Minnesota Rental Application


Download the Minnesota Rental Application to obtain an editable template used for collecting information on adult tenants who desire to rent rentals ranging from apartments, condos, homes, rooms, and other unit-types. Although customizable, landlords can use the form as-is to begin the screening process, as it complies with all requirements as outlined in the Federal Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination on applicants based upon their skin color, race, gender, disability status, and family make-up. Unlike the majority of states, Minnesota has a statute in place (§ 504B.173) that restricts the application fee that can be charged to prospective tenants.

The rental screening process is completed in several steps. First, the prospect completes all fields contained within the form, then, the landlord scans through the document to see if there are any disqualifying factors upfront. If the applicant passes the initial round of questioning, the landlord will order a series of background checks. The prospective tenant must complete the rental application before screening can begin, as their signature on the form gives the landlord permission to do so. Once receiving the results from the screening reports, the landlord will have a means of fact-checking the applicant’s answers for any untruthful responses as well as see if they have any other disqualifying events. If approved, the tenant will be permitted to sign a lease and move-in to the rental.

Application Fees

Laws: § 504B.173 “Applicant Screening Fee”

Per Minnesota law, landlords cannot:

  • Charge fees for running rental applications if the property that the applicant is looking to lease is currently rented or will be rented in a short period of time.
  • Withhold an application fee without providing a receipt.
  • Spend (or deposit) a fee until all applicants to the rental have either 1) been rejected or 2) refused to enter into a lease (after being approved).

When fees have to be reimbursed:

  1. They reject a tenant for a reason that wasn’t listed as a criterion in the pre-application notice (more info below).
  2. They do not run paid screening reports; any/all part of the application fee that wasn’t directly used for running a credit, criminal, or other paid background check must be reimbursed.
  3. The rental is offered to a prior tenant and they enter into a new lease.

Requirements for making fees non-refundable:

1 – Landlords must give the following information in a written notice to the applicant:

  • The name, address, phone number of the screening company (if one is used).
  • The criteria that are used to determine whether applicants are approved or denied. Examples include the applicant having a minimum monthly income, falsifying information on the form, and/or having a poor criminal history.

2 – Inform the applicant that they’ve been rejected within fourteen (14) days and provide the reason(s) for the rejection.

Security Deposits (§ 504B.178): No maximum security deposit. Once the lease has ended landlords have three (3) weeks to return the security deposit (with interest). If the tenant is required to vacate the property due to reasons not under their control, landlords have five (5) days to return the deposit.

Guide to Minnesota Lease Laws: Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities

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