Minnesota Rental Lease Agreements

The Minnesota Rental Lease Agreements are documents which set explicit legal boundaries relevant to the lease of a residential property. In order for the contract to cover all fundamental matters concerning landlord-tenant relationships, it should outline areas such as repairs, the rent amount, and furnishings.

While some states do not govern many areas of landlord-tenant relationships, Minnesota state laws have a particularly large reach in this regard. As such, it is important that both landlords and tenants spend the time to acquaint themselves with these laws.

Types of Agreements

Commercial Lease Agreement – Contrasting from the lease of a residential property, this lease strictly concerns the lease of a commercial property.

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Lease to Own Agreement – Should a landlord be open to selling their rental property to the tenants, this legal document will outline the necessary provisions for doing so.

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Month-to-Month Rental (Lease) Agreement – Dictates conditions for a residential rental property to be leased on a monthly basis.

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Roommate Agreement – Created exclusively among roommates, this document contains both legally-binding and non-binding provisions related to the roommates’ responsibilities in the shared rental dwelling.

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Standard Residential Lease Agreement – As each state has a unique set of landlord-tenant laws, it is vital for landlords and tenants based in Minnesota to use this particular residential lease agreement.

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Sublease Agreement – By drafting and signing this agreement (and with permission of the landlord, if required), a third party has the legal grounding to take over the lease from the original tenant.

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What is a Minnesota Lease Agreement?

A Minnesota Lease Agreement is required to make the lease of a property in the state legally-binding. A landlord and tenant who are signatories to this contract must carefully follow each stipulation listed that is relevant to them. Although not required, landlords are recommended to ask prospective tenants to complete a rental application form. Doing so will greatly assist them in the tenant vetting process.

State Definition (504B.001(Subd. 8.)) – “means an oral or written agreement creating a tenancy in real property.”

When is Rent Due?

Minnesota state law does not stipulate when rent is due. For this reason, it is essential that the date rent must be paid by as well as the means by which it should be paid is specified in the rental contract. There is no grace period offered by Minnesota state law.

Landlord’s Access

Emergency (§ 504B.211(Subd 4)): Landlords may enter the rental dwelling without prior notice to tenants if they reasonably suspect immediate entry is necessary to: prevent injury to persons or property because of conditions relating to maintenance, building security, or law enforcement; determine a residential tenant’s safety; or in order to comply with local ordinances regarding unlawful activity occurring within the residential tenant’s premises.

Non-Emergency (§ 504B.211(Subd 2)): Landlords have the right to enter the rental dwelling “only for a reasonable business purpose.” They must also make a good faith effort to give tenants reasonable notice prior to entry, of which is generally considered to be at least twenty-four (24) hours.

Required Disclosures

  • Covenant Disallowing Unlawful Activities (Minn. Statute § 504B.171): Each lease agreement must include a covenant that specifies a number of unlawful activities that cannot take place in the rental dwelling. These activities include prostitution, the unlawful use or possession of a firearm, and the possession of stolen property or property obtained by robbery.
  • Inspection and Condemnation Orders Disclosure (Minn. Statute § 504B.195): Landlords must disclose a copy of all outstanding inspection orders for which “a citation has been issued, pertaining to a rental unit or common area, specifying code violations issued under section 504B.185, that the housing inspector identifies as requiring notice because the violations threaten the health or safety of the tenant, and all outstanding condemnation orders and declarations that the premises are unfit for human habitation.”
  • Lead Paint Disclosure: Federal law requires landlords of rental properties nationwide that were built prior to 1978 to disclose any known lead paint hazards to tenants. Landlords are also obliged to provide tenants with a government-issued pamphlet which explores the subject further.
  • Names and Addresses (Minn. Statute § 504B.181, Subd. 1): The names and addresses of the landlord and the party authorized to act on their behalf must be disclosed in the rental agreement or in writing prior to the commencement of the tenancy. They should also be posted in a conspicuous place on the rental premises.
  • Pending Foreclosure Notice (Minn. Statute § 504B.151): Prior to entering into a lease and accepting rent or a security deposit from a tenant, landlords must inform a prospective tenant in writing that they have received notice of a contract for deed cancellation or notice of a mortgage foreclosure sale. Landlords must list on the notice the date on which the contract cancellation period or the mortgagor’s redemption period ends. In such cases, the rental contract cannot exceed two (2) months in duration.
  • Posting of Attorney General’s Statement (Minn. Statute § 471.9995 & Minn. Statute § 504B.181, Subd. 2(b)): Landlords must comply if there is a license, registration, or certificate of occupancy or a similar document that is issued by a home rule charter, statutory city, or by a town that requires posting in a building containing multiple rental dwelling units. These postings must contain a statement that includes the telephone number and address of the attorney general and notifies tenants that they may contact the attorney general for information regarding the rights and obligations of owners and tenants under state law.
    If landlords are not required to do so, they must instead place a notice in a conspicuous place on the property that states that a copy of the statement required by Section 504B.275 is available from the attorney general to any residential tenant upon request.

Security Deposit Laws

Maximum: Minnesota state law does not specify about a cap on the amount a landlord can demand as a security deposit.

Returning to Tenant (Minn. Statute § 504B.178(Subd. 3.)): Landlords are required to return the security deposit to tenants within three (3) weeks after termination of the tenancy, or within five (5) days of the date when the tenant leaves the rental dwelling due to the legal condemnation of it. They must return the deposit after receipt of the tenant’s mailing address or delivery instructions, ensuring that they also include the stipulated simple non-compounded interest on the deposit at a rate of three percent (3%) per annum until August 1, 2003, and one percent (1%) per annum thereafter. Should the landlord withhold any part of the deposit due to damages the tenant has made, they must provide a written statement listing the reasons for doing so.

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