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Rental Property Laws in Minnesota

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    Overview

    • Rental property laws in Minnesota allow tenants a number of rights as well as landlords. These rights protect both parties from unfair or exploitative behavior on the part of the other party. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant in the state of Minnesota, it is essential to know your rights to avoid illegal treatment from unscrupulous parties.

    Leases

    • The state of Minnesota requires that all buildings with more than 12 units have written leases. Landlords are also required to let the prospective tenant see an apartment and inspect it for damages before paying any fees or signing any agreements.

      Landlords agree to certain provisions by the very act of signing a lease, even if these terms are not explicitly outlined in the lease. Specifically, they agree to keep the building fit for human habitation, in a reasonable state of good repair and in compliance with all local, state and federal building and health codes.

    Eviction

    • To remove a tenant from a building, a landlord must go to housing court and file a motion for eviction. Even after evicting a tenant, a landlord may not simply move the tenant's personal property out onto the street. The personal property of an evicted tenant must be kept on the property or in a bonded storage facility. Landlords do not hold a lien on the personal property of evicted tenants. The property must be returned at the request of the former tenant. A landlord must go to housing court to recover any money owed.

    Privacy

    • Minnesota state law affords tenants the right to privacy. Landlords must provide a tenant with reasonable notice to enter the property for reasonable purposes only. Reasonable purposes include showing the property to prospective tenants or buyers, performing repairs and maintenance, accompanying government officials on inspections or checking the unit for violations of the lease including residents not listed on the lease. Tenants may not waive their right to privacy in a lease. If a landlord violates a tenant's right to privacy, the tenant may receive as much as $100 in damages for every violation.

    Security Deposits

    • Minnesota state law allows landlords to apply money from a security deposit to unpaid rent and utilities. However, tenants cannot unilaterally apply a security deposit to their last month's rent. There are no limits on the amount that a landlord may charge for a security deposit. Landlords are required to keep the security deposit in an interest bearing account accruing no less than one percent interest as of 2010.

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