve Bojado

    Hi I am wondering if it is legal for a landlord to request a photographer to enter the home ( photographer insists all renters must vacate premise during photography) and take photos of my personal belongings etc. Our landlord already has pictures of the empty hone before we moved in 5 years ago, but now would like to sell it. These pictures would be made public on the internet, and it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and unsafe as I would never do the same, and our address would be publicly listed as well.
    Thank you

  • cecilia bell

    I live in mn and i have a eviction for non payment in rent and the landlord hired a attorney and i have contacted the attorney and he refers me to the landlord i have called her and emailed her and she will not respond to me about paying the rent agencies are trying to help me and she is refusing to answer any calls what do i do?

  • Louise

    Hi Thank you for sharing this information,

    However I have a question, My lease is up on the 31st, and I can’t move into my new place until the 3rd of the month. I have no where to go what are my rights as a tennant. I don’t seem to see anything about this kind of situation. I paid my damage deposit, and rent up until now.

    I tried to talk to the property manager but she was very blunt and said someone is moving in the very next day. I know this isn’t possible because there are things that need to be fixed and replaced that were never fixed since I moved in. What will happen if I don’t leave until the 3rd?

  • Deborah Brownson

    My tenant directly caused the sale of my home to fall through. I have proof of this – the buyers agent spelled it out in the termination of the purchase agreement. Can I use this as a reason to not reimburse the deposit? The tenants action has caused me great financial burden!

  • Staccy

    My fiance is (was) about to close on a home loan. Down payment paid. Inspection and appraisal completed. All other verification provided except for 24 months of rent paid verification from our landlord. Unfortunately, my fiance always paid her cash, which in turn she wrote hand-written receipts, which the lender is claiming unacceptable as proof. Lender sent landlord paperwork to verify rent paid, She has not completed forms, won’t answer calls or messages. Today we received a text from her saying that she is not signing anything. She ‘gave up rental business.’ Found out she lost property due to $7,000 unpaid taxes. How do we verify rent now?

  • Jessi

    I have just moved into a duplex apartment and I quickly learned that the hear doesn’t work and there are several windows painted open.

    I’m Greatful to have a place to live but I believe that it is the landlords responsibility to fix these issues immediately.

    I have contacted them several times and they even semt out an unlicensed contractor and he worked on it for two days but he can’t fix it and I can’t stop complaining because I am freezing.

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