A Minnesota residential lease and rental agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of a lease that a property owner and tenant agree to.
Federal and state law mandate that a standard residential lease agreement includes certain information, specifically:
- Names and addresses of the landlord and tenant (you should have this from your rental application)
- The address of the premises being leased
- Lease term (e.g., 12 months)
- Any pet restrictions
- Warnings and disclosures about any health, chemical, or other safety hazards
- The amount of rent due and whether a security deposit is required
- How to pay rent and when the rent is due
- Late fees and grace periods
States will often differ on key leasing and rental requirements. For example, some states may impose a maximum amount on a security deposit while others have no requirement. Additionally, some states have laws regarding any grace period or late fees.
Familiarizing yourself with Minnesota’s specific leasing guidelines and distinctions will help protect your legal and financial rights.
Minnesota Landlord and Tenant Rental Laws
Minnesota imposes specific and distinct requirements for landlords and tenants when entering a Rental Agreement. For example, Minnesota Statute provides the following which should be included in the contract before lease signing:
Relevant State Laws and Resources
- Chapter 504B of the Minnesota Statutes
- Minnesota Attorney General: Landlord and Tenants – Rights and Responsibilities
- Minnesota has no state statute that addresses a maximum amount for security deposits.
- Landlords and property managers are required to return a tenant’s security deposit within three (3) weeks after termination of the tenancy or within five (5) days of a tenant’s departure due to legal condemnation of the property (Minn. Stat. § 504B.178).
- If a landlord fails to return a tenant’s deposit within the requisite period, they are required by law to then return the deposit with interest, along with a penalty equal to the amount withheld and damages up to $500 as “bad faith retention” (Minn. Stat. § 504B.178).
Landlord Right of Entry
- Minnesota landlords are allowed to enter a tenant’s property for a reasonable business purpose provided the landlord makes a good faith effort to give the tenant reasonable notice (Minn. Stat. § 504B.211(2)).
- Some examples of “reasonable business purposes” for allowing a landlord to enter the premises include showing the unit to prospective tenants, performing maintenance work, or showing the premises to insurance agents or state or local officials (Minn. Stat. § 504B.211(3)).
- Emergency entry without notice is allowed for Minnesota landlords, provided it prevents injury to the tenant or property (Minn. Stat. § 504B.211(4)).
- Minnesota tenants are entitled to terminate lease agreements for domestic abuse, harassment and other violence provided they give advance written notice to the landlord. Landlords are prohibited from disclosing the information provided by the tenant to others (Minn. Stat. § 504B.206).
Cold Weather Notice
- Between the dates of November 15th and April 15th, Minnesota tenants are required to provide a landlord with at least three (3) days’ notice before abandoning or permanently vacating the premises (Minn. Stat. § 504B.155).
- Per Minn. Stat. § 504B.171, the below language must be included in the lease agreement:
“Landlord and tenant promise that neither will unlawfully allow within the premises, common areas, or curtilage of the premises (property boundaries): controlled substances, prostitution or prostitution-related activity; stolen property or property obtained by robbery; or an act of domestic violence, as defined by MN Statute Section 504B.206 (1)(e), against a tenant, licensee, or any authorized occupant. They further promise that the aforementioned areas will not be used by themselves or anyone acting under their control to manufacture, sell, give away, barter, deliver, exchange, distribute, purchase, or possess a controlled substance in violation of any criminal provision of chapter 152.”
Below are additional helpful documents for writing a Minnesota lease agreement.
Disclosure of Lead-Based Paint Hazards
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) holds Minnesota landlords of any building constructed before 1978 responsible for notifying all tenants of the potential existence of lead-based paint hazards (Title 42 U.S. Code § 4852(d)).
Notice of Foreclosure
Minnesota landlords must deliver written notice disclosing the fact that the residential property has entered the foreclosure process (Minn. Stat. § 580.042).
How to Write a Lease/Rental Agreement
Follow the steps below to write a lease agreement in Minnesota.
Step 1 – Fill Out the Date of Agreement
Write the date of the Lease/Rental Agreement.
Step 2 – Enter the Parties’ Information
Provide the name and address of the parties that are signing the agreement. First is the landlord or management company and their current address. Then write in all tenants and their current addresses.
Step 3 – Describe the Property
Describe the type of rental property such as an apartment or house and provide the full street address of the rental property.
Step 4 – Enter the Term of the Lease
Write the term (length) of the lease in months and enter the beginning and end dates of the lease. If the lease is month-to-month, provide the start date of the lease.
Step 5 – Enter Rent Details
Provide the monthly rental amount, the date the rent is due each month and the acceptable payment method(s). Any late fees or grace period for late payment of rent can be added.
Step 6 – Enter Security Deposit Amount
Write the amount of the security deposit the landlord will collect from the tenant, typically done at the beginning of the lease.
Step 7 – Additional Provisions
Provide additional and optional provisions such as regarding use of guarantor, payment of utilities, maintenance and repairs, alterations, or allowance or prohibition of pets, smoking, or sublease.
Step 8 – Signatures
The landlord and tenant(s) will sign and date the lease agreement.
Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement Example
The sample lease agreement below describes a contract between “Landlord” Kevin Lee and “Tenant” Olivia Graham. She agrees to rent a duplex in Columbia for $1,000 per month for a fixed term. The tenant agrees to pay for all utilities and services for the Premises. This is a good example of what provisions a simple lease agreement might contain, and how one should look in its final form.
Sample Minnesota Lease Agreement
Below is a free form you can use to legally bind your lease with your tenant. This sample Minnesota lease agreement also provides an example of what typical standard residential lease agreements look like.