A Minnesota Rental Application is a document that landlords use to properly vet potential tenants before offering a lease agreement.
Minnesota has detailed and precise landlord/tenant laws, which makes it easy for you throughout the screening process. Using a thorough rental application allows landlords to spot red flags in a potential tenant’s history before entering into a legally binding lease agreement in Minnesota.
Fees are often a part of the rental application process. Collecting these fees can protect you and increase the chances of securing good and reliable tenants. According to Minnesota Statutes Section 504B.173:
- You can only ask for payment if you know there is a rental unit available for rent or one will be available soon, and you can only use this fee to pay for screening the potential tenant.
- You must provide the applicant with a receipt for the fee paid upon request of the applicant.
- You must disclose specific details to the applicant, including the screening service you will use, the background checks you will do, and how you will use that information to make the rental decision.
- The law requires you to hold the money until you screen each applicant. If you reject the prospective renter, you must notify the applicant within 14 days and give the person an explanation of why you denied the application.
- You also need to return any portion of the money you didn’t use for screening costs.
You can legally collect a security deposit and the law does not limit how much you may charge (Minnesota Statutes Section 504B.178).
You must return the security deposit, including annual non-compounded interest, within three weeks after the end of the lease.
You are permitted to keep some or all of the deposit to cover any damages caused beyond normal wear and tear or to pay outstanding utility charges or rent.
Minnesota allows landlords to charge a pet deposit to cover any damages made by the animal to the property, as long as the amount is reasonable. Service animals are exempt.
How To Conduct an Eviction Record Search
Part of the background check should include looking at the applicant’s past eviction records. You can do this in several ways:
- Perform a public records search on Minnesota Court Records Online (MCRO). You can search using the person’s name for any court documents dated after July 1, 2015.
- Some case information may also be available using Minnesota Public Access (MPA) Remote. To use this system, you will agree to the terms and conditions, select the location, choose the type of record, and then enter the applicant’s name.
- You can also access statewide records at your local district (trial) courthouse. You will use a terminal to search eviction records using the information provided by the applicant.
Other Landlord Resources
As a landlord, you can access the state’s fair housing law (Minnesota Statutes Section 363A.09) to ensure you comply with all legal requirements when choosing renters and creating your rental application in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Sex Offender Registry is another handy resource. You may wish to provide this to your renters so that they can check the area for any offenders who may live nearby.
Download the sample Minnesota rental application form below for free. You can also use our document builder to create your custom application.