Overview of Landlord and Tenant Laws in Minnesota
Rental Agreements and Moving In
According to Minnesota law, a legally binding rental contract can happen orally or in writing. Before a tenant makes an agreement however, they are allowed to inspect the property. A tenant may inspect the rental property for layout and amenities, but are also allowed by law to check the electrical system, plumbing, heating and appliances. It is then in the best interest of the tenant and landlord to create a list of existing imperfections with the property, sometimes known as a "move-in checklist." This will protect both parties if they have any disagreements at the end of a lease.
Landlord Background Check Requirement
In the interest of safety for renters, Minnesota's landlord tenant law requires landlords to perform a background check when they are hiring onsite property management or staff. Background checks can be done through the Superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Landlords are not allowed to hire someone who has been convicted of first or second degree murder, assault, kidnapping, first-degree arson or harassment.
Security Deposit Requirements
Landlords have the right to collect a security deposit. Tenants cannot use the security deposit to pay for their rent. Landlords also have the right to increase the amount of the security deposit. In order to do this, they have to give an advanced written notice. If any damage is done to the property, the landlord can keep enough of the security deposit to pay for the damages. They can also keep the security deposit if a tenant has unpaid rent.
Other Important Landlord Duties
Under the landlord tenant statutes for Minnesota, there are several additional duties that a landlord is responsible for:
- Landlord must keep the rental unit fit to live in.
- Landlord must comply with state and local health codes
- The rental unit must be kept in reasonable repair
- Landlords must make efforts to ensure that the rental unit is energy efficient