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What is a Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement

An MN lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and a tenant. This is written to conform to state laws where the property is located. In Minnesota these allow both parties to comply with a series of set terms for a specified number of months or years.

Rental contracts and lease agreements have a lot of similarities as they both set out payment plans and the terms of use for a house or apartment. However, the big difference is the duration that they cover. MN rental agreements usually only cover short-term tenancies of a few months at a time or month-to-month contracts.

A lease agreement should contain the following details:

  • How long the tenant may legally reside in the property
  • How much rent should be paid
  • Information about the security deposits necessary
  • When rental installments are due
  • Any additional costs that must be serviced by the tenant
  • The rules regarding the proper use of the property
  • Situations that constitute lease violation eviction procedures

Types of Minnesota Lease Agreements

There are many types of Minnesota lease agreement forms that can be used to manage and legally bind many different types of rental situations. They allow landlords to rent out various types of property they might have and for tenants to find the best kind of tenancy for their needs.

The most common types of lease agreements in Minnesota include:

  • Standard residential lease agreements: Under a standard Minnesota lease agreement both the landlord and tenant commit to a fixed set of terms that last for a series of months or years.
  • Lease with option to purchase (lease to own) agreements: Lease agreements with rent-to-own options are designed for tenants that wish to buy the property they are renting. This requires them to pay a sum of money each month, in addition to rent, to cover the costs of the principal.
  • Month-to-month rental agreements: Month-to-month MN lease agreements will often have similar basic terms to standard residential lease contracts. However, they differ as they can be renewed or ended on a month-by-month basis. Their terms may also be flexibly altered each month.
  • Commercial lease agreements: Commercial leases are provided by landlords of retail property to tenants that intend to use the real estate to run a business.
  • Room rental agreements: In rental properties with shared living areas a room rental agreement can be used to rent a singular bedroom.
  • Sublease Agreement: A Minnesota sublease agreement allows tenants to reassign or ‘sublease’ the property to another individual. This requires the property landlord’s permission and must be specifically allowed in the original lease.

Disclosures for Minnesota Lease Agreements

Minnesota lease agreements must contain a few disclosures and addendums when they are completed and signed. This is to properly inform the tenant of any health risks or potential issues with the property or details about how the property is managed that they must be aware of. 

These essential additions include the following: 

  • Covenant of landlord and tenant not to allow unlawful activities (§ 504B.171): Lease agreements in Minnesota must contain the following text: 
    • 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.
  • Financial Distress (§ 504B.151): This provides clarification on what happens if the landlord is to be foreclosed upon. It explains that a tenant cannot legally sign an agreement for longer than 2 months with the landlord if this occurs.
  • Landlord/manager information disclosure (§ 504B.181): The agreement must contain a section or addendum that informs the tenant of the contact information of the main person who can be called upon for any repairs or issues with the property. This may be the landlord or someone appointed to act on their behalf.
  • Lead paint disclosure: If the rental unit is in a building constructed before 1978, the landlord or their agent must disclose whether lead paint can be found on the property and must provide safety information for any located on the premises.
  • Outstanding inspection orders (§ 504B.195): Any outstanding inspection orders due to a property code infringement must be explained to the tenant in the lease before they sign.

Minnesota Lease Agreement Laws

An MN lease agreement must be written and signed within the laws of Minnesota state, otherwise, it will be legally contestable and can be declared invalid and block either party from recourse if a violation is committed. These will police how you start and end the contract and control what procedures you can reasonably ask a tenant to follow.

The most important laws to consider when you are renting a property in Minnesota include:

  • Security deposits: There are no limits on how much a landlord in Minnesota can charge as a security deposit. However, the amount kept from the tenant must be returned within 3 weeks of the contract termination date and minus any deductions. The landlord must also pay 3-4% of interest on the deposit (§ 504B.178).
  • Landlord’s right to enter: Landlords can enter the rental property without giving notice if it’s for business or emergency purposes (§ 504B.211). However, it is recommended to give tenants a minimum of 24 hours’ notice before entering under for other reasons.

Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement Sample

Before beginning the process of creating a residential lease agreement in Minnesota it is sensible to review an example document first. Use our MN lease agreement sample below to find out more about the structure and contents of a fully-fledged rental contract.

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Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement Form

FAQs About Minnesota Lease Agreement

It is important to carefully prepare a Minnesota lease agreement to suit the needs of the landlord and tenant exactly. To help demystify the process a little simply review our FAQs below to learn more about the specificities of rental contracts in Minnesota. 

How to Get a Lease Agreement in Minnesota?

It is possible to create a Minnesota lease agreement completely online. Using our residential lease agreement maker you can tailor your document for your specific needs and take advantage of professional templates and expert tips.

Lease Agreement or Rental Agreement?

There is a key difference between a Minnesota lease agreement and a Minnesota rental agreement, which is the length of duration that they each cover.

Lease agreements are normally longer-term arrangements that can last several months or even years, in which their terms remain fixed. Rental agreements on the other hand are shorter-term in nature but are more flexible and may be changed on a weekly or monthly basis.

How to Write an MN Lease Termination Letter?

If either the landlord or tenant for any reason needs to terminate a Minnesota lease agreement early, they must provide the correct amount of notice in a written MN lease termination letter.

This letter needs to contain the following information:

  • The name of the landlord and the tenant
  • The date the letter has been written and signed
  • The name and address of the property in question
  • Information explaining why the tenancy needs to be terminated early
  • The reason the lease is being broken
  • The date that the resident will vacate the property
  • Acknowledgment of any penalties that will be incurred
  • Signature of the signing party
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Minnesota Residential Lease Agreement Form

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MINNESOTA
RESIDENTIAL LEASE AGREEMENT
This Lease Agreement (hereinafter, the "Lease Agreement") is dated as of _________ (hereinafter, the "Effective Date") and is entered into by and between _________ (hereinafter, the "Landlord") and the following residents:

_________
(hereinafter, the "Tenant(s)").

The Landlord and the Tenant(s) agree as follows:
1. PROPERTY

(a) The Landlord is the owner of certain real property and improvements described as a house located at _________, _________, Minnesota _________ (hereinafter, the "Property").

(b) The Landlord rents to the Tenant(s) and the Tenant(s) rents from the Landlord the Property according to the terms and conditions described in this Lease Agreement.

(c) Unless otherwise indicated in the Lease Agreement, no other portion of the building (hereinafter, the "Building") is included in the Lease.

(d) Unless otherwise indicated in the Lease Agreement, the Property is for the sole use as a personal residence by the person(s) named above only.
2. OCCUPANTS

During the term of this Lease Agreement, the only individuals permitted to reside on the Property are the following:

_________

The Tenant(s) may not allow any guest to stay on the Property longer than _________ consecutive days or _________ days in a calendar year. The Tenant(s)'s guests shall not be considered original occupants of the Property under any circumstances.

The amount of time the Tenant(s)'s guests may stay on the Property may never be longer than the time permitted by any owners' association rule or restrictive covenant or _________ consecutive days or _________ days in a calendar year, without Landlord's written permission, whichever is less.
3. TERM

The term of the Lease Agreement begins on _________ (hereinafter, the "Commencement Date"), and shall continue from that date as a month-to-month tenancy. Either party may terminate the tenancy by giving the other party written notice as provided by law.

Upon the Termination Date, the Tenant(s) shall be required to vacate the Property unless one of the following circumstances occur: (i) The Landlord and the Tenant(s) formally extend this Lease Agreement in writing or create, execute, and sign a new one; (ii) Mandated by local rent control law; or (iii) The Landlord willingly accepts new Rent from the Tenant(s), which does not constitute past due Rent. In this case, a month-to-month tenancy shall be created, which the Tenant(s) may terminate by giving written notice as provided by law.
4. MANAGEMENT

The Tenant(s) is hereby notified that the owner or Landlord _________ is the Property Manager in charge of repairs or maintenance of the Property.

If the Tenant(s) has any complaint regarding any issue about the Property, _________ shall be contacted by one of the following methods:
Address: _________
Telephone: _________
Email: _________
5. RENT

The Tenant(s) shall pay the Landlord monthly rent in the amount of $_________ (hereinafter, the "Rent") for each full month during this lease. The full month's rent is due and payable not later than the 1st day of each month. If that day falls on a legal holiday, the rent is due on the next business day.
Place of Payment:

The Tenant(s) shall remit all rent payment amounts owed to the Landlord under this Lease Agreement to the following address:

_________

The Landlord may later change the person and place to which the Tenant(s) must remit the rental amounts due under this Lease Agreement.
Method of Payment:

The Tenant(s) shall pay Rent by selecting any of the following forms of payment (select one or more):
6. NON-SUFFICIENT FUNDS

In the event that any payment by the Tenant(s) is not honored by the institution on which it was drawn or is returned for non-sufficient funds, or if the Tenant(s) stops payment, the Landlord shall charge a monetary fee of $30 to the Tenant(s) for each such payment as reimbursement of the expenses incurred, plus late charges as described below (if any), until the Landlord has received payment.

Furthermore, the Landlord may require in writing that the Tenant(s) pay all future Rent payments by cash, money order, cashier's check, or any other type of certified fund.

The parties agree that three (3) returned checks in any twelve (12) month period constitutes a frequent return of checks due to insufficient funds and shall be considered a just cause for eviction.
7. UTILITIES AND SERVICES

The Tenant(s) shall be solely responsible for and shall pay expenses for all utilities and services used or consumed at the Property.
8. PETS / STRAYS

No animal or pet shall be kept, permanently or temporarily, on or about the Property, even temporarily or with a visiting guest. As provided by law, a Service Animal(s) is not considered a pet, and every individual with a disability shall have a right to have a Service Animal(s) on the Property.

Any animal discovered on or around the Property will be considered a stray. Strays shall not be kept or fed in or about the Property. All strays will be reported to the proper authorities and removed at the Tenant(s)'s expense.
9. SMOKING

Smoking is not allowed in or on any area of the Property, including individual units and common areas, both indoors and outdoors. This restriction includes the use of e-cigarettes and vaping.

If the Tenant(s) contravenes this provision by smoking or allowing guests to smoke in any place on the Property, then such Tenant(s) shall be held liable for any damages caused to the Property. The violation of this provision shall be considered a just cause for the eviction of the Tenant(s) by the Landlord.
10. MAINTENANCE

The Landlord will have the responsibility to maintain the Property in good condition at all times and perform all repairs reasonably necessary to meet the implied warranty of habitability of the Property, that is, that the Property is in a safe and livable condition.
Additionally, during the Term of this Lease Agreement and any renewal thereof, Tenant(s) shall:

(1) Keep the Property clean and safe, use all electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner.

(2) Repair any damage arising from the act or negligence of Tenant, Occupants, or guests, agents, visitors, and invitees, at tenant's expense.

(3) Surrender the Property in as good order and condition as when received, reasonable wear and tear excepted, upon the termination of this Lease Agreement.

(4) Immediately notify the Landlord, in writing, of any problem, malfunction or damage; otherwise, the Tenant(s) will be liable for the costs of any such damage, which might have been avoided had the Tenant promptly notified the Landlord of the defect.
11. SINGLE-METER UTILITY SERVICE PAYMENTS

In accordance with the Minnesota Statutes, §504B.215(2), the Landlord of a single-metered residential building shall be the bill payer responsible, and shall be the customer of record contracting with the utility for utility services.
12. ALTERATIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS

The Tenant(s) shall not make any alterations, additions, redecorations, or any sort of improvements on the leased Property without the Landlord's prior written consent. All additions, alterations, fixtures, or improvements made by the Tenant(s), except movable household furniture, shall become the Landlord's property and remain on the Property as part of the Property and shall be surrendered with the leased premises at the Termination of this Lease Agreement.
13. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

The Tenant(s) shall not keep or have on the Property any article or item of a dangerous, flammable, or explosive material that might unreasonably increase the danger of fire or explosion on the Property or that might be considered hazardous or extra hazardous by any responsible insurance company.
14. LANDLORD ACCESS TO PROPERTY

The Landlord and the Landlord's agents shall have the right at all reasonable times, and by all reasonable means during the term of this Lease Agreement and any renewal thereof, to enter the Property for the following purposes:

(i) Survey the Property's condition and take photographs to document the condition.
(ii) Make repairs or improvements to the Property.
(iii) Supply agreed services.
(iv) Show the Property to prospective buyers or tenants.
(v) Exercise a contractual or statutory lien.
(vi) Leave a written notice.
(vii) Seize nonexempt property if the Tenant(s) is in default.

Except in case of emergency, the Landlord will give the Tenant(s) reasonable notice of intent to enter. For these purposes, twenty-four (24) hour written notice will be deemed reasonable.
15. SUBORDINATION OF LEASE

This Lease Agreement and the Tenant(s)'s interest are and shall be subject, subordinate, and inferior to any and all mortgages, liens, or encumbrances now or later placed on the Property by the Landlord, all advances made herein under any such lien, mortgages or encumbrances, including, but not limited to, future advances, the interest payable on such mortgages, liens or encumbrances and any and all renewals, extensions, encumbrances or modifications, any restrictive covenant and the right of any owners' association affecting the Property.
16. ASSIGNMENT / SUBLETTING

The Tenant(s) acknowledges that this Lease Agreement is not transferable and that the Tenant(s) may not assign or sublet this Lease Agreement, grant any license to use the Property or any interest in the Property or any part thereof, nor mortgage or pledge this Lease Agreement.

The Tenant(s) shall not contravene this provision, unless the Landlord expressly waivers this prohibition in writing, the consent of which the Landlord may, in any case, withhold in its sole and absolute discretion.
17. NOTICE OF PROHIBITION AGAINST UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES

Landlord and Tenant(s) guarantee that neither will unlawfully allow any of the following within the Property: controlled substances, prostitution or prostitution-related activity; stolen property or property obtained by robbery; or an act of domestic violence, as defined by the Minnesota Statutes, §504B.206 (1)(e), against a Tenant(s) or any authorized occupant. They further guarantee that the Property will not be used to manufacture, sell, give away, barter, deliver, exchange, distribute, purchase, or possess a controlled substance in violation of any criminal provision of Chapter 152.
18. NOTICES

Notice under this Lease Agreement will be given in accordance with the applicable statute. All other notices shall be deemed sufficient if made as follows:

1) All notices to the Landlord shall be directed by personal delivery or first-class mail to the Landlord at the appropriate address set forth below, until the Tenant(s) is notified, in writing, to the contrary.

2) All notices to the Tenant(s) shall be directed by personal delivery or first-class mail to the Tenant(s) at the Leased Property or any forwarding address provided in writing by the Tenant(s) to the Landlord.
Landlord:

_________
_________
Tenant(s):

_________
_________, _________, Minnesota _________
Such addresses may be changed from time to time by any party by providing notice as set forth above.
19. VENUE AND GOVERNING LAW

The exclusive venue is in the county where the Property is located. This Lease Agreement shall be governed, construed, and interpreted by the Laws of the State of Minnesota.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Landlord and the Tenant(s) have executed this Lease Agreement in the manner prescribed by law as of the Effective Date.
Tenant:

By: ____________________________ Date: ______________
      _________
Lease Agreement
Inspection Checklist
Address: _________, _________, Minnesota _________

The Tenant(s) has inspected the Property and states that the Property is in satisfactory condition, free of defects, except as noted below:
SATISFACTORYCOMMENTS
Bathrooms  __________________________________
Carpeting  __________________________________
Ceilings  __________________________________
Closets  __________________________________
Countertops  __________________________________
Dishwasher  __________________________________
Disposal  __________________________________
Doors  __________________________________
Fireplace  __________________________________
Lights  __________________________________
Locks  __________________________________
Refrigerator  __________________________________
Screens  __________________________________
Stove  __________________________________
Walls  __________________________________
Windows  __________________________________
Window coverings  __________________________________
___________________________________________
___________________________________________



_____________________

Date

Tenant:

By: ____________________________ Date: ______________
      _________
Acknowledged by Landlord:

By: ____________________________ Date: ______________
      _________
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