Minnesota Rental Application


A Minnesota rental application provides a modifiable template for landlords to gather details from individuals seeking to rent various properties, such as apartments and homes. It meets the Federal Fair Housing Act requirements, prohibiting discrimination based on factors like race or disability, and adheres to Minnesota’s law limiting application fees (§ 504B.173). The screening involves applicants filling out the form, followed by a preliminary review by the landlord for any immediate disqualifications. If the individual(s) meet the initial criteria, the landlord conducts a background check. This process allows for verifying the provided information and identifying disqualifying factors. Successful applicants are then allowed to sign a lease and move in. 

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

Related Forms